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Building a security-first mindset: three key themes from AWS re:Invent 2023

Post Syndicated from Clarke Rodgers original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/security/building-a-security-first-mindset-three-key-themes-from-aws-reinvent-2023/

Amazon CSO Stephen Schmidt

Amazon CSO Stephen Schmidt

AWS re:Invent drew 52,000 attendees from across the globe to Las Vegas, Nevada, November 27 to December 1, 2023.

Now in its 12th year, the conference featured 5 keynotes, 17 innovation talks, and over 2,250 sessions and hands-on labs offering immersive learning and networking opportunities.

With dozens of service and feature announcements—and innumerable best practices shared by AWS executives, customers, and partners—the air of excitement was palpable. We were on site to experience all of the innovations and insights, but summarizing highlights isn’t easy. This post details three key security themes that caught our attention.

Security culture

When we think about cybersecurity, it’s natural to focus on technical security measures that help protect the business. But organizations are made up of people—not technology. The best way to protect ourselves is to foster a proactive, resilient culture of cybersecurity that supports effective risk mitigation, incident detection and response, and continuous collaboration.

In Sustainable security culture: Empower builders for success, AWS Global Services Security Vice President Hart Rossman and AWS Global Services Security Organizational Excellence Leader Sarah Currey presented practical strategies for building a sustainable security culture.

Rossman noted that many customers who meet with AWS about security challenges are attempting to manage security as a project, a program, or a side workstream. To strengthen your security posture, he said, you have to embed security into your business.

“You’ve got to understand early on that security can’t be effective if you’re running it like a project or a program. You really have to run it as an operational imperative—a core function of the business. That’s when magic can happen.” — Hart Rossman, Global Services Security Vice President at AWS

Three best practices can help:

  1. Be consistently persistent. Routinely and emphatically thank employees for raising security issues. It might feel repetitive, but treating security events and escalations as learning opportunities helps create a positive culture—and it’s a practice that can spread to other teams. An empathetic leadership approach encourages your employees to see security as everyone’s responsibility, share their experiences, and feel like collaborators.
  2. Brief the board. Engage executive leadership in regular, business-focused meetings. By providing operational metrics that tie your security culture to the impact that it has on customers, crisply connecting data to business outcomes, and providing an opportunity to ask questions, you can help build the support of executive leadership, and advance your efforts to establish a sustainable proactive security posture.
  3. Have a mental model for creating a good security culture. Rossman presented a diagram (Figure 1) that highlights three elements of security culture he has observed at AWS: a student, a steward, and a builder. If you want to be a good steward of security culture, you should be a student who is constantly learning, experimenting, and passing along best practices. As your stewardship grows, you can become a builder, and progress the culture in new directions.
Figure 1: Sample mental model for building security culture

Figure 1: Sample mental model for building security culture

Thoughtful investment in the principles of inclusivity, empathy, and psychological safety can help your team members to confidently speak up, take risks, and express ideas or concerns. This supports an escalation-friendly culture that can reduce employee burnout, and empower your teams to champion security at scale.

In Shipping securely: How strong security can be your strategic advantage, AWS Enterprise Strategy Director Clarke Rodgers reiterated the importance of security culture to building a security-first mindset.

Rodgers highlighted three pillars of progression (Figure 2)—aware, bolted-on, and embedded—that are based on meetings with more than 800 customers. As organizations mature from a reactive security posture to a proactive, security-first approach, he noted, security culture becomes a true business enabler.

“When organizations have a strong security culture and everyone sees security as their responsibility, they can move faster and achieve quicker and more secure product and service releases.” — Clarke Rodgers, Director of Enterprise Strategy at AWS
Figure 2: Shipping with a security-first mindset

Figure 2: Shipping with a security-first mindset

Human-centric AI

CISOs and security stakeholders are increasingly pivoting to a human-centric focus to establish effective cybersecurity, and ease the burden on employees.

According to Gartner, by 2027, 50% of large enterprise CISOs will have adopted human-centric security design practices to minimize cybersecurity-induced friction and maximize control adoption.

As Amazon CSO Stephen Schmidt noted in Move fast, stay secure: Strategies for the future of security, focusing on technology first is fundamentally wrong. Security is a people challenge for threat actors, and for defenders. To keep up with evolving changes and securely support the businesses we serve, we need to focus on dynamic problems that software can’t solve.

Maintaining that focus means providing security and development teams with the tools they need to automate and scale some of their work.

“People are our most constrained and most valuable resource. They have an impact on every layer of security. It’s important that we provide the tools and the processes to help our people be as effective as possible.” — Stephen Schmidt, CSO at Amazon

Organizations can use artificial intelligence (AI) to impact all layers of security—but AI doesn’t replace skilled engineers. When used in coordination with other tools, and with appropriate human review, it can help make your security controls more effective.

Schmidt highlighted the internal use of AI at Amazon to accelerate our software development process, as well as new generative AI-powered Amazon Inspector, Amazon Detective, AWS Config, and Amazon CodeWhisperer features that complement the human skillset by helping people make better security decisions, using a broader collection of knowledge. This pattern of combining sophisticated tooling with skilled engineers is highly effective, because it positions people to make the nuanced decisions required for effective security that AI can’t make on its own.

In How security teams can strengthen security using generative AI, AWS Senior Security Specialist Solutions Architects Anna McAbee and Marshall Jones, and Principal Consultant Fritz Kunstler featured a virtual security assistant (chatbot) that can address common security questions and use cases based on your internal knowledge bases, and trusted public sources.

Figure 3: Generative AI-powered chatbot architecture

Figure 3: Generative AI-powered chatbot architecture

The generative AI-powered solution depicted in Figure 3—which includes Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG) with Amazon Kendra, Amazon Security Lake, and Amazon Bedrock—can help you automate mundane tasks, expedite security decisions, and increase your focus on novel security problems.

It’s available on Github with ready-to-use code, so you can start experimenting with a variety of large and multimodal language models, settings, and prompts in your own AWS account.

Secure collaboration

Collaboration is key to cybersecurity success, but evolving threats, flexible work models, and a growing patchwork of data protection and privacy regulations have made maintaining secure and compliant messaging a challenge.

An estimated 3.09 billion mobile phone users access messaging apps to communicate, and this figure is projected to grow to 3.51 billion users in 2025.

The use of consumer messaging apps for business-related communications makes it more difficult for organizations to verify that data is being adequately protected and retained. This can lead to increased risk, particularly in industries with unique recordkeeping requirements.

In How the U.S. Army uses AWS Wickr to deliver lifesaving telemedicine, Matt Quinn, Senior Director at The U.S. Army Telemedicine & Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC), Laura Baker, Senior Manager at Deloitte, and Arvind Muthukrishnan, AWS Wickr Head of Product highlighted how The TATRC National Emergency Tele-Critical Care Network (NETCCN) was integrated with AWS Wickr—a HIPAA-eligible secure messaging and collaboration service—and AWS Private 5G, a managed service for deploying and scaling private cellular networks.

During the session, Quinn, Baker, and Muthukrishnan described how TATRC achieved a low-resource, cloud-enabled, virtual health solution that facilitates secure collaboration between onsite and remote medical teams for real-time patient care in austere environments. Using Wickr, medics on the ground were able to treat injuries that exceeded their previous training (Figure 4) with the help of end-to-end encrypted video calls, messaging, and file sharing with medical professionals, and securely retain communications in accordance with organizational requirements.

