Critical components of modern applications, AWS Lambda functions hold the capability to scale and give dynamic responses to events. Collaboration between compliance, security, development, and cloud operations can be truly realized by optimizing the AWS Lambda functions. Cloudlytics has been enabling organizations to achieve continuous optimization of AWS Lambda with bespoke sets of reports pre-built for maintaining and validating compliance.
In AWS Lambda, all functions have their own execution role, which are identities bound with permissions that govern what they can or cannot perform. When a Lambda function is created, an execution role is specified. When functions are invoked, the execution role is assumed. For validating compliance of AWS Lambda, the functions in the AWS environment are scanned for inspecting execution roles and permissions to AWS resources.
Compliance in AWS Lambda
As per the shared responsibility model, organizations are responsible for identifying the compliance regime that is applicable to their data. Once, they have identified the requirements of their compliance regime, they can leverage various features of AWS Lambda for matching the controls. Moreover, they can get in touch with experts from AWS, such as technical account managers, domain experts, and solution architects for further assistance. AWS doesn’t take the responsibility of advising the organizations regarding the types of compliance regimes applicable to their specific use cases.
Since November 2020, AWS Lambda’s scope includes reports of Service Organization Control (SOC) 1, 2, and 3, independent examination reports of third-party. This demonstrates the way AWS achieves compliance controls and goals. As some of the compliance reports hold sensitive information, public access to these is avoided. Organizations must use AWS Artifact and AWS Management Console for accessing AWS compliance reports on-demand.
Third-party auditors provide the assessment of AWS Lambda’s security and compliance as part of different compliance programs. The compliance programs include HIPAA, FedRAMP, PCI, SOC, and so on. The compliance responsibility of organizations when they are using AWS Lambda is often gauged by their data’s sensitivity, compliance objectives, and the laws& regulations that are applicable to their compliance regimes.
The security of an application is one of its most important non-functional requirements. Every application and underlying infrastructure have to go through strict security guidelines. As serverless architectures are getting more attention from the developer community, they are also catching the eye of hackers. And when it comes to serverless, AWS Lambda deployments are the most common ones we need to look at.
There are several myths around Lambda and serverless architecture and the most common one is that whole security for these apps relies on AWS. But that is not correct.
AWS follows the shared responsibility modelwhere AWS manages the infrastructure, foundation services, and the operating system. And the customer is responsible for the security of the code, data being used by Lambda, IAM policies to access the Lambda service.
By developing applications using serverless architecture, you relieve yourself of the daunting task of constantly applying security patches for the underlying OS and application servers. And concentrate more on the data protection for the application.
For data protection in AWS Lambda, we first need to protect account credentials and set up the individual user accounts with IAM policies enabled. We need to ensure that each user is given the least privileges to fulfil their jobs.
For data protection purposes, we recommend that you protect AWS account credentials and set up individual user accounts with AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM). That way each user is given only the permissions necessary to fulfil their job duties. We also recommend that you secure your data in the following ways:
Use multi-factor authentication (MFA) with each account.
Use SSL/TLS to communicate with AWS resources. We recommend TLS 1.2 or later.
Set up API and user activity logging with AWS CloudTrail.
Use AWS encryption solutions, along with all default security controls within AWS services.
Use advanced managed security services such as Amazon Macie, which assists in discovering and securing personal data that is stored in Amazon S3.
We strongly recommend that you never put confidential or sensitive information, such as your customers’ email addresses, into tags or free-form fields such as a Name field. This includes when you work with Lambda or other AWS services using the console, API, AWS CLI, or AWS SDKs. Any data that you enter into tags or free-form fields used for names may be used for billing or diagnostic logs. If you provide a URL to an external server, we strongly recommend that you do not include credentials information in the URL to validate your request to that server.
Cloud storage models such as SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS are changing how companies conduct themselves internally and in the market. From small, medium to large enterprises, decision-makers across revenue tiers are shifting gears to adopt cloud computing into their business process and products/services.
This blog will focus on SaaS (Software as a Service), especially the importance of strengthening the security of SaaS applications. So, let’s understand various methods used for strengthening the security of SaaS applications.
What is SaaS Security?
SaaS security is the managing, monitoring, and safeguarding of sensitive data from cyber-attacks. With the increase in efficiency and scalability of cloud-based IT infrastructures, organizations are also more vulnerable.
