Serverless security: How important are logs to secure a serverless app? Here's what and how to log based on the industry best practices.
In the past few years, especially after Amazon Web Services (AWS) introduced its Lambda platform, serverless architecture became the business realm’s buzzword. The increasing popularity of serverless applications saw market leaders like Netflix, Airbnb, Nike, etc., adopting the serverless architecture to handle their backend functions better. Moreover, serverless architecture’s market size is expected to reach a whopping $9.17 billion by the year 2023.
Why use serverless computing?
As a business it is best to approach a professional mobile app development company to build apps that are deployed on various servers; nevertheless, businesses should understand that the benefits of the serverless applications lie in the possibility it promises ideal business implementations and not in the hype created by cloud vendors. With the serverless architecture, the developers can easily code arbitrary codes on-demand without worrying about the underlying hardware.
But as is the case with all game-changing trends, many businesses opt for serverless applications just for the sake of being up-to-date with their peers without thinking about the actual need of their business.
The serverless applications work well with stateless use cases, the cases which execute cleanly and give the next operation in a sequence. On the other hand, the serverless architecture is not fit for predictable applications where there is a lot of reading and writing in the backend system.
Another benefit of working with the serverless software architecture is that the third-party service provider will charge based on the total number of requests. As the number of requests increases, the charge is bound to increase, but then it will cost significantly less than a dedicated IT infrastructure.
Defining serverless software architecture
In serverless software architecture, the application logic is implemented in an environment where operating systems, servers, or virtual machines are not visible. Although where the application logic is executed is running on any operating system which uses physical servers. But the difference here is that managing the infrastructure is the soul of the service provider and the mobile app developer focuses only on writing the codes.
There are two different approaches when it comes to serverless applications. They are
Backend as a service (BaaS)
Function as a service (FaaS)
Moreover, other examples of third-party services are Autho, AWS Cognito (authentication as a service), Amazon Kinesis, Keen IO (analytics as a service), and many more.
FaaS serverless architecture is majorly used with microservices architecture as it renders everything to the organization. AWS Lambda, Google Cloud functions, etc., are some of the examples of FaaS implementation.
Pros of Serverless applications
There are specific ways in which serverless applications can redefine the way business is done in the modern age and has some distinct advantages over the traditional could platforms. Here are a few –
🔹 Highly Scalable
The flexible nature of the serverless architecture makes it ideal for scaling the applications. The serverless application’s benefit is that it allows the vendor to run each of the functions in separate containers, allowing optimizing them automatically and effectively. Moreover, unlike in the traditional cloud, one doesn’t need to purchase a certain number of resources in serverless applications and can be as flexible as possible.
As the organizations don’t need to spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on hardware, they don’t need to pay anything to the engineers to maintain the hardware. The serverless application’s pricing model is execution based as the organization is charged according to the executions they have made.
The company that uses the serverless applications is allotted a specific amount of time, and the pricing of the execution depends on the memory required. Different types of costs like presence detection, access authorization, image processing, etc., associated with a physical or virtual server is completely eliminated with the serverless applications.
🔹 Focuses on user experience
As the companies don’t always think about maintaining the servers, it allows them to focus on more productive things like developing and improving customer service features. A recent survey says that about 56% of the users are either using or planning to use the serverless applications in the coming six months.
Moreover, as the companies would save money with serverless apps as they don’t have to maintain any hardware system, it can be then utilized to enhance the level of customer service and features of the apps.
🔹 Ease of migration
It is easy to get started with serverless applications by porting individual features and operate them as on-demand events. For example, in a CMS, a video plugin requires transcoding video for different formats and bitrates. If the organization wished to do this with a WordPress server, it might not be a good fit as it would require resources dedicated to serving pages rather than encoding the video.
Moreover, the benefits of serverless applications can be used optimally to handle metadata encoding and creation. Similarly, serverless apps can be used in other plugins that are often prone to critical vulnerabilities.
Cons of serverless applications
Despite having some clear benefits, serverless applications are not specific for every single use case. We have listed the top things that an organization should keep in mind while opting for serverless applications.
🔹 Complete dependence on third-party vendor
In the realm of serverless applications, the third-party vendor is the king, and the organizations have no options but to play according to their rules. For example, if an application is set in Lambda, it is not easy to port it into Azure. The same is the case for coding languages. In present times, only Python developers and Node.js developers have the luxury to choose between existing serverless options.
Therefore, if you are planning to consider serverless applications for your next project, make sure that your vendor has everything needed to complete the project.
🔹 Challenges in debugging with traditional tools
It isn’t easy to perform debugging, especially for large enterprise applications that include various individual functions. Serverless applications use traditional tools and thus provide no option to attach a debugger in the public cloud. The organization can either do the debugging process locally or use logging for the same purpose. In addition to this, the DevOps tools in the serverless application do not support the idea of quickly deploying small bits of codes into running applications.
#serverless-application #serverless #serverless-computing #serverless-architeture #serverless-application-prosand-cons
Everything around us has become smart, like smart infrastructures, smart cities, autonomous vehicles, to name a few. The innovation of smart devices makes it possible to achieve these heights in science and technology. But, data is vulnerable, there is a risk of attack by cybercriminals. To get started, let’s know about IoT devices.
The Internet Of Things(IoT) is a system that interrelates computer devices like sensors, software, and actuators, digital machines, etc. They are linked together with particular objects that work through the internet and transfer data over devices without humans interference.
Famous examples are Amazon Alexa, Apple SIRI, Interconnected baby monitors, video doorbells, and smart thermostats.
When technologies grow and evolve, risks are also on the high stakes. Ransomware attacks are on the continuous increase; securing data has become the top priority.
When you think your smart home won’t fudge a thing against cybercriminals, you should also know that they are vulnerable. When cybercriminals access our smart voice speakers like Amazon Alexa or Apple Siri, it becomes easy for them to steal your data.
Cybersecurity report 2020 says popular hacking forums expose 770 million email addresses and 21 million unique passwords, 620 million accounts have been compromised from 16 hacked websites.
The attacks are likely to increase every year. To help you secure your data of IoT devices, here are some best tips you can implement.
Your router has the default name of make and model. When we stick with the manufacturer name, attackers can quickly identify our make and model. So give the router name different from your addresses, without giving away personal information.
If your devices are connected to the internet, these connections are vulnerable to cyber attacks when your devices don’t have the proper security. Almost every web interface is equipped with multiple devices, so it’s hard to track the device. But, it’s crucial to stay aware of them.
When we use the default usernames and passwords, it is attackable. Because the cybercriminals possibly know the default passwords come with IoT devices. So use strong passwords to access our IoT devices.
Use strong or unique passwords that are easily assumed, such as ‘123456’ or ‘password1234’ to protect your accounts. Give strong and complex passwords formed by combinations of alphabets, numeric, and not easily bypassed symbols.
Also, change passwords for multiple accounts and change them regularly to avoid attacks. We can also set several attempts to wrong passwords to set locking the account to safeguard from the hackers.
Are you try to keep an eye on your IoT devices through your mobile devices in different locations. I recommend you not to use the public WI-FI network to access them. Because they are easily accessible through for everyone, you are still in a hurry to access, use VPN that gives them protection against cyber-attacks, giving them privacy and security features, for example, using Express VPN.
There are software and firewalls like intrusion detection system/intrusion prevention system in the market. This will be useful to screen and analyze the wire traffic of a network. You can identify the security weakness by the firewall scanners within the network structure. Use these firewalls to get rid of unwanted security issues and vulnerabilities.
Every smart device comes with the insecure default settings, and sometimes we are not able to change these default settings configurations. These conditions need to be assessed and need to reconfigure the default settings.
Nowadays, every smart app offers authentication to secure the accounts. There are many types of authentication methods like single-factor authentication, two-step authentication, and multi-factor authentication. Use any one of these to send a one time password (OTP) to verify the user who logs in the smart device to keep our accounts from falling into the wrong hands.
Every smart device manufacturer releases updates to fix bugs in their software. These security patches help us to improve our protection of the device. Also, update the software on the smartphone, which we are used to monitoring the IoT devices to avoid vulnerabilities.
When we connect the smart home to the smartphone and control them via smartphone, you need to keep them safe. If you miss the phone almost, every personal information is at risk to the cybercriminals. But sometimes it happens by accident, makes sure that you can clear all the data remotely.
However, securing smart devices is essential in the world of data. There are still cybercriminals bypassing the securities. So make sure to do the safety measures to avoid our accounts falling out into the wrong hands. I hope these steps will help you all to secure your IoT devices.
If you have any, feel free to share them in the comments! I’d love to know them.
Are you looking for more? Subscribe to weekly newsletters that can help your stay updated IoT application developments.
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FaaS services such as AWS Lambda take care of many security aspects - networking, firewall, OS updates, etc. Make no mistake, though: application-level security is still fully on our hands! Do we have all the information needed to secure our serverless apps? Enters critical logging!
We surely put in place a lot of proactive measures to secure our applications. We want to prevent attacks, not remedy them, of course. Take a look at John Demian’s great introductory article about Securing serverless applications. In the present article, our goal is to address one of the topics pointed out by him: “insufficient logging".
Credits: Photo by Kevin Ku on Unsplash
Some types of information are critical to log so that they are available when it comes the time to act on security breaches. Having critical logs will help us, for example, understand which security flaws attackers explored and how to fix them, or build a blacklist of IP addresses, or identify compromised customer accounts. Even though we can help ourselves without logs in some cases, they’ll buy us precious time and provide valuable insights that may save our business a lot of money - and most importantly our hard earned reputation!
Remember: we are always in disadvantage against an attacker. They planned everything ahead and have been studying our app for some time. We receive no warning and know nothing about who we’re fighting against. Every bit of information helps us level the playing field.
Below are some examples of information we could classify as critical for logging in a serverless app. It’s not an exhaustive list but will give us a good head start.
#serverless #applications #critical
Last year, we provided a list of Kubernetes tools that proved so popular we have decided to curate another list of some useful additions for working with the platform—among which are many tools that we personally use here at Caylent. Check out the original tools list here in case you missed it.
According to a recent survey done by Stackrox, the dominance Kubernetes enjoys in the market continues to be reinforced, with 86% of respondents using it for container orchestration.
And as you can see below, more and more companies are jumping into containerization for their apps. If you’re among them, here are some tools to aid you going forward as Kubernetes continues its rapid growth.
#blog #tools #amazon elastic kubernetes service #application security #aws kms #botkube #caylent #cli #container monitoring #container orchestration tools #container security #containers #continuous delivery #continuous deployment #continuous integration #contour #developers #development #developments #draft #eksctl #firewall #gcp #github #harbor #helm #helm charts #helm-2to3 #helm-aws-secret-plugin #helm-docs #helm-operator-get-started #helm-secrets #iam #json #k-rail #k3s #k3sup #k8s #keel.sh #keycloak #kiali #kiam #klum #knative #krew #ksniff #kube #kube-prod-runtime #kube-ps1 #kube-scan #kube-state-metrics #kube2iam #kubeapps #kubebuilder #kubeconfig #kubectl #kubectl-aws-secrets #kubefwd #kubernetes #kubernetes command line tool #kubernetes configuration #kubernetes deployment #kubernetes in development #kubernetes in production #kubernetes ingress #kubernetes interfaces #kubernetes monitoring #kubernetes networking #kubernetes observability #kubernetes plugins #kubernetes secrets #kubernetes security #kubernetes security best practices #kubernetes security vendors #kubernetes service discovery #kubernetic #kubesec #kubeterminal #kubeval #kudo #kuma #microsoft azure key vault #mozilla sops #octant #octarine #open source #palo alto kubernetes security #permission-manager #pgp #rafay #rakess #rancher #rook #secrets operations #serverless function #service mesh #shell-operator #snyk #snyk container #sonobuoy #strongdm #tcpdump #tenkai #testing #tigera #tilt #vert.x #wireshark #yaml
More than 100 smart-irrigation systems deployed across the globe were installed without changing the factory’s default, passwordless setting, leaving them vulnerable to malicious attacks, according to recent findings from Israeli security research firm Security Joes.