“Incorporating Wickr into Military Emergency Tele-Critical Care Platform (METTC-P) not only provides the security and privacy of end-to-end encrypted communications, it gives combat medics and other frontline caregivers the ability to gain instant insight from medical experts around the world—capabilities that will be needed to address the simultaneous challenges of prolonged care, and the care of large numbers of casualties on the multi-domain operations (MDO) battlefield.” — Matt Quinn, Senior Director at TATRC
Figure 4: Telemedicine workflows using AWS Wickr

Figure 4: Telemedicine workflows using AWS Wickr

In a separate Chalk Talk titled Bolstering Incident Response with AWS Wickr and Amazon EventBridge, Senior AWS Wickr Solutions Architects Wes Wood and Charles Chowdhury-Hanscombe demonstrated how to integrate Wickr with Amazon EventBridge and Amazon GuardDuty to strengthen incident response capabilities with an integrated workflow (Figure 5) that connects your AWS resources to Wickr bots. Using this approach, you can quickly alert appropriate stakeholders to critical findings through a secure communication channel, even on a potentially compromised network.

Figure 5: AWS Wickr integration for incident response communications

Figure 5: AWS Wickr integration for incident response communications

Security is our top priority

AWS re:Invent featured many more highlights on a variety of topics, including adaptive access control with Zero Trust, AWS cyber insurance partners, Amazon CTO Dr. Werner Vogels’ popular keynote, and the security partnerships showcased on the Expo floor. It was a whirlwind experience, but one thing is clear: AWS is working hard to help you build a security-first mindset, so that you can meaningfully improve both technical and business outcomes.

To watch on-demand conference sessions, visit the AWS re:Invent Security, Identity, and Compliance playlist on YouTube.

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Clarke Rodgers

Clarke Rodgers

Clarke is a Director of Enterprise Security at AWS. Clarke has more than 25 years of experience in the security industry, and works with enterprise security, risk, and compliance-focused executives to strengthen their security posture, and understand the security capabilities of the cloud. Prior to AWS, Clarke was a CISO for the North American operations of a multinational insurance company.

Anne Grahn

Anne Grahn

Anne is a Senior Worldwide Security GTM Specialist at AWS, based in Chicago. She has more than 13 years of experience in the security industry, and focuses on effectively communicating cybersecurity risk. She maintains a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification.

Reduce the security and compliance risks of messaging apps with AWS Wickr

Post Syndicated from Anne Grahn original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/security/reduce-the-security-and-compliance-risks-of-messaging-apps-with-aws-wickr/

Effective collaboration is central to business success, and employees today depend heavily on messaging tools. An estimated 3.09 billion mobile phone users access messaging applications (apps) to communicate, and this figure is projected to grow to 3.51 billion users in 2025.

This post highlights the risks associated with messaging apps and describes how you can use enterprise solutions — such as AWS Wickr — that combine end-to-end encryption with data retention to drive positive security and business outcomes.

The business risks of messaging apps

Evolving threats, flexible work models, and a growing patchwork of data protection and privacy regulations have made maintaining secure and compliant enterprise messaging a challenge.

The use of third-party apps for business-related messages on both corporate and personal devices can make it more difficult to verify that data is being adequately protected and retained. This can lead to business risk, particularly in industries with unique record-keeping requirements. Organizations in the financial services industry, for example, are subject to rules that include Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Rule 17a-4 and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Rule 3120, which require them to preserve all pertinent electronic communications.

A recent Gartner report on the viability of mobile bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs noted, “It is now logical to assume that most financial services organizations with mobile BYOD programs for regulated employees could be fined due to a lack of compliance with electronic communications regulations.”

In the public sector, U.S. government agencies are subject to records requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and various state sunshine statutes. For these organizations, effectively retaining business messages is about more than supporting security and compliance—it’s about maintaining public trust.

Securing enterprise messaging

Enterprise-grade messaging apps can help you protect communications from unauthorized access and facilitate desired business outcomes.

Security — Critical security protocols protect messages and files that contain sensitive and proprietary data — such as personally identifiable information, protected health information, financial records, and intellectual property — in transit and at rest to decrease the likelihood of a security incident.

Control — Administrative controls allow you to add, remove, and invite users, and organize them into security groups with restricted access to features and content at their level. Passwords can be reset and profiles can be deleted remotely, helping you reduce the risk of data exposure stemming from a lost or stolen device.

Compliance — Information can be preserved in a customer-controlled data store to help meet requirements such as those that fall under the Federal Records Act (FRA) and National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), as well as SEC Rule 17a-4 and Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX).

Marrying encryption with data retention

Enterprise solutions bring end-to-end encryption and data retention together in support of a comprehensive approach to secure messaging that balances people, process, and technology.

End-to-end encryption

Many messaging apps offer some form of encryption, but not all of them use end-to-end encryption. End-to-end encryption is a secure communication method that protects data from unauthorized access, interception, or tampering as it travels from one endpoint to another.

In end-to-end encryption, encryption and decryption take place locally, on the device. Every call, message, and file is encrypted with unique keys and remains indecipherable in transit. Unauthorized parties cannot access communication content because they don’t have the keys required to decrypt the data.

Encryption in transit compared to end-to-end encryption

Encryption in transit encrypts data over a network from one point to another (typically between one client and one server); data might remain stored in plaintext at the source and destination storage systems. End-to-end encryption combines encryption in transit and encryption at rest to secure data at all times, from being generated and leaving the sender’s device, to arriving at the recipient’s device and being decrypted.

“Messaging is a critical tool for any organization, and end-to-end encryption is the security technology that provides organizations with the confidence they need to rely on it.” — CJ Moses, CISO and VP of Security Engineering at AWS

Data retention

While data retention is often thought of as being incompatible with end-to-end encryption, leading enterprise-grade messaging apps offer both, giving you the option to configure a data store of your choice to retain conversations without exposing them to outside parties. No one other than the intended recipients and your organization has access to the message content, giving you full control over your data.

How AWS can help

AWS Wickr is an end-to-end encrypted messaging and collaboration service that was built from the ground up with features designed to help you keep internal and external communications secure, private, and compliant. Wickr protects one-to-one and group messaging, voice and video calling, file sharing, screen sharing, and location sharing with 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption, and provides data retention capabilities.

Figure 1: How Wickr works

Figure 1: How Wickr works

With Wickr, each message gets a unique AES private encryption key, and a unique Elliptic-curve Diffie–Hellman (ECDH) public key to negotiate the key exchange with recipients. Message content — including text, files, audio, or video — is encrypted on the sending device (your iPhone, for example) using the message-specific AES key. This key is then exchanged via the ECDH key exchange mechanism, so that only intended recipients can decrypt the message.

“As former employees of federal law enforcement, the intelligence community, and the military, Qintel understands the need for enterprise-federated, secure communication messaging capabilities. When searching for our company’s messaging application we evaluated the market thoroughly and while there are some excellent capabilities available, none of them offer the enterprise security and administrative flexibility that Wickr does.”
Bill Schambura, CEO at Qintel

Wickr network administrators can configure and apply data retention to both internal and external communications in a Wickr network. This includes conversations with guest users, external teams, and other partner networks, so you can retain messages and files sent to and from the organization to help meet internal, legal, and regulatory requirements.

Figure 2: Data retention process

Figure 2: Data retention process

Data retention is implemented as an always-on recipient that is added to conversations, not unlike the blind carbon copy (BCC) feature in email. The data-retention process participates in the key exchange, allowing it to decrypt messages. The process can run anywhere: on-premises, on an Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instance, or at a location of your choice.

Wickr is a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)-eligible service, helping healthcare organizations and medical providers to conduct secure telehealth visits, send messages and files that contain protected health information, and facilitate real-time patient care.

Wickr networks can be created through the AWS Management Console, and workflows can be automated with Wickr bots. Wickr is currently available in the AWS US East (Northern Virginia), AWS GovCloud (US-West), AWS Canada (Central), and AWS Europe (London) Regions.

Keep your messages safe

Employees will continue to use messaging apps to chat with friends and family, and boost productivity at work. While many of these apps can introduce risks if not used properly in business settings, Wickr combines end-to-end encryption with data-retention capabilities to help you achieve security and compliance goals. Incorporating Wickr into a comprehensive approach to secure enterprise messaging that includes clear policies and security awareness training can help you to accelerate collaboration, while protecting your organization’s data.

To learn more and get started, visit the AWS Wickr webpage, or contact us.

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Anne Grahn

Anne Grahn

Anne is a Senior Worldwide Security GTM Specialist at AWS, based in Chicago. She has more than a decade of experience in the security industry, and focuses on effectively communicating cybersecurity risk. She maintains a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification.

Tanvi Jain

Tanvi Jain

Tanvi is a Senior Technical Product Manager at AWS, based in New York. She focuses on building security-first features for customers, and is passionate about improving collaboration by building technology that is easy to use, scalable, and interoperable.

Three ways to accelerate incident response in the cloud: insights from re:Inforce 2023

Post Syndicated from Anne Grahn original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/security/three-ways-to-accelerate-incident-response-in-the-cloud-insights-from-reinforce-2023/

AWS re:Inforce took place in Anaheim, California, on June 13–14, 2023. AWS customers, partners, and industry peers participated in hundreds of technical and non-technical security-focused sessions across six tracks, an Expo featuring AWS experts and AWS Security Competency Partners, and keynote and leadership sessions.

The threat detection and incident response track showcased how AWS customers can get the visibility they need to help improve their security posture, identify issues before they impact business, and investigate and respond quickly to security incidents across their environment.

With dozens of service and feature announcements—and innumerable best practices shared by AWS experts, customers, and partners—distilling highlights is a challenge. From an incident response perspective, three key themes emerged.

Proactively detect, contextualize, and visualize security events

When it comes to effectively responding to security events, rapid detection is key. Among the launches announced during the keynote was the expansion of Amazon Detective finding groups to include Amazon Inspector findings in addition to Amazon GuardDuty findings.

Detective, GuardDuty, and Inspector are part of a broad set of fully managed AWS security services that help you identify potential security risks, so that you can respond quickly and confidently.

Using machine learning, Detective finding groups can help you conduct faster investigations, identify the root cause of events, and map to the MITRE ATT&CK framework to quickly run security issues to ground. The finding group visualization panel shown in the following figure displays findings and entities involved in a finding group. This interactive visualization can help you analyze, understand, and triage the impact of finding groups.

Figure 1: Detective finding groups visualization panel

Figure 1: Detective finding groups visualization panel

With the expanded threat and vulnerability findings announced at re:Inforce, you can prioritize where to focus your time by answering questions such as “was this EC2 instance compromised because of a software vulnerability?” or “did this GuardDuty finding occur because of unintended network exposure?”

In the session Streamline security analysis with Amazon Detective, AWS Principal Product Manager Rich Vorwaller, AWS Senior Security Engineer Rima Tanash, and AWS Program Manager Jordan Kramer demonstrated how to use graph analysis techniques and machine learning in Detective to identify related findings and resources, and investigate them together to accelerate incident analysis.

In addition to Detective, you can also use Amazon Security Lake to contextualize and visualize security events. Security Lake became generally available on May 30, 2023, and several re:Inforce sessions focused on how you can use this new service to assist with investigations and incident response.

As detailed in the following figure, Security Lake automatically centralizes security data from AWS environments, SaaS providers, on-premises environments, and cloud sources into a purpose-built data lake stored in your account. Security Lake makes it simpler to analyze security data, gain a more comprehensive understanding of security across an entire organization, and improve the protection of workloads, applications, and data. Security Lake automates the collection and management of security data from multiple accounts and AWS Regions, so you can use your preferred analytics tools while retaining complete control and ownership over your security data. Security Lake has adopted the Open Cybersecurity Schema Framework (OCSF), an open standard. With OCSF support, the service normalizes and combines security data from AWS and a broad range of enterprise security data sources.

Figure 2: How Security Lake works

Figure 2: How Security Lake works

To date, 57 AWS security partners have announced integrations with Security Lake, and we now have more than 70 third-party sources, 16 analytics subscribers, and 13 service partners.

In Gaining insights from Amazon Security Lake, AWS Principal Solutions Architect Mark Keating and AWS Security Engineering Manager Keith Gilbert detailed how to get the most out of Security Lake. Addressing questions such as, “How do I get access to the data?” and “What tools can I use?,” they demonstrated how analytics services and security information and event management (SIEM) solutions can connect to and use data stored within Security Lake to investigate security events and identify trends across an organization. They emphasized how bringing together logs in multiple formats and normalizing them into a single format empowers security teams to gain valuable context from security data, and more effectively respond to events. Data can be queried with Amazon Athena, or pulled by Amazon OpenSearch Service or your SIEM system directly from Security Lake.

Build your security data lake with Amazon Security Lake featured AWS Product Manager Jonathan Garzon, AWS Product Solutions Architect Ross Warren, and Global CISO of Interpublic Group (IPG) Troy Wilkinson demonstrating how Security Lake helps address common challenges associated with analyzing enterprise security data, and detailing how IPG is using the service. Wilkinson noted that IPG’s objective is to bring security data together in one place, improve searches, and gain insights from their data that they haven’t been able to before.

“With Security Lake, we found that it was super simple to bring data in. Not just the third-party data and Amazon data, but also our on-premises data from custom apps that we built.” — Troy Wilkinson, global CISO, Interpublic Group

Use automation and machine learning to reduce mean time to response

Incident response automation can help free security analysts from repetitive tasks, so they can spend their time identifying and addressing high-priority security issues.

In How LLA reduces incident response time with AWS Systems Manager, telecommunications provider Liberty Latin America (LLA) detailed how they implemented a security framework to detect security issues and automate incident response in more than 180 AWS accounts accessed by internal stakeholders and third-party partners by using AWS Systems Manager Incident Manager, AWS Organizations, Amazon GuardDuty, and AWS Security Hub.

LLA operates in over 20 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean. After completing multiple acquisitions, LLA needed a centralized security operations team to handle incidents and notify the teams responsible for each AWS account. They used GuardDuty, Security Hub, and Systems Manager Incident Manager to automate and streamline detection and response, and they configured the services to initiate alerts whenever there was an issue requiring attention.

Speaking alongside AWS Principal Solutions Architect Jesus Federico and AWS Principal Product Manager Sarah Holberg, LLA Senior Manager of Cloud Services Joaquin Cameselle noted that when GuardDuty identifies a critical issue, it generates a new finding in Security Hub. This finding is then forwarded to Systems Manager Incident Manager through an Amazon EventBridge rule. This configuration helps ensure the involvement of the appropriate individuals associated with each account.

“We have deployed a security framework in Liberty Latin America to identify security issues and streamline incident response across over 180 AWS accounts. The framework that leverages AWS Systems Manager Incident Manager, Amazon GuardDuty, and AWS Security Hub enabled us to detect and respond to incidents with greater efficiency. As a result, we have reduced our reaction time by 90%, ensuring prompt engagement of the appropriate teams for each AWS account and facilitating visibility of issues for the central security team.” — Joaquin Cameselle, senior manager, cloud services, Liberty Latin America

How Citibank (Citi) advanced their containment capabilities through automation outlined how the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Incident Response framework is applied to AWS services, and highlighted Citi’s implementation of a highly scalable cloud incident response framework designed to support the 28 AWS services in their cloud environment.

After describing the four phases of the incident response process — preparation and prevention; detection and analysis; containment, eradication, and recovery; and post-incident activity—AWS ProServe Global Financial Services Senior Engagement Manager Harikumar Subramonion noted that, to fully benefit from the cloud, you need to embrace automation. Automation benefits the third phase of the incident response process by speeding up containment, and reducing mean time to response.

Citibank Head of Cloud Security Operations Elvis Velez and Vice President of Cloud Security Damien Burks described how Citi built the Cloud Containment Automation Framework (CCAF) from the ground up by using AWS Step Functions and AWS Lambda, enabling them to respond to events 24/7 without human error, and reduce the time it takes to contain resources from 4 hours to 15 minutes. Velez described how Citi uses adversary emulation exercises that use the MITRE ATT&CK Cloud Matrix to simulate realistic attacks on AWS environments, and continuously validate their ability to effectively contain incidents.

