How to Grow API Security, PCI Compliance with Swagger Specification

The Amazon API Gateway can be used to publicly publish an organization’s APIs. In just a few clicks, or a few lines of code, one can set up an API Gateway proxying all requests from the Internet to a private application (usually custom code running in a private subnet). However, as the API Gateway becomes a 

Build A Best Practice AWS Data Lake Faster with AWS Lake Formation

The world’s first gigabyte hard drive was the size of a refrigerator -- and that wasn’t all that long ago. Clearly, technology has evolved, and so have our data storage and analysis needs. With data serving a key role in helping companies unearth intelligence that can provide a competitive advantage, solutions that allow organizations to end data silos and help create actionable business outcomes from intelligent data analysis are gaining traction. 

IT Modernization and DevOps News Week in Review

Underscoring why DevOps security continues to be the leading thing that keeps CIOs up at night is the newest Data Breach report from IBM and the Ponemon Institute in which they find that the average cost of a data breach has grown 12% since 2014. However, companies with an incident response team and extensive incident response testing were able to hinder some of the impacts of a data breach, reporting $1.23 million less in losses. Similarly, companies using encryption were able to help reduce the total cost of a breach by $360,000.

IT Modernization and DevOps News Week in Review

GitLab unveils the results of its annual Global Developer Report. Focused this year on DevSecOps, the firm found that 89% of developers, operations, and security team members who work in an environment where DevOps has been in place long term feel as if they have good insight into what their colleagues are working on. Yet, DevOps security according to the report remains a work in progress with half of the respondents agreeing that security vulnerabilities are mostly discovered by the security team after code is merged and in a test environment.

IT Modernization and DevOps News Week in Review


Last week was the inaugural AWS re:Inforce conference, a two-day conference focused on AWS security architecture best practices. Over 7,000 attendees gathered to hear Stephen Schmidt, VP and CISO at AWS announce the general availability of Security Hub and Control Tower, as well as Amazon’s take on the state of cloud security. Overall, AWS reports that the state of cloud security is strong, and that, “customers regularly tell us that they are better off operating in the cloud than they are in their own data centers on premises, and that is not only from an availability perspective but often from a security perspective as well.”

TN Marketing Grows Cloud Security with AWS WAF Managed Rules

Verizon reports in its 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report that web applications are the top hacking action in terms of breaches, with nearly 70% of breaches taking place this way. Conversely, the second leading breach action -- a backdoor or command and control channel -- was responsible for only about 25% of breaches. With such an obvious need to protect Web applications, our customer, TN Marketing, approached us about simultaneously staying on the frontline of cloud security. Like many businesses with a web-facing storefront, TN marketing wanted to ensure its web applications were protected while reducing cloud security management. 

IT Modernization and DevOps News Week in Review

Palo Alto Networks made the most of a short week by announcing its plan to acquire container security company Twistlock for $410 million. It also announced plans to acquire serverless security company PureSec and launched Prisma, its new cloud security service. With cloud and container security top of mind for many, the acquisitions will prove to be valuable assets as enterprises seek to build security in.

Could DevOps Best Practices Have Saved Jurassic Park?


This article originally appeared on Medium.

The other day I decided to re-watch Jurassic Park, the pop-classic from 1993 in which a theme park suffers a major power breakdown that allows its cloned dinosaurs to rampage freely throughout the park. If you are one of the few that haven’t seen it yet, I definitely recommend you do -- if nothing else for the realization I had as I watched it again. While the film steers us toward Chaos Theory and the Butterfly Effect, the big a-ha moment I had as I re-watched the film is that Jurassic Park is actually an IT failure that would have benefited from DevOps best practices.

Pair CI/CD and a Landing Zone for Greater Efficiency

Companies that want to increase their ability to deploy faster and increase uptime are using Landing Zones in AWS with Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD). With benefits for security, operations, development and the business, CI/CD helps developers deliver code more frequently and more reliably with the help of DevOps automation. In today’s article, we’ll take a look at the benefits of pairing a Landing Zone with CI/CD. Spoiler alert: together they multiply the business’s ability to grow efficiency, productivity, security and time to market.

IT Modernization and DevOps News Week in Review

RSA took place last week and as a result, cloud security is in the news. According to the 6th annual DevSecOps Community Survey by Sonatype, CloudBees, Carnegie Mellon’s Software Engineering Institute and several other partners, corporate application security initiatives are only gradually gaining traction. For example, they find that only 54% of responding organizations have cybersecurity incident response plans in place, a figure that held steady from last year. And, 26% reported that they have no protections for confidential information like passwords and API keys. Notably, security tools are still not well integrated with the DevOps pipeline. Only 11% report a fully integrated and automated security.

IT Modernization and DevOps News Week in Review

This week the annual RSA conference kicks off in San Francisco. The theme of this year’s Conference is “Better” with the intention of sparking discussion among enterprises about what it means to get better when it comes to security. The RSAC Advisory Board has identified a few key challenges facing cybersecurity, the top two of which are DevSecOps and Cloud Security. What lessons can be learned from these two areas of practice to help improve security across the organization will be a leading area of discussion that we look forward to this week.

IT Modernization and DevOps News Week in Review

This past week Amazon and Microsoft announced earnings, with both reporting continued strength in their cloud businesses. For its part, AWS reported a 45% increase in revenue, to $7.4 billion in the fourth quarter. Microsoft doesn’t share revenues specific to Azure; however, the company did disclose that its commercial cloud revenue grew 48% year over year with Azure revenue growing 76%. While it’s little surprise that cloud revenue is driving overall growth for Microsoft and Amazon, it’s worth noting that as the market for cloud computing matures, the ability to continue growing at this pace will decrease. Case in point: Amazon forecast Q1 2019 revenue at 10-18% growth, year over year.

IT Modernization & DevOps News Week in Review

Happy Data Privacy Day! An international effort to promote privacy, data protection best practices, and to empower individuals and business to safeguard data, the day is celebrated across the United States, 47 European countries, Canada, and India. It marks the signing in 1981 of the first legally binding, international treaty to deal with data protection and privacy. Technology has only served to underscore the importance of this decades-old treaty.

2018 Year in Review: CI/CD, Security & AWS Expert Tools

As we greet the new year, we are taking a look back at the best of 2018, sharing those blog topics that gave our readers the most inspiration in their DevOps and IT modernization journeys. Last week we shared our most popular analysis and expert commentary on AWS Migration and DevOps transformation. As promised, today we’ll delve into CI/CD, DevOps security and specific AWS tools that are sure to remain just as popular in 2019 as they were last year.

Financial Services SaaS Plans AWS Foundation with Cloud and DevOps Assessment

Working with dozens of financial services organizations , we understand first-hand the need for security and scalability as every minute of downtime has direct customer satisfaction and bottom line repercussions. As a result, the DevOps consulting team at Flux7 is fixated on helping financial services firms plan and build systems with AWS architecture best practices to ensure security and high availability of systems. In today’s article, we’ll examine the story of a financial services SaaS who sought help planning its cloud migration and DevOps automation, to ensure it created the best possible AWS foundation.

Improve IT Operational Excellence with Game Days

Our DevOps consulting team at Flux7 works with dozens of enterprises to help mature their IT programs and improve their operational excellence. In the process of moving from traditional IT to starting and scaling DevOps in the enterprise, we begin the process of moving to “everything as code” including infrastructure, configuration, pipeline, and security as code. While this approach may be applied to modern apps designed as microservices, or legacy monolithic apps, in either case, failures and incidents will happen. There should be a plan to handle them and that is where Game Days come in.

Announcing Flux7 AWS Landing Zones for Enterprise DevOps

At Flux7, we have extensive experience as a DevOps sherpa to organizations and in the process have learned a lot, including creating a DevOps model for success -- called the Enterprise DevOps Framework, or EDF -- a key element of which is the Landing Zone.

Financial Publisher Adopts HashiCorp Vault with Flux7 SmartStart

Print is the new digital and no one proves that more than one of our most recent customers who is a brand-name publishing house. Embracing a digital-first business model, this publisher’s IT, development and security teams sought to significantly reduce their on-premise footprint, moving to Docker and AWS. As part of its move, the need for a secret management solution was identified and we were happy to get the call to help address the company’s need with the Flux7 SmartStart for HashiCorp Vault.

Emergency Communications Firm Migrates AWS Regions with 100% Uptime

It’s not an understatement to say that uptime for this provider’s emergency communications services, can spell the difference between life and death. Communicating with people during critical events to keep them safe, informed and connected, this company had a need to maintain its 100 percent up time, security and availability as it grew. The DevOps team here at Flux7 were glad to take the call to give them a hand.

Join Flux7 as we Host HashiCorp CTO for a Session on Consul Connect

Join the Flux7 DevOps team as we host HashiCorp co-founder and CTO, Armon Dadgar, on Thursday, August 30th in Austin, TX. Armon will present how to use Consul Connect to secure service-to-service communication.