SaaS maintenance measures such as SaaS security posture management ensure privacy and safety of user data. From customer payment information to inter-departmental exchange of information, strengthening the security of SaaS applications is vital to your success.
To help this cause, regulatory bodies worldwide have issued security guidelines such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation of EU), EU-US and the Swiss-US Privacy Shield Frameworks.
Every SaaS business must adopt these guidelines to offer safe and secure services. Whether you are starting anew or adding an aspect to your IT arsenal, SaaS security is essential for successful ventures.
Who needs SaaS Security?
Do you cater to a sizeable market?
Do you deal with hundreds of concurrent sessions?
Are these sessions run by thousands of users every day?
If your answer to the above questions is yes, SaaS security is a must for you. Moreover, if you relate to the following statements, you need to have s SaaS Security system in place on the double!
I wish to eliminate the legacy IT infrastructure. It gets outdated faster than we can adapt to it. However, I am worried about data privacy.
I am sure that SaaS and cloud-based technologies are the future, but how does one ensure that there are no data breaches?
It is high time that we employ cloud-based products and services. The competition is killing us in the market. But how will we secure user data without physical servers?
Whether you’re an established business or an upcoming start-up, safeguarding user data proves to be very helpful in attracting, engaging, and retaining customers. Hyper-competitive markets of today leave no space for error. A single data breach can be the cause of your SaaS business being blacklisted in the minds of consumers forever.
The Anatomy of SaaS Security
Every organization offering a cloud-based service can leverage preventive measures such as SaaS security posture management to continuously monitor and protect sensitive information.
Let us understand the anatomy of SaaS security in cloud computing environments. If we look at an ideal SaaS product technology stack from a bird’s eye view, it forms a three-layer cake where each part represents different environments.
Three layers of SaaS security:
Network (the internet)
Application and Software (client-side)
The server-side of your technology stack refers to the internal exchange of information. For instance, if your SaaS business is using AWS, you must secure every point of information exchange between the cloud storage provider and your software platform.
Every IoP initiated from the client-side starts at this level. Moreover, depending upon the kind of storage you purchase (shared, dedicated, or individual server), you must enhance your SaaS security measures.
The exchange of information between the server-side and client-side is done over the internet. This is by far the most vulnerable layer of every SaaS business. Hackers are well versed in finding back-doors through weak encryptions of data packets exchanged over the internet.
The effectiveness of SaaS security is directly proportional to the integrity of data encryption methods and the ability for real-time monitoring of information exchange over the internet. With the advent of digital payments and online KYCs, businesses are constantly sending and receiving sensitive information. Hence it becomes even more important to install network security measures.
Application and Software
Application and software are the final layers of SaaS security. As mentioned above, a single data breach could very well be the cause of unparalleled user attrition. Therefore, to ensure the safety of user data, we must deploy impenetrable SaaS security measures.
We must ensure that all the 3rd party applications and software that you use are continuously monitored. Further, the unpredictability of the client-side environment demands higher standards of security measures than conventional methods.
SaaS Security Best Practices for Secure Products
The competition in every market is such that companies must necessarily evolve and introduce new features/tools in existing SaaS products. Whether you are removing bugs or adding new features, it is crucial to have security processes for such events. Let’s take a look at SaaS security best practices that you can follow for your organization:
Encryption is a must
Data encryption ensures that every piece of information is protected from cyberattacks at all times. From internal communication to customer service conversations, your data must be encrypted at all times. Here are a few encryption types that you can employ in your SaaS product:
Data Encryption Standard (DES)
Advanced Encryption Standard
All of these encryption types enhance the security of your SaaS products through their innate mathematically secure algorithms made by the brightest minds in data encryption.
Back-up User Data in Multiple Locations
Effective customer data management is essential for offering satisfactory services. Backing up user data in multiple locations, i.e., disaster recovery ensures that one system’s failure does not compromise the ability of the entire infrastructure. Many cloud platforms offer backup functionality. However, you must be diligent with timely backups.
A Gartner’s report suggests that over 95% of all cloud security failures will happen from the consumer end. When onboarding a new user, it is essential to educate them about the best practices for data safety. Ensure that your customers know the standard operating procedures of your SaaS platforms. Vigilant subscribers will serve as additional security layers for your organization.