Innovate and do more with less

Security operations teams are often understaffed, making it difficult to keep up with alerts. According to data from CyberSeek, there are currently 69 workers available for every 100 cybersecurity job openings.

Effectively evaluating security and compliance posture is critical, despite resource constraints. In Centralizing security at scale with Security Hub and Intuit’s experience, AWS Senior Solutions Architect Craig Simon, AWS Senior Security Hub Product Manager Dora Karali, and Intuit Principal Software Engineer Matt Gravlin discussed how to ease security management with Security Hub. Fortune 500 financial software provider Intuit has approximately 2,000 AWS accounts, 10 million AWS resources, and receives 20 million findings a day from AWS services through Security Hub. Gravlin detailed Intuit’s Automated Compliance Platform (ACP), which combines Security Hub and AWS Config with an internal compliance solution to help Intuit reduce audit timelines, effectively manage remediation, and make compliance more consistent.

“By using Security Hub, we leveraged AWS expertise with their regulatory controls and best practice controls. It helped us keep up to date as new controls are released on a regular basis. We like Security Hub’s aggregation features that consolidate findings from other AWS services and third-party providers. I personally call it the super aggregator. A key component is the Security Hub to Amazon EventBridge integration. This allowed us to stream millions of findings on a daily basis to be inserted into our ACP database.” — Matt Gravlin, principal software engineer, Intuit

At AWS re:Inforce, we launched a new Security Hub capability for automating actions to update findings. You can now use rules to automatically update various fields in findings that match defined criteria. This allows you to automatically suppress findings, update the severity of findings according to organizational policies, change the workflow status of findings, and add notes. With automation rules, Security Hub provides you a simplified way to build automations directly from the Security Hub console and API. This reduces repetitive work for cloud security and DevOps engineers and can reduce mean time to response.

In Continuous innovation in AWS detection and response services, AWS Worldwide Security Specialist Senior Manager Himanshu Verma and GuardDuty Senior Manager Ryan Holland highlighted new features that can help you gain actionable insights that you can use to enhance your overall security posture. After mapping AWS security capabilities to the core functions of the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, Verma and Holland provided an overview of AWS threat detection and response services that included a technical demonstration.

Bolstering incident response with AWS Wickr enterprise integrations highlighted how incident responders can collaborate securely during a security event, even on a compromised network. AWS Senior Security Specialist Solutions Architect Wes Wood demonstrated an innovative approach to incident response communications by detailing how you can integrate the end-to-end encrypted collaboration service AWS Wickr Enterprise with GuardDuty and AWS WAF. Using Wickr Bots, you can build integrated workflows that incorporate GuardDuty and third-party findings into a more secure, out-of-band communication channel for dedicated teams.

Evolve your incident response maturity

AWS re:Inforce featured many more highlights on incident response, including How to run security incident response in your Amazon EKS environment and Investigating incidents with Amazon Security Lake and Jupyter notebooks code talks, as well as the announcement of our Cyber Insurance Partners program. Content presented throughout the conference made one thing clear: AWS is working harder than ever to help you gain the insights that you need to strengthen your organization’s security posture, and accelerate incident response in the cloud.

To watch AWS re:Inforce sessions on demand, see the AWS re:Inforce playlists on YouTube.

 
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Anne Grahn

Anne Grahn

Anne is a Senior Worldwide Security GTM Specialist at AWS based in Chicago. She has more than a decade of experience in the security industry, and focuses on effectively communicating cybersecurity risk. She maintains a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification.

Author

Himanshu Verma

Himanshu is a Worldwide Specialist for AWS Security Services. In this role, he leads the go-to-market creation and execution for AWS Security Services, field enablement, and strategic customer advisement. Prior to AWS, he held several leadership roles in Product Management, engineering and development, working on various identity, information security, and data protection technologies. He obsesses brainstorming disruptive ideas, venturing outdoors, photography, and trying various “hole in the wall” food and drinking establishments around the globe.

Jesus Federico

Jesus Federico

Jesus is a Principal Solutions Architect for AWS in the telecommunications vertical, working to provide guidance and technical assistance to communication service providers on their cloud journey. He supports CSPs in designing and implementing secure, resilient, scalable, and high-performance applications in the cloud.

New eBook: 5 Keys to Secure Enterprise Messaging

Post Syndicated from Anne Grahn original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/security/new-ebook-5-keys-to-secure-enterprise-messaging/

AWS is excited to announce a new eBook, 5 Keys to Secure Enterprise Messaging. The new eBook includes best practices for addressing the security and compliance risks associated with messaging apps.

An estimated 3.09 billion mobile phone users access messaging apps to communicate, and this figure is projected to grow to 3.51 billion users in 2025.

Legal and regulatory requirements for data protection, privacy, and data retention have made protecting business communications a priority for organizations across the globe. Although consumer messaging apps are convenient and support real-time communication with colleagues, customers, and partners, they often lack the robust security and administrative controls many businesses require.

The eBook details five keys to secure enterprise messaging that balance people, process, and technology.

We encourage you to read the eBook, and learn about:

  • Establishing messaging policies and guidelines that are effective for your workforce
  • Training employees to use messaging apps in a way that doesn’t increase organizational risk
  • Building a security-first culture
  • Using true end-to-end encryption (E2EE) to secure communications
  • Retaining data to help meet requirements, without exposing it to outside parties

Download 5 Keys to Secure Enterprise Messaging.

 
If you have feedback about this post, submit comments in the Comments section below.

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Anne Grahn

Anne Grahn

Anne is a Senior Worldwide Security GTM Specialist at AWS based in Chicago. She has more than a decade of experience in the security industry, and focuses on effectively communicating cybersecurity risk. She maintains a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification.

AWS Week in Review – AWS Wickr, Amazon Redshift, Generative AI, and More – May 29, 2023

Post Syndicated from Donnie Prakoso original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/aws-week-in-review-aws-wickr-amazon-redshift-generative-ai-and-more-may-29-2023/

This edition of Week in Review marks the end of the month of May. In addition, we just finished all of the in-person AWS Summits in Asia-Pacific and Japan starting from AWS Summit Sydney and AWS Summit Tokyo in April to AWS Summit ASEAN, AWS Summit Seoul, and AWS Summit Mumbai in May.

Thank you to everyone who attended our AWS Summits in APJ, especially the AWS Heroes, AWS Community Builders, and AWS User Group leaders, for your collaboration in supporting activities at AWS Summit events.

Last Week’s Launches
Here are some launches that caught my attention last week:

AWS Wickr is now HIPAA eligible — AWS Wickr is an end-to-end encrypted enterprise messaging and collaboration tool that enables one-to-one and group messaging, voice and video calling, file sharing, screen sharing, and location sharing, without increasing organizational risk. With this announcement, you can now use AWS Wickr for workloads that are within the scope of HIPAA. Visit AWS Wickr to get started.

Amazon Redshift announces support for auto-commit statements in stored procedure — If you’re using stored procedures in Amazon Redshift, you now have enhanced transaction controls that enable you to automatically commit the statements inside the procedure. This new NONATOMIC mode can be used to handle exceptions inside a stored procedure. You can also use the new PL/pgSQL statement RAISE to programmatically raise the exception, which helps prevent disruptions in applications due to an error inside a stored procedure. For more information on using this feature, refer to Managing transactions.

AWS Chatbot supports access to Amazon CloudWatch dashboards and logs insights in chat channels — With this launch, you now can receive Amazon CloudWatch alarm notifications for an incident directly in your chat channel, analyze the diagnostic data from the dashboards, and remediate directly from the chat channel without switching context. Visit the AWS Chatbot page to learn more.

For a full list of AWS announcements, be sure to keep an eye on the What’s New at AWS page.

AWS Open Source Updates
As always, my colleague Ricardo has curated the latest updates for open source news at AWS. Here are some of the highlights:

OpenEMR on AWS Fargate — OpenEMR is a popular Electronic Health and Medical Practice management solution. If you’re looking to deploy OpenEMR on AWS, then this repo will help you to get your OpenEMR up and running on AWS Fargate using Amazon ECS.

Cloud-Radar — If you’re working with AWS Cloudformation and looking for performing unit tests, then you might want to try Cloud-Radar. You can also perform functional testing with Cloud-Radar as this tool also acts a wrapper around Taskcat.

Amazon and Generative AI
Using generative AI to improve extreme multilabel classification — In their research on extreme multilabel classification (XMC), Amazon scientists explored a generative approach, in which a model generates a sequence of labels for input sequences of words. The generative models with clustering consistently outperformed them. This demonstrates the effectiveness of incorporating hierarchical clustering in improving XMC performance.

Upcoming AWS Events
Don’t miss upcoming AWS-led events happening soon:

Also, let’s learn from our fellow builders and give them support by attending AWS Community Days:

That’s all for this week. Check back next Monday for another Week in Review!

Happy building
— Donnie

This post is part of our Week in Review series. Check back each week for a quick roundup of interesting news and announcements from AWS!

Three key security themes from AWS re:Invent 2022

Post Syndicated from Anne Grahn original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/security/three-key-security-themes-from-aws-reinvent-2022/

AWS re:Invent returned to Las Vegas, Nevada, November 28 to December 2, 2022. After a virtual event in 2020 and a hybrid 2021 edition, spirits were high as over 51,000 in-person attendees returned to network and learn about the latest AWS innovations.

Now in its 11th year, the conference featured 5 keynotes, 22 leadership sessions, and more than 2,200 breakout sessions and hands-on labs at 6 venues over 5 days.

With well over 100 service and feature announcements—and innumerable best practices shared by AWS executives, customers, and partners—distilling highlights is a challenge. From a security perspective, three key themes emerged.

Turn data into actionable insights

Security teams are always looking for ways to increase visibility into their security posture and uncover patterns to make more informed decisions. However, as AWS Vice President of Data and Machine Learning, Swami Sivasubramanian, pointed out during his keynote, data often exists in silos; it isn’t always easy to analyze or visualize, which can make it hard to identify correlations that spark new ideas.

“Data is the genesis for modern invention.” – Swami Sivasubramanian, AWS VP of Data and Machine Learning

At AWS re:Invent, we launched new features and services that make it simpler for security teams to store and act on data. One such service is Amazon Security Lake, which brings together security data from cloud, on-premises, and custom sources in a purpose-built data lake stored in your account. The service, which is now in preview, automates the sourcing, aggregation, normalization, enrichment, and management of security-related data across an entire organization for more efficient storage and query performance. It empowers you to use the security analytics solutions of your choice, while retaining control and ownership of your security data.

Amazon Security Lake has adopted the Open Cybersecurity Schema Framework (OCSF), which AWS cofounded with a number of organizations in the cybersecurity industry. The OCSF helps standardize and combine security data from a wide range of security products and services, so that it can be shared and ingested by analytics tools. More than 37 AWS security partners have announced integrations with Amazon Security Lake, enhancing its ability to transform security data into a powerful engine that helps drive business decisions and reduce risk. With Amazon Security Lake, analysts and engineers can gain actionable insights from a broad range of security data and improve threat detection, investigation, and incident response processes.

Strengthen security programs

According to Gartner, by 2026, at least 50% of C-Level executives will have performance requirements related to cybersecurity risk built into their employment contracts. Security is top of mind for organizations across the globe, and as AWS CISO CJ Moses emphasized during his leadership session, we are continuously building new capabilities to help our customers meet security, risk, and compliance goals.

In addition to Amazon Security Lake, several new AWS services announced during the conference are designed to make it simpler for builders and security teams to improve their security posture in multiple areas.

Identity and networking

Authorization is a key component of applications. Amazon Verified Permissions is a scalable, fine-grained permissions management and authorization service for custom applications that simplifies policy-based access for developers and centralizes access governance. The new service gives developers a simple-to-use policy and schema management system to define and manage authorization models. The policy-based authorization system that Amazon Verified Permissions offers can shorten development cycles by months, provide a consistent user experience across applications, and facilitate integrated auditing to support stringent compliance and regulatory requirements.

Additional services that make it simpler to define authorization and service communication include Amazon VPC Lattice, an application-layer service that consistently connects, monitors, and secures communications between your services, and AWS Verified Access, which provides secure access to corporate applications without a virtual private network (VPN).

Threat detection and monitoring

Monitoring for malicious activity and anomalous behavior just got simpler. Amazon GuardDuty RDS Protection expands the threat detection capabilities of GuardDuty by using tailored machine learning (ML) models to detect suspicious logins to Amazon Aurora databases. You can enable the feature with a single click in the GuardDuty console, with no agents to manually deploy, no data sources to enable, and no permissions to configure. When RDS Protection detects a potentially suspicious or anomalous login attempt that indicates a threat to your database instance, GuardDuty generates a new finding with details about the potentially compromised database instance. You can view GuardDuty findings in AWS Security Hub, Amazon Detective (if enabled), and Amazon EventBridge, allowing for integration with existing security event management or workflow systems.

To bolster vulnerability management processes, Amazon Inspector now supports AWS Lambda functions, adding automated vulnerability assessments for serverless compute workloads. With this expanded capability, Amazon Inspector automatically discovers eligible Lambda functions and identifies software vulnerabilities in application package dependencies used in the Lambda function code. Actionable security findings are aggregated in the Amazon Inspector console, and pushed to Security Hub and EventBridge to automate workflows.

Data protection and privacy

The first step to protecting data is to find it. Amazon Macie now automatically discovers sensitive data, providing continual, cost-effective, organization-wide visibility into where sensitive data resides across your Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) estate. With this new capability, Macie automatically and intelligently samples and analyzes objects across your S3 buckets, inspecting them for sensitive data such as personally identifiable information (PII), financial data, and AWS credentials. Macie then builds and maintains an interactive data map of your sensitive data in S3 across your accounts and Regions, and provides a sensitivity score for each bucket. This helps you identify and remediate data security risks without manual configuration and reduce monitoring and remediation costs.

Encryption is a critical tool for protecting data and building customer trust. The launch of the end-to-end encrypted enterprise communication service AWS Wickr offers advanced security and administrative controls that can help you protect sensitive messages and files from unauthorized access, while working to meet data retention requirements.

Management and governance

Maintaining compliance with regulatory, security, and operational best practices as you provision cloud resources is key. AWS Config rules, which evaluate the configuration of your resources, have now been extended to support proactive mode, so that they can be incorporated into infrastructure-as-code continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines to help identify noncompliant resources prior to provisioning. This can significantly reduce time spent on remediation.

Managing the controls needed to meet your security objectives and comply with frameworks and standards can be challenging. To make it simpler, we launched comprehensive controls management with AWS Control Tower. You can use it to apply managed preventative, detective, and proactive controls to accounts and organizational units (OUs) by service, control objective, or compliance framework. You can also use AWS Control Tower to turn on Security Hub detective controls across accounts in an OU. This new set of features reduces the time that it takes to define and manage the controls required to meet specific objectives, such as supporting the principle of least privilege, restricting network access, and enforcing data encryption.

Do more with less

As we work through macroeconomic conditions, security leaders are facing increased budgetary pressures. In his opening keynote, AWS CEO Adam Selipsky emphasized the effects of the pandemic, inflation, supply chain disruption, energy prices, and geopolitical events that continue to impact organizations.