IT Modernization and DevOps News in Review

This week saw cloud security in the headlines again with yet another public disclosure of a misconfigured Amazon S3 bucket that left data wide open to the public. With Black Hat in Vegas this week, it may be little wonder that we also saw several news items of organizations bringing more security tools to DevOps and container-based environments.

DevOps Adoption: Why Every DevOps Pilot Needs a Landing Zone

In our last article we discussed how to smartly select a pilot project to prove out the benefits of a DevOps organization. As you begin to put your DevOps adoption plan in place, one thing that should be included -- regardless of the project chosen -- is a Landing Zone. As you transition from a traditional Development - IT Operations framework, the Landing Zone is important as it provides needed efficiency, standardization, and governance.

Flux7, HashiCorp Present HashiCorp Vault Dynamic Database Credentials

Join us Wednesday, June 13th in Austin, TX as Flux7 hosts a dynamic discussion with HashiCorp Solutions Engineer Sean Carolan, who will share how to use Vault to reduce risk, gain visibility, and secure your data.

Flux7 Named Austin Company to Watch, Achieves AWS Security Competency

Every year Built in Austin compiles a list of 50 Austin, TX-based Startups to Watch in which they highlight local companies founded in the last five years that they think are poised to make a real impression. How do they define an impression? As companies that have “got the ideas, the talent and the tech to usher Austin’s startup ecosystem into new levels of success.” We are thrilled to be included in this year’s list.

AWS WAF, an AWS Security Best Practice

One of the key business drivers of cloud based DevOps is greater scalability, which the DevOps team here at Flux7 sees quite often -- especially for eCommerce and digital business. So, as more and more organizations move to AWS for its scalability, availability, and reliability, it makes sense we’d get more and more questions about moving to new solutions like AWS Web Application Firewall (WAF). In today’s blog, we will address why such a move is a good choice for companies migrating their digital business to the cloud. Let’s kick-off the discussion with a little background on AWS WAF.

AWS Case Study: Kubernetes on CIS Benchmarked Ubuntu AMIs using KOPS

AWS Case Study: Kubernetes on CIS Benchmarked Ubuntu AMIs using KOPS

In a recent blog, we shared the AWS case study of a major US airline and how we used the Kubernetes project for managing production-grade Kubernetes (K8) clusters, KOPS, to run its AWS-based K8 clusters. The goal was to host the company’s applications in an AWS-enabled framework, which the team at Flux7 helped implement in the form of its Enterprise DevOps Framework (EDF). As promised, today we will share the second part of their story, illustrating how we used Ubuntu CIS benchmarked images to help proactively safeguard against security threats.

Security in AWS: Flux7’s Take on the New Amazon GuardDuty

Security in AWS: Flux7’s Take on the New Amazon GuardDuty

At re:Invent just a few weeks ago, AWS announced Amazon GuardDuty, to enable secure monitoring. At the time, we lauded the announcement for its ability to grow security in AWS with a more holistic view of security in the cloud. In the past few weeks, we’ve fielded inquiries from several customers asking about the service, its features, and potential fit for their organization. Knowing that their questions may be indicative of a wider interest in the new managed service that monitors and detects malicious or unauthorized behavior across an organization’s AWS infrastructure, we are sharing today our analysis of Amazon GuardDuty.

Ensure 2017 Retail Gains: AWS Best Practices for eCommerce Insurance

AWS Best Practices: eCommerce Insurance

According to eMarketer, ecommerce in 2017 increased 23%, continuing to surpass traditional retail growth rates; total retail sales -- including ecommerce gains -- were 5.8% in 2017. Yet, as we look into a competitive retail landscape for 2018, and begin to field calls from retailers looking to parlay 2017 gains into 2018 advantages, one discussion point is often around what role AWS best practices can play in ecommerce insurance. That is, through the process of digital transformation, building in consistency and availability for retail customers regardless of the channel they choose.

AWS Case Study: Using KOPS to Run Kubernetes with CIS Benchmark AMIs

As an AWS Premier Consulting Partner, we are often asked about using the Kubernetes container management system within AWS. While Google created Kubernetes (K8s), Google’s Cloud Platform is generally seen as a better fit for running K8s clusters. However, until the recent re:Invent announcement of EKS, KOPS, the Kubernetes project for managing production-grade K8s clusters, was the best tool to deploy and manage K8s clusters in AWS. Which brings us to the topic of today’s blog, a customer story of how we used KOPS to run AWS-based K8s clusters. Stay tuned for the second part of today’s AWS case study in which we discuss the details of doing so with Ubuntu CIS benchmark images.

