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Episode from the podcastAppSec Builders

Serverless Security with Erica Windisch

Released Wednesday, 20th January 2021
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In this episode of AppSec Builders, I'm joined by New Relic Principal Engineer and AWS Serverless Hero, Erica Windisch. Erica has decades of experience building developer and operational tooling to serverless applications. We discuss all things serverless including why you should care about serverless security, designing app security when migrating to a serverless environment, how to scale your app security with serverless and much more.
About Erica:
Erica is a Principal Engineer at New Relic and previously a founder at IO pipe. Erica has extensive experience in building developer and operational tooling to serverless applications. Erica also has more than 17 years of experience designing and building cloud infrastructure management solutions. She was an early and longtime contributor to OpenStack and a maintainer of the Docker project.
Follow Erica on Twitter and Linkedin at the below links:
https://twitter.com/ewindisch?lang=en (Twitter)
https://www.linkedin.com/in/ewindisch/ (Linkedin)
Transcript for Serverless Security with Erica Windisch
[00:00:02] Welcome to AppSec Builders, the podcast for Practitioners Building Modern AppSec hosted by JB Aviat.
Jb Aviat: [00:00:14] Welcome to this episode of AppSec Builders today I'm proud to receive Erica Windisch, we will discuss about serverless and serverless security. Welcome, Erica.

Erica Windisch: [00:00:24] Hi.

Jb Aviat: [00:00:26] So Erica you you are an architect and principal engineer at New Relic, you are also an AWS serverless hero previously you were founder at IO Pipe, an before that were security engineer at Docker. Right?

Erica Windisch: [00:00:41] Ah correct yeah.

Jb Aviat: [00:00:42] So thank you so much for joining us today, Erica. I'm really excited to have you as a guest today.

Erica Windisch: [00:00:50] Thank you for having me.

Jb Aviat: [00:00:51] So, Erica, Serverless as an AWS serverless hero, I guess you know almost everything and you are very, very aware of what's happening in the serverless world. Before we dive in, like some AWS specificities, maybe you could remind us what is serverless and how does it differ from the traditional world, especