3 min

Three takeaways from the SANS CloudSecNext Summit

Experts offer solutions in the quest to keep your cloud secure.

CDW Expert CDW Expert
Colleagues working together on a tablet in the office.

I recently attended the 2021 SANS CloudSecNext Summit. This summit was focused on the security of cloud and cloud-related technologies and included a broad set of sessions ranging from security incidence response to container security. 

Hard as it may be to narrow down, there were three main takeaways from all the great sessions.

Kubernetes and Container Security

Kubernetes is open-source orchestration software for deploying, managing, and scaling containers. Containers have become a core technology in many applications making container security critical. There were many sessions covering techniques for protecting Kubernetes clusters.

Jay Beale, CEO/CTO at InGuardians, Inc., presented a session I enjoyed titled "Kubernetes Gotchas – Hacking and Defending Kubernetes." In it, he walked through an attack scenario, demonstrating an attack on a container hosted in a Kubernetes cluster and how to escape out of the container into the underlying infrastructure. 

Not only did he demo the attack, but he showed how it could have been detected and how an organization could have defended the attack. 

Policy As Code Is Trending

During multiple sessions, the concept of using Policy-as-Code was discussed using policy templates to enforce policy when deploying new applications and services in the cloud. 

Ash Narker, a software engineer at Styra, went into detail about the Open Policy Agent (OPA) in his talk "Dynamic Authorization & Policy Control for Microservice Environments." OPA found its way into many of the talks as a great tool to automate enforcement of policy when you have many developers and SRE teams deploying applications and infrastructure. It also unburdens the security team from having to audit everything manually.

New Environment, Same Old Problems

Finally, John Pescatore, director of emerging security trends at SANS, presented a fantastic session titled, "Remember When We Called It "Information Security?" Cloud Means We Need to Go Back to That." In it, he covered the history of security from the infancy of computing to today, providing perspective on the current state of the industry.

Check It Out Online

All the sessions from CloudSecNext provided excellent information and insights on defending your cloud. SANS did a great job utilizing a chat service to foster conversation amongst attendees and presenters. Recordings from the 2021 summit can be found on YouTube. Also, make sure to check out the graphic recordings for the sessions, which provide an excellent overview.

Story by Ben Mason, a technical architect for CDW focusing on security technologies. In his role, Ben is responsible for the development of security solutions to protect our customer’s sensitive data. Ben has been at CDW for 5+ years designing services for security technologies. In his 20- year career, he has worked in roles ranging from field engineer to IT director and he holds multiple certifications, including OSCP, GREM and CCIE.