The researchers immediately alerted CERT Israel, the affected companies and the irrigation system vendor, Mottech Water Management, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Threatpost.
Mottech’s system allows for real-time control and monitoring of irrigation for both agricultural and turf/landscaping installations, via desktop and mobile phone. Sensor networks allow for the flexible and real-time allocation of water and fertilizer to different valves in the system. Access to the network could result in an attacker being able to flood fields or over-deliver fertilizer, for instance.
Security Joes regularly scans for Israeli open devices on the internet to check for vulnerabilities, the firm’s co-founder Ido Naor told Threatpost. Recently, its researchers discovered that 55 irrigation systems within Israel were visible on the open internet without password protections. After expanding their search, they found 50 others scattered around the world in countries including France, South Korea, Switzerland and the U.S.
“We’re talking about full-fledged irrigation systems, they could be entire cities,” Naor said. “We don’t look closely at what’s behind the address, because we don’t want to cause any trouble.”
Naor said that at last check, only about 20 percent of the identified vulnerable irrigation devices have had mitigation efforts taken to protect them so far.
There’s good reason for alarm about water systems not being secured, particularly in Israel. Just last April, a cyberattack on Israeli water systems, reportedly launched by Iran, attempted to increase the mix of chlorine in the water to poison the civilian population and ultimately interrupt the population’s water supply, The Times of Israel reported.
Yigal Unna, the head of the country’s National Cyber Directorate addressed the CybertechLive Asia conference in late May with the ominous warning that the direct cyberattack on people represented a new chapter in cyberwarfare, according to The Times of Israel.
“Cyber-winter is coming and coming even faster than I suspected,” he told the conference, according to the report. “We are just seeing the beginning.”
Unna was correct. Just weeks later in July, the Israeli Water Authority said that it was able to stop an attack on agricultural water pumps in Galilee, and another on water-supply infrastructure in the “center of the country,” reports.
The irrigation systems which were discovered without password protection aren’t related to the previous attacks, Naor said.
These types of vulnerabilities certainly aren’t limited to Israel.
Last month, six critical flaws in CodeMeter, software used to power industrial systems in the U.S., including water and electric utilities, were discovered which could be exploited to launch attacks or even allow third-party takeovers of systems.
Over the summer, researchers found that VPNs used for remote access to operational technology (OT) networks in industrial environments left field devices open to attacks, which could cause shutdowns or even physical damage.
Governments are making attempts to keep up with the proliferation of internet-of-things (IoT) devices throughout critical-infrastructure systems. In the U.S., the House of Representatives passed legislation in September establishing minimum requirements for IoT devices within the federal government.
“Most experts expect tens of billions of devices operating on our networks within the next several years as the [IoT] landscape continues to expand,” the legislation’s so-sponsor Senator Cory Gardner (R-Co.) said in a press release. “We need to make sure these devices are secure from malicious cyberattacks as they continue to transform our society and add countless new entry points into our networks, particularly when they are integrated into the federal government’s networks.”
#cloud security #critical infrastructure #iot #web security #connected devices #cory gardner bill #critical infrastructure #cyberattack #cybersecurity #default password #galilee #government #infrastructure security #internet of things #irrigation systems #israel #mottech water management #open to internet #security joes #smart irrigation #water system attacks