Golden AMIs Help Drive DevOps Automation, Agility, and Stability


In the middle ages Byzantine emperors and European monarchs issued decrees with a golden seal that was testament to the origin of the decree. Fast forward to today and we can see how the idea of a golden seal -- or golden copy-- is used in technology to express that something is the official or master version. Taking the idea of a golden copy one step further, today we will discuss the concept of the golden Amazon Machine Image (AMI), its role in supporting a successful DevOps model, and how it can generate greater agility and stability.

Reduce Risk, Increase Uptime with AWS Blue-Green Deployment

As more organizations move to cloud computing, the ability to deploy with a blue-green deployment scenario is gaining popularity as a proven strategy to reduce downtime and risk. As this agile approach is one we are being asked about more often, today we will discuss the benefits of blue-green deployments, specifically within AWS hosted infrastructure, and how it can be even more easily facilitated now that Amazon CloudWatch events support AWS CodePipeline as a target.

Inspect Docker Images with Anchore for DevOps Security

At Flux7, we are passionate about sharing the power of DevOps. In that vein, we recently gave a workshop introducing developers to the power, ease of use, and governance that comes with moving to a DevOps model reinforced with well-architected tooling. The goal of the workshop was to teach developers more about AWS and Docker-based microservices architecture. And, how using Amazon services like EC2 Container Service, CodePipeline, and CodeBuild can come together to create a platform for developer teams to focus on their application. We highlighted the Anchore solution as part of our microservices architecture for security and will share in today’s blog why we deployed Anchore, how we used it to ensure DevOps security and policy compliance, and our overall experience with the tool.

Flux7 CEO Aater Suleman Presents on AWS Edge Security at AWS reInvent!

We are excited to announce that Flux7 CEO, Aater Suleman, will present at this year’s AWS reInvent. If your plans take you to AWS reInvent this year, we’d encourage you to attend this session in which Dr. Suleman will be joined by AWS’ Tom Witman, Head of BD, Edge/Security, and Shawn Marck, Systems Development Manager, to presentLiving on the Edge, It’s Safer Than You Think! Building Strong with Amazon CloudFront, AWS Shield and AWS WAF.”

Flux7 Take: HashiCorp News & DevOps Best Practices

At the recent HashiConf 2017 here in Austin, HashiCorp announced several updates and new features that we are pretty excited about. If you are a regular follower of this blog, you know that we’ve become heavy users of many HashiCorp tools of the past few years as they excel at helping further DevOps automation for greater efficiency, security and productivity. Today we’re going to share with you which new announcements we’re most excited about and why.

Why we Recommend Everyone use Amazon CloudWatch Logs

For assured success, it is important to monitor your systems for ongoing operational efficiency, security and compliance to internal policies. In June we shared with you our Enterprise DevOps Framework in which inspectors, like logs, play a critical role in analyzing services in the pipeline and landing zone to ensure compliance with operational, security, and regulatory requirements. At Flux7 we universally recommend customers use Amazon CloudWatch Logs for this purpose -- even if you are using Splunk or another log solution, we recommend CloudWatch Logs as a first stop for your logs as it is a more robust solution as we will discuss. First, let’s review Amazon CloudWatch, and CloudWatch Logs and then we’ll discuss why they should be the first stop for your AWS system logs.

How to Effectively Balance DevOpsSec in the AWS Cloud

As AWS DevOps partners, we are often asked the best approach to balance DevOpsSec within AWS environments. What are the AWS and DevOps best practices and how do you build in security in such a way that it propels the business forward? 

AWS Case Study: Pharmaceutical Migrates R&D Analytics to AWS

We recently had the opportunity to work with a pharmaceutical company that is breaking new ground when it comes to treatments for life-threatening ailments like cancer. Seeking to innovate across the organization -- from R&D to IT -- this company reached out to the DevOps team at Flux7 to help it migrate its Cloudera Hadoop-based analytics systems to AWS. Specifically, the vision was to take all of its diverse data sets to the cloud, establishing a highly available and secure environment where the firm could conduct data modeling and data analysis while protecting sensitive data and ensuring GxP and HIPAA compliance. Read on for the full AWS case study.

Flux7 Achieves AWS Service Delivery Partner Status for Amazon CloudFront

We are delighted to announce our recognition today as having achieved AWS Service Delivery Distinction for Amazon Cloudfront. AWS CloudFront is a preferred service by our DevOps consulting team for its  help in improving the user experience. By using the native AWS service as part of an integrated solution, we can design and build solutions that provide fast, stable and secure content delivery.

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