Now more than ever, it is important to maintain your security posture despite resource constraints. Citing specific customer examples, Selipsky underscored how the AWS Cloud can help organizations move faster and more securely. By moving to the cloud, agricultural machinery manufacturer Agco reduced costs by 78% while increasing data retrieval speed, and multinational HVAC provider Carrier Global experienced a 40% reduction in the cost of running mission-critical ERP systems.

“If you’re looking to tighten your belt, the cloud is the place to do it.” – Adam Selipsky, AWS CEO

Security teams can do more with less by maximizing the value of existing controls, and bolstering security monitoring and analytics capabilities. Services and features announced during AWS re:Invent—including Amazon Security Lake, sensitive data discovery with Amazon Macie, support for Lambda functions in Amazon Inspector, Amazon GuardDuty RDS Protection, and more—can help you get more out of the cloud and address evolving challenges, no matter the economic climate.

Security is our top priority

AWS re:Invent featured many more highlights on a variety of topics, such as Amazon EventBridge Pipes and the pre-announcement of GuardDuty EKS Runtime protection, as well as Amazon CTO Dr. Werner Vogels’ keynote, and the security partnerships showcased on the Expo floor. It was a whirlwind week, but one thing is clear: AWS is working harder than ever to make our services better and to collaborate on solutions that ease the path to proactive security, so that you can focus on what matters most—your business.

For more security-related announcements and on-demand sessions, see A recap for security, identity, and compliance sessions at AWS re:Invent 2022 and the AWS re:Invent Security, Identity, and Compliance playlist on YouTube.

If you have feedback about this post, submit comments in the Comments section below.

Anne Grahn

Anne Grahn

Anne is a Senior Worldwide Security GTM Specialist at AWS based in Chicago. She has more than a decade of experience in the security industry, and has a strong focus on privacy risk management. She maintains a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification.

Author

Paul Hawkins

Paul helps customers of all sizes understand how to think about cloud security so they can build the technology and culture where security is a business enabler. He takes an optimistic approach to security and believes that getting the foundations right is the key to improving your security posture.

Streaming the AWS Wickr desktop client with Amazon AppStream 2.0

Post Syndicated from Charles H. original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/architecture/streaming-the-aws-wickr-desktop-client-with-amazon-appstream-2-0/

Amazon Web Services (AWS) customers using AWS Wickr who want to find a way to access their AWS Wickr Windows desktop client though a web browser, can use Amazon AppStream 2.0 to stream the application through to their users.

Using this architecture, you can provide lightweight access to the AWS Wickr desktop client for users that cannot install it onto their local device. By using AppStream 2.0, you can focus on managing your AWS Wickr network while AppStream 2.0 manages the AWS resources required to host and run the application, scaling automatically and providing on-demand access to your users.

If you want to ensure that AWS Wickr user data persists between streaming sessions, you can make use of AppStream 2.0 user persistence to securely save user data (including AWS Wickr client data) to Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3).

In this post, we discuss how to build an AppStream 2.0 image for AWS Wickr on Windows, enable persistence for users, and deploy a stack.

Solution overview

These steps will illustrate deploying an AppStream 2.0 Windows Image Builder to a single availability zone. Then we deploy an AppStream 2.0 fleet with internet access and user data persistence to three availability zones for high availability.

Review the Regions and Availability Zones documentation and the AWS Regional Services List to choose the best Region for your deployment, as well as the networking and bandwidth requirements for User Connections to Amazon AppStream 2.0.

AWS Wickr with Amazon AppStream 2.0 Architecture

Figure 1. AWS Wickr with Amazon AppStream 2.0 Architecture

Cost

The costs associated with using AWS services when deploying AppStream 2.0 and AWS Wickr in your AWS account can be estimated on the pricing pages for the services used.

Walkthrough

This walkthrough takes you from installing the AWS Wickr for Windows desktop client onto an AppStream 2.0 Image Builder, to configuring the client for persistence, and finally to deploying a fleet and stack for your users to consume:

  1. Install AWS Wickr for Windows client onto your AppStream 2.0 Windows Image Builder.
  2. Configure the client using the Image Assistant to set up user data and settings persistence.
  3. Create an on-demand instance streaming fleet.
  4. Create a user stack and enable user data and settings persistence.
  5. Create a user pool.
  6. Test your streaming application and prove data persistence.

Prerequisites

You should have the following prerequisites:

  • Familiarity with AppStream 2.0 and an existing AWS Wickr account with associated credentials. Currently, it is not possible for an AWS Wickr user to register their account over AppStream 2.0.
  • An AWS account with access to AppStream 2.0. Instructions for setting up an AWS account can be found at Setting Up for Amazon AppStream 2.0.
  • A running AppStream 2.0 image builder, based on the WinServer2019-10-05-2022 base image with the AWS Wickr for Windows client installer downloaded to it.
  • An up-to-date Google Chrome browser (if you want to use your device’s webcam).

Install AWS Wickr

AppStream 2.0 uses Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances to stream applications. You launch instances from base images, called image builders. In this step you will install the AWS Wickr client onto your image builder before moving on to configuration.

  1. Connect to your image builder as an Administrator.
  2. Run the AWS Wickr installer and carry out the following steps:
    1. On the Welcome to the AWS Wickr Setup Wizard prompt, choose Next.
    2. For Installation Type, choose Everybody (all users).
    3. Choose Next to accept the default installation folder.
    4. Choose Install.
  3. Once the AWS Wickr client has finished installing, uncheck Launch Wickr on the final screen, and then choose Finish.

Run the Image Assistant

To create your own custom image, connect to an image builder instance, install and configure your applications for streaming with guidance from the Image Assistant, and then create your image by creating a snapshot of the image builder instance:

  1. Run the Image Assistant shortcut found on the desktop.
  2. Under 1. ADD APPS, choose Add App.
  3. Choose Program Files, Amazon Web Services, Wickr, and AWS Wickr.
  4. Scroll to the bottom, choose the Wickr application, and then choose Open.
  5. In the pop-up that appears, customize the Name and Display Name (if needed), and then in the Launch Parameters box, enter -datalocation “C:\Users\%username%” (Figure 2).
    Updating Launch Parameters

    Figure 2. Updating Launch Parameters

    Note: If you want to mask the name of the application within the URL used for streaming, replace the Display Name field text with something else.

  6. Choose Save.
  7. Wickr will now appear as an app on the Image Assistant screen. Choose Next.
  8. Under the 2. CONFIGURE APPS stage, follow the instructions from 1-5, choose Save settings, and choose Next (Figure 3).

    Configuring the Application with Image Assistant

    Figure 3. Configuring the Application with Image Assistant

  9. Under the 3. TEST stage, carry out steps 1-3.
  10. Under the 4. OPTIMIZE stage, select Launch.
  11. As instructed, once the app has launched successfully, select Continue and wait for the app to be optimized.
  12. Under the 5. CONFIGURE IMAGE stage, give the image that will be created a Name, Display name, and Description.
  13. Choose the Always use latest agent version checkbox. This ensures that new image builders or fleet instances that are launched from your image always use the latest AppStream 2.0 agent version, and then select Next (Figure 4).

    Finalizing the Application Image

    Figure 4. Finalizing the Application Image

  14. Under the 6. REVIEW stage, select Disconnect and Create Image. Your session will be terminated while your image is being created.

Create an AppStream 2.0 fleet

With AppStream 2.0, you create fleet instances and stacks as part of the process of streaming applications. A fleet consists of streaming instances that run the image that you specify.

  1. Return to the AppStream 2.0 management console.
  2. Choose Fleets from the menu on the left.
  3. Choose your Fleet type (this demonstration uses On-Demand) and choose Next.
  4. Give the Fleet a Name, Display name, and a Description.
    Note: If you wish to mask the name of the fleet within the URL used for streaming, replace the Name and Display name section with something else.
  5. Choose your Fleet instance type (this walkthrough uses a general purpose stream.standard.large instance type).
  6. Adjust the Fleet capacity as required, leave the other sections as they’re displayed by default, and choose Next.
  7. On the Choose an Image screen, choose the image you created earlier.
  8. On the Configure network screen, choose Enable default internet access and choose your VPC, along with three subnets that you will deploy into. Finally, choose the Security group that you will use to restrict access (the default is to allow access from all IPs). Choose Next.
  9. Review your settings and then choose Create fleet.