Compulsory Strong Passwords
The virtual world is all about passwords, from email to banking; passwords primarily protect everything. Hackers these days are becoming intelligent at cracking passwords based on the public information available on the internet. Therefore, you must have strong password policies that ensure users set strong passwords that cannot be cracked easily.
Consult a SaaS Security Firm
When in doubt, consult an expert. SaaS security firms such as Cloudlytics employ the brightest minds in data encryption, software monitoring, and AI-based vigilance. You can leverage our testing protocols and monitoring systems to build a safe and secure SaaS platform.
How can Cloudlytics help?
Cloudlytics is a cloud-driven security provider for modern enterprises that offer compliance solutions, security analytics, and asset monitoring. Over the years, we have had the good fortune of working with enterprises from various industries such as OTT platforms. We offer an extensive range of future-proof SaaS security solutions such as:
An all-inclusive compliance manager maintains an unwavering security posture by identifying, prioritizing, and remediating compliance. The platform offers actionable insights on the well-being of your SaaS platform and user information.
Driven by machine learning and big-data analysis, event analytics solutions from Cloudlytics present a secure environment for developing resolute applications of the future.
AWS Architecture Review
AWS architecture review offers a detailed analysis of your AWS environment. It employs a structured framework of testing operational excellence, security, cost optimization, and performance of your hosting environment.
Cloud Intelligence Engine
Record resource configurations and capture changes with cloud intelligence engines. The SMART engine helps organizations retain configurations long after the resources have been deleted.
These are a few of the many ways that Cloudlytics can help you build SaaS security measures for successful future platforms. We are passionate about security because we believe that the world would be a better place if our data is secure against malicious forces of the internet.
Let’s build impenetrable SaaS platforms that offer safety and security to their users. Get in touch to know more about Cloudlytics SaaS security products and services.
There was a time when organizations across the globe raised concerns and gave excuses to avoid using containers in their production workloads. Some of the common issues that these organizations feared:
Difficulty in moving data securely between locations,
Inability to scale up storage with apps
But today, things have taken a drastic change since Docker has come into the picture. It has completely revolutionized container technology by making them highly acceptable in the developers’ community, with millions of containers downloaded regularly. But what exactly is Docker?
What is Docker?
Docker is an open-source project that helps deliver software packages (containers) in the OS level virtualization. Containers are separate from one another and are a bundle constituting software, configuration files, and libraries. They communicate with each other through well-defined channels. All the containers share the service on a single OS, and they utilize far fewer resources than virtual machines.
Developing a new application requires so much more than just writing code. Multiple programming languages, architecture, framework, and the discontinuous interface between tools for every lifecycle stage make it very complex. Docker accelerates and simplifies your workflow. At the same time, it gives developers the freedom to innovate with tools of their own choice, deployment environments, and application stack for each project.
What is Docker logging?
If you are building a containerized application, then logging is a necessity more than a luxury. Teams can debug and troubleshoot issues way quicker using log management. Also, log management helps identify patterns with ease, find bugs, and helps to keep a vigilant eye on the solved bugs, so they don’t reappear.
Docker has multiple logging mechanisms that will help you attain quick information on containers and services. Each container uses its own logging driver unless you configure it to use a different logging driver. You can also use Docker’s logging mechanism to debug issues on the spot.
Docker logging has several sub-methods which help manage the application logs very effectively. Whereas in traditional application logging, there are only a handful of methods. Docker logging helps the organization store logs as a directory using data volumes, which will hold the data even in crucial times, like when a container shuts down or fails.
Challenges of Docker Logging
Every process has its limitations; a single entity can’t be flawless. However, when you consider the applications and benefits of docker logging, the constraints are so minute that it often goes unnoticed.
Challenges in docker logging can be manifold. For instance, a person can face fresh challenges every time in log parsing while using logging drivers. Also, if you want to inspect a file using the command “docker logs,” it won’t show relevant results in every case. The reason – it works only with the logging driver of the JSON file. Another limitation is the unavailability of multi-line support in docker logging drivers.
Docker logging eliminates the dependency issues during application delivery by isolating the component of the application inside the container itself.
However, the application can still face problems during deployment and performance.
