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18 posts

Monitoring AWS Golden AMI Pipelines with Slack

If your company uses Slack and is looking for ways to easily monitor activities in its AWS Golden AMI Pipeline, you can use AWS native services to send messages into a Slack channel. This can give your teams better visibility into the approval process for the candidate AMIs that they submit, as opposed to handling this via email. As we all know, email messages can get lost, overlooked or dumped in spam folders, which doesn’t happen with Slack messages. Moreover, Slack channels can have multiple subscribers so a single message can be seen by multiple people or other bots. Handling approval requests within a Slack channel also simplifies the management of the process.

Read on for a detailed, step-by-step explanation.

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Ancestry: On the Vanguard of DevOps Security

Grant Johnson, Ancestry’s Director, Risk & Compliance

(This is a guest post by Grant Johnson, Director, Risk & Compliance at Ancestry)

Over the past two years, Ancestry moved its entire applications and data infrastructure from local data centers to Amazon’s cloud, and this required a new approach for managing vulnerabilities in our DevOps pipeline. In the hopes that our insights will help security teams embarking on this path, this article details the challenges we faced and the best practices that helped us succeed, including:

  • the benefits of replacing production AMIs with new ones instead of patching them;
  • the importance of making security an enabler of agile, cloud processes like DevOps;
  • and effective ways to get DevOps team members and senior leaders to buy into your risk reduction strategy.

Read on to learn how, with Qualys’ help, we streamlined and automated vulnerability fixes, resulting in a steep drop in the number of high severity bugs in our production applications.

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Assess Vulnerabilities, Misconfigurations in AWS Golden AMI Pipelines

Today we’re starting a blog series focused on how to integrate Qualys solutions into DevSecOps for securing cloud infrastructures. In this initial post, we’ll discuss the importance of assessing vulnerabilities and misconfigurations on AWS pipelines.

When developing golden Amazon Machine Images (AMIs), DevOps teams should run continuous and automated checks to eliminate vulnerabilities and misconfigurations in them. It’s a critical security and compliance practice that Qualys recommends its customers adopt. 

To that end, Qualys partnered with Amazon to integrate the AWS Golden Amazon Machine Image Pipeline reference architecture with Qualys scanners for vulnerability and configuration compliance assessment.

The result: Qualys has just published a GitHub repository and documentation for implementing Qualys scanning of instances in a golden AMI pipeline. This will help customers detect and fix critical vulnerabilities and compliance issues in the image creation pipeline, before they reach production environments.

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Qualys Cloud Platform 2.36 New Features

This release of the Qualys Cloud Platform version 2.36 includes updates and new features for AssetView (Cloud Assets and Cloud Agents) and Web Application Scanning, highlights as follows.

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Capital One: Building Security Into DevOps

Capital One prides itself on staying at the forefront of IT innovations to give its business a competitive edge.

For example, it adopted Agile software-development methodologies years ago, and uses artificial intelligence and machine learning. It was the first bank to implement a mobile wallet with “contactless” NFC payments, and to offer voice-activated financial transactions using Amazon’s Alexa. When 2018 ends, Capital One expects 80% of its IT infrastructure to be cloud based, allowing it to go from seven to two data centers.

Given its tech transformation track record, it’s not surprising that Capital One has embraced DevSecOps, embedding automated security checks into its DevOps pipeline. This effort has dramatically accelerated the process of assessing vulnerabilities and mis-configurations in its virtual machine images and containers.

As a result, the code created in the DevOps pipeline is certified as secure and released to production without unnecessary delays. This allows Capital One — one of the United States’ 10 largest banks, based on deposits — to consistently boost its business across the board by quickly and continuously improving its web properties, mobile apps, online services and digital offerings.

“This has provided a huge benefit to the entire company,” said Emmanuel Enaohwo, Senior Manager for Vulnerability/Configuration Management at Capital One, a Fortune 500 company based in McLean, Virginia that offers a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients.

Read on to learn how the bank has automated vulnerability and compliance checks in its CI/CD software pipeline, helped by Qualys.

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Qualys Cloud Platform 2.34.1 New Features

This release of the Qualys Cloud Platform version 2.34.1 includes updates and new features for Cloud Agent & AWS EC2 Connector, AssetView, CloudView, and Security Assessment Questionnaire, highlights as follows.

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Qualys Cloud Platform 2.34 New Features

This release of the Qualys Cloud Platform version 2.34 includes updates and new features for Cloud Agent, EC2 Connector, Continuous Monitoring, Security Assessment Questionnaire, Web Application Scanning, and Web Application Firewall, highlights as follows.

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Gain Visibility and Continuous Security Across All Your Public Clouds

As organizations increase their use of public cloud platforms, they encounter cloud-specific security and compliance threats, which can be challenging to address without the right tools and processes.

Organizations’ cloud security difficulties lie in two main areas: Lack of visibility into their cloud assets and resources, and a misunderstanding of cloud providers’ shared security responsibility model. As a result, there have been a multitude of easily preventable security mishaps in public cloud deployments due to leaky storage buckets, misconfigured security groups, and erroneous user policies.

These security breakdowns have caused data breaches and other compromises at organizations large and small, including Verizon, Viacom, the Republican National Committee, Tesla and the U.S. Department of Defense. The key to protect public cloud workloads lies in adopting a cloud-native way of supporting and securing your resources in a hybrid IT environment, so as to have full visibility and control.

“Rather than having bifurcated tooling or bifurcated processes or even bifurcated teams, organizations need a unified view of their resources and security posture across on-premises and cloud environments,” Hari Srinivasan, Director of Product Management at Qualys, said during a recent webcast.

Read on to learn about cloud security challenges, best practices, and how Qualys can help you secure any infrastructure, at any scale, on-premises and in cloud, via a unified interface, using uniform standards and processes.

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Qualys Cloud Platform 2.33 New Features

This release of the Qualys Cloud Platform version 2.33 includes the release for CertView, plus updates and new features for AssetView, Cloud Agent, EC2 Connector, Security Assessment Questionnaire, Web Application Scanning, and Web Application Firewall, highlights as follows.  (This posting has been edited to include an update to WAS that is available in a patch release.)

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When Preparing for GDPR, Don’t Neglect Public Cloud Security

With organizations aggressively moving workloads to public cloud platforms, such as Amazon’s AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft’s Azure, protecting these environments is critical for compliance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

These public cloud platforms are being used to power digital transformation initiatives across a wide variety of business functions, including supply chain management, customer support, employee collaboration, sales and marketing.

In all of these business tasks that are being digitally transformed in the cloud, customer personal data regulated by GDPR is likely to be stored, processed and shared.

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