Create an AppStream 2.0 stack

A stack consists of an associated fleet, user access policies, and storage configurations. In this step, you will create a stack, enable application settings persistence, and associate the stack with the fleet you provisioned previously.

  1. From the menu in the AppStream 2.0 management console, choose Stacks.
  2. Choose Create Stack.
  3. Give the stack a Name, and optionally a Display name and Description.
  4. Leave all other options as they’re displayed by default and choose Next.
  5. In the Enable storage window, ensure that Enable home folders is selected, leave all the settings as they are, and choose Next.
  6. In the Edit user settings section, modify the copy and paste functionality to your requirements, and ensure that Enable application settings persistence is selected. Choose Next.
  7. Review your configuration and choose Create stack.
  8. You will now be presented with an overview of the stack you have created. Choose the Action dropdown list and choose Associate fleet.
  9. From the dropdown list, choose the fleet that you previously provisioned and choose Associate.

Create an AppStream 2.0 user pool

Users can access application stacks through a persistent URL and login credentials by using their email address and a password that they choose. In this step, you will create a user and assign it to a stack so you can access your AppStream 2.0 streaming session.

  1. Choose User pool.
  2. Choose Create user.
  3. Enter an email address, first name, and last name, and then choose Create User.
  4. In the User pool window, choose the User and then choose Action.
  5. Choose Assign stack, choose the newly created stack, and choose Send email notification to user.
  6. Choose Assign stack.
  7. You will receive two emails. Follow the instructions on the one titled Start accessing your apps using AppStream 2.0 to access your app.

Launch your AppStream 2.0 streaming session

In this step, you will use the user created earlier to log in to an AppStream 2.0 streaming session. You will then prove AWS Wickr user data persistence by exiting and logging back into your session.

Note: You will only be able to launch your session once your fleet has been provisioned. This can take around 15-20 minutes.

  1. Choose the login page link from the email you received in the previous section and log in.
  2. You will be presented with the AWS Wickr client icon. Choose it to start your session.
  3. Log in to the AWS Wickr client with your credentials.
  4. As you have application persistence enabled, you can close the tab and the session will pick up from where you left it when you log back in (Figure 5).
Accessing the Streaming Application

Figure 5. Accessing the Streaming Application

Cleanup

To avoid incurring future charges, delete the stack, user, fleet, custom image, and image builder that you have created.

Conclusion

In this post, we demonstrated how customers can take advantage of AppStream 2.0 as a managed service to enable the provisioning of AWS Wickr clients for users, with persistence between sessions, through a web browser.

AWS Wickr – A Secure, End-to-End Encrypted Communication Service For Enterprises With Auditing And Regulatory Requirements

Post Syndicated from Sébastien Stormacq original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/aws-wickr-a-secure-end-to-end-encrypted-communication-service-for-enterprises-with-auditing-and-regulatory-requirements/

I am excited to announce the availability of AWS Wickr, an enterprise communications service with end-to-end encryption, that allows businesses and public sector organizations to communicate more securely, enabling customers to meet auditing and regulatory requirements like e-discovery, legal hold, and FOIA requests. Unlike many enterprise communication tools, Wickr uses end-to-end encryption mechanisms to ensure your messages, files, voice, or video calls are solely accessible to their intended recipients.

The flexible administrative controls make it easy for your Wickr administrator to manage the communication channels and retain information to meet regulatory requirements when required. The information retained is stored on the servers you choose and stays entirely under your control.

End-to-End Encryption
Wickr provides secure communication between two or more correspondents. It means that the system provides authenticity and confidentiality: no unauthorized party can inject a message into the system, and no unintended party can access or understand the communications without being given them by one of the correspondents.

Each message gets a unique AES encryption key and a unique ECDH public key to negotiate the key exchange with other recipients. The message content (text, files, audio, or video) is encrypted on the sending device (your iPhone, for example) using the message-specific AES key. The message-specific AES key is exchanged with recipients via a Diffie-Hellman elliptic curve key exchange (EDCH521) mechanism. This ensures that only intended recipients have the message-specific AES key to decrypt the message.

Message-specific keys are passed through a key derivation function that binds the key exchange to a recipient device. When the recipient adds devices to their account later on (for example, I add a macOS client to my Wickr account, in addition to my iPhone), the new device will not see the message history by default. There is a way to migrate history from your old device to your new device if you have the two devices at hand and single sign-on (SSO) configured.

I drew the below diagram to show how the key exchange works at a high level.

wickr key exchange

The Wickr secure messaging protocol is open and documented, allowing the community to inspect it. The source code we use in Wickr clients to implement the secure messaging protocol is available to audit and review.

Wickr Client Application
The Wickr client application is very familiar to end users and easy to get started with. It is available for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS devices. Once downloaded from a preferred app store and registered, users can create chat rooms or send messages to individual recipients. They may use emoticons to react to messages, exchange files, and make audio and video calls.

Here I am on macOS connected with me on iOS in my kitchen.

Wickr text message Wickr video calls

Wickr for the Administrator
Wickr administration is now integrated and available in the AWS Management Console. You can control access to Wickr administration using familiar AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) access control and policies. It is integrated with AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK) and Amazon CloudWatch for monitoring.

A Wickr administrator manages networks. A network is a group of users and its related configuration, similar to Slack workspaces. Users might be added manually or imported. Most organizations will federate users through an existing identity system. Wickr will federate users with any OpenID Connect-compliant system.

A Wickr network is also the place where Wickr administrators configure security groups to manage messaging, calling, security, and federation settings. It also allows Wickr administrators to configure logging, data retention, and bots.

To get started, I select Wickr in the AWS Management Console. Then, I select Create a network. I enter a Network name, and I select Continue.

Wickr from AWS console Wickr - Create a network

The Wickr page of the Management Console lets you configure the Wickr network, the user federation with other Wickr networks, and more.

The Wickr consoleIn this demo, I don’t use single sign-on. I manually add two users by selecting Create new user. Once added, the user receives an invitation email with links to the client app. The client app asks the user to define a password at first use.

Customer-Controlled Data Retention and Bots
Wickr allows administrators to selectively retain information that must be maintained for regulatory needs into a secure, controlled data store that they manage. No one other than the recipient—including AWS—has access to keys to decrypt conversations or documents, giving organizations full control over their data. It helps organizations in the public sector to use Wickr for their secure collaboration needs.

Data retention is implemented as a process added to conversations, like a participant. The data retention process participates in the key exchange, just like any recipient, allowing it to decrypt the messages. The data retention process can run anywhere: on-premises, on an Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) virtual machine, or at any location of your choice. Once data retention is configured in the console, Wickr administrators may start the data retention process and register it with their Wickr network.

Wickr Compliance Architecture schema

The data retention process is available as a Docker container for ease of deployment. The process stores clear text messages on the storage of your choice: a local or remote file system or Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3).

To try this process, I follow the documentation. I open the Wickr administration page and selected Data Retention under Network Settings.

Wickr Data retention

I copy the docker command, the Username, and the Password (not shown in the previous screenshot). Then, I connect to a Linux EC2 instance I created beforehand. I create a local directory for data retention, and I start the container.

docker run -v 
       /home/ec2-user/retention_34908291_bot:/tmp/retention_34908291_bot
       --restart on-failure:5 
       --name="retention_34908291_bot"
       -it 
       -e WICKRIO_BOT_NAME='retention_34908291_bot'
       wickr/bot-retention-cloud:5.109.08.03

The application prompts for the username and password collected in the console. When the process starts, I return to the console and activate the Data Retention switch at the bottom of the screen.