Most of the time, the containers start doing multiple processes. The containerized application soon starts to generate a mix of log streams. These log streams can contain unstructured docker run logs, plain text, and structured logs in various formats. The development teams will face problems tracking, identifying, and mapping log events with the corresponding app generating them. This hassle makes log-parsing challenging and slow. A number of docker container logs data from the docker swarm will boost the complexity while managing and analyzing these logs.
The above challenges can easily be solved by using a cloud-based centralized log management tool. The cloud-based tool will help in simplifying log management. It also provides a filter and search option to streamline troubleshooting and to parse the logs. The event viewer in the toll can be used to get a real-time view.
Along with this tool, incorporate the below best practices to avoid unnecessary challenges in your docker logging efforts.
Best Practices in Docker Logging
Use of Application based logging
If your team is working with the traditional application environment, then application-based logging would be extremely helpful. Developers will be at an advantage by having more control over the logging events. There is no additional functionality required to transfer the docker container logs to the host in application-based logging.
Making use of docker log driver
Docker log driver is a log management mechanism offered by the Docker containers. A developer can obtain crucial information regarding the services and applications containerized by using this mechanism. The log events can be directly read from the container output using logging drivers. Moreover, a lot more functionalities can be added to the docker engine by the developer through the use of dedicated plugins.
Using data volumes
Usually, the containers are only available for a short amount of time in nature. All the files and data logs present inside the container are completely lost and cannot be retrieved if the container fails to function.
The developers have an essential role in keeping the data secured from getting lost during failures. They accomplish the task of keeping the data inside the container secured by using data volumes.
These are designated directories present within the containers and are used to store commonly shared log events and persistent data. The probability of data loss is reduced drastically by using data volumes, as it facilitates the ability to share the data with other containers with ease.
Sidecar is one of the popular services that is deployed along with the application present within the container. This service will help the developers in a plethora of ways. Sidecar allows you to add multiple capabilities to the primary application, and there is no need for installing any other additional configurations. To increase the application’s functionality, one can use the sidecar as an attachment to the parent application and run the sidecar as a secondary process. This approach is vital for substantial application deployments from a logging standpoint where there is a need for specific logging information.
Dedicated logging container
It would be way easier to perform log management within the docker container if there is a dedicated logging container. It helps integrate, analyze, monitor, and transfer docker logs to a file or a centralized location. Development teams predominantly use this approach to effectively retrieve and scale log events and manage docker container logs. More importantly, there is no requirement for installing a configuration code to perform such functions in logging containers.
Centralized log management
Earlier, it was easy for IT administrators to analyze the docker container logs using simple awk and grep commands; they could also use secure shell protocol to travel through different servers and perform these operations. These commands exist and function in the same way as before. So what’s the issue with them, you may ask?
Today we have several containers generating a considerable volume of docker container logs. The modern microservices and container-based architecture are way more complex and complicated, So the traditional log analysis is not suitable for today’s world. As a result, log aggregation and analysis have become very challenging.
To perform effective and efficient analysis of such high-volume logs, there is a need to use cloud-based centralized log management tools. The same tools can also be utilized to manage infrastructure logs like the docker engine, containerized infrastructure services, and much more. With both infrastructure logs and applications in a single place, the team can easily monitor, correlate the data, find anomalies, and troubleshoot issues rapidly.
Customization of Log Tags
To solve a random issue, the team needs to monitor an endless stream of logs and find the information for solving the problem. This is a daunting task. The organization can ease this process of collecting logs from many containers simply by tagging their logs using the first 12 digits of the container ID. The tags can also be further customized using various container attributes to simplify the search.
Security & Reliability
The modern-day log analysis tools make it very easy to access many log data and get quick results through text searches. However, the application logs contain sensitive data, which must be kept secured. To secure this, the messages sent from the Syslog connection should be encrypted.
When used with TCP or TLS, the Syslog driver is a safe method for the delivery of logs. The real-time monitoring can be interrupted due to temporary network issues or network latency. The docker Syslog driver blocks the deployment of the container and loses the log data when the Syslog server is unreachable. To solve this problem, the team can install a Syslog server in the host, or they can also use dedicated Syslog containers that will send the logs to a remote server.
Docker containers have made the process of moving software from production to live environment seamless. They have done it by addressing challenges faced in traditional processes. Since all the configuration files, dependencies, and libraries required to run the application are clubbed together with the application in the container, it has become easy to ship the software with no issues.