Note that for this demo, I choose to store data on the local file system. In reality, you might want to use S3 to securely store all your organization communications, encrypt the data at rest, and use the mechanisms you already have in place to control access to this data. The data retention process natively supports integration with AWS Secrets Manager and S3.

As a user, I exchange a few messages in a Wickr room. Then, as an administrator, I look at the data captured. I can observe that the data retention process captured the message and its metadata in JSON format.

Wickr Compliance data

When configuring the data retention capability, compliance and security officers can audit and review communications in a secure and controlled data store.

The retention bot is not the only bot available for Wickr. The Wickr Broadcast Bot allows you to broadcast messages to all of the members of your network or specific security groups. Developers can create workflows using Wickr Bots to automate chat-based workflows and integrate them with other systems. Similarly, a bot is a process integrated into conversation or chat rooms that can receive and act upon messages. Developers write bots with NodeJS. Bot processes securely integrate with a Wickr network, as defined by the network administrator. They are typically packaged as Docker containers for ease of deployment at the location of your choice. If you are a developer, have a look at the Wickr bot developer documentation to learn all the details.

Pricing and availability
Wickr is available in the US East (N. Virginia) AWS Region.

Wickr is free for individuals and teams of up to 30 users looking for a more secure workspace for the first 3 months. For organizations with more than 30 users, there is a standard plan available starting at $5 per user per month and a premium plan for $15 per user per month. The premium plan adds features and retention capabilities like granular administrative controls, client-side data expiration timer of up to 1 year, data retention, and e-discovery. As usual, there are no upfront fees or long-term engagement. You pay per user and per month (annual billing is available, contact us). Have a look at the pricing page for details.

Create your first Wickr network today!

— seb

AWS Week in Review – August 1, 2022

Post Syndicated from Jeff Barr original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/aws-week-in-review-august-1-2022/

AWS re:Inforce returned to Boston last week, kicking off with a keynote from Amazon Chief Security Officer Steve Schmidt and AWS Chief Information Security officer C.J. Moses:

Be sure to take some time to watch this video and the other leadership sessions, and to use what you learn to take some proactive steps to improve your security posture.

Last Week’s Launches
Here are some launches that caught my eye last week:

AWS Wickr uses 256-bit end-to-end encryption to deliver secure messaging, voice, and video calling, including file sharing and screen sharing, across desktop and mobile devices. Each call, message, and file is encrypted with a new random key and can be decrypted only by the intended recipient. AWS Wickr supports logging to a secure, customer-controlled data store for compliance and auditing, and offers full administrative control over data: permissions, ephemeral messaging options, and security groups. You can now sign up for the preview.

AWS Marketplace Vendor Insights helps AWS Marketplace sellers to make security and compliance data available through AWS Marketplace in the form of a unified, web-based dashboard. Designed to support governance, risk, and compliance teams, the dashboard also provides evidence that is backed by AWS Config and AWS Audit Manager assessments, external audit reports, and self-assessments from software vendors. To learn more, read the What’s New post.

GuardDuty Malware Protection protects Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) volumes from malware. As Danilo describes in his blog post, a malware scan is initiated when Amazon GuardDuty detects that a workload running on an EC2 instance or in a container appears to be doing something suspicious. The new malware protection feature creates snapshots of the attached EBS volumes, restores them within a service account, and performs an in-depth scan for malware. The scanner supports many types of file systems and file formats and generates actionable security findings when malware is detected.

Amazon Neptune Global Database lets you build graph applications that run across multiple AWS Regions using a single graph database. You can deploy a primary Neptune cluster in one region and replicate its data to up to five secondary read-only database clusters, with up to 16 read replicas each. Clusters can recover in minutes in the result of an (unlikely) regional outage, with a Recovery Point Objective (RPO) of 1 second and a Recovery Time Objective (RTO) of 1 minute. To learn a lot more and see this new feature in action, read Introducing Amazon Neptune Global Database.

Amazon Detective now Supports Kubernetes Workloads, with the ability to scale to thousands of container deployments and millions of configuration changes per second. It ingests EKS audit logs to capture API activity from users, applications, and the EKS control plane, and correlates user activity with information gleaned from Amazon VPC flow logs. As Channy notes in his blog post, you can enable Amazon Detective and take advantage of a free 30 day trial of the EKS capabilities.

AWS SSO is Now AWS IAM Identity Center in order to better represent the full set of workforce and account management capabilities that are part of IAM. You can create user identities directly in IAM Identity Center, or you can connect your existing Active Directory or standards-based identify provider. To learn more, read this post from the AWS Security Blog.

AWS Config Conformance Packs now provide you with percentage-based scores that will help you track resource compliance within the scope of the resources addressed by the pack. Scores are computed based on the product of the number of resources and the number of rules, and are reported to Amazon CloudWatch so that you can track compliance trends over time. To learn more about how scores are computed, read the What’s New post.

Amazon Macie now lets you perform one-click temporary retrieval of sensitive data that Macie has discovered in an S3 bucket. You can retrieve up to ten examples at a time, and use these findings to accelerate your security investigations. All of the data that is retrieved and displayed in the Macie console is encrypted using customer-managed AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS) keys. To learn more, read the What’s New post.

AWS Control Tower was updated multiple times last week. CloudTrail Organization Logging creates an org-wide trail in your management account to automatically log the actions of all member accounts in your organization. Control Tower now reduces redundant AWS Config items by limiting recording of global resources to home regions. To take advantage of this change you need to update to the latest landing zone version and then re-register each Organizational Unit, as detailed in the What’s New post. Lastly, Control Tower’s region deny guardrail now includes AWS API endpoints for AWS Chatbot, Amazon S3 Storage Lens, and Amazon S3 Multi Region Access Points. This allows you to limit access to AWS services and operations for accounts enrolled in your AWS Control Tower environment.

For a full list of AWS announcements, be sure to keep an eye on the What’s New at AWS page.

Other AWS News
Here are some other news items and customer stories that you may find interesting:

AWS Open Source News and Updates – My colleague Ricardo Sueiras writes a weekly open source newsletter and highlights new open source projects, tools, and demos from the AWS community. Read installment #122 here.

Growy Case Study – This Netherlands-based company is building fully-automated robot-based vertical farms that grow plants to order. Read the case study to learn how they use AWS IoT and other services to monitor and control light, temperature, CO2, and humidity to maximize yield and quality.

Journey of a Snap on Snapchat – This video shows you how a snapshot flows end-to-end from your camera to AWS, to your friends. With over 300 million daily active users, Snap takes advantage of Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon CloudFront, and many other AWS services, storing over 400 terabytes of data in DynamoDB and managing over 900 EKS clusters.

Cutting Cardboard Waste – Bin packing is almost certainly a part of every computer science curriculum! In the linked article from the Amazon Science site, you can learn how an Amazon Principal Research Scientist developed PackOpt to figure out the optimal set of boxes to use for shipments from Amazon’s global network of fulfillment centers. This is an NP-hard problem and the article describes how they build a parallelized solution that explores a multitude of alternative solutions, all running on AWS.

Upcoming Events
Check your calendar and sign up for these online and in-person AWS events:

AWS SummitAWS Global Summits – AWS Global Summits are free events that bring the cloud computing community together to connect, collaborate, and learn about AWS. Registrations are open for the following AWS Summits in August:

Imagine Conference 2022IMAGINE 2022 – The IMAGINE 2022 conference will take place on August 3 at the Seattle Convention Center, Washington, USA. It’s a no-cost event that brings together education, state, and local leaders to learn about the latest innovations and best practices in the cloud. You can register here.

That’s all for this week. Check back next Monday for another Week in Review!

Jeff;

This post is part of our Week in Review series. Check back each week for a quick roundup of interesting news and announcements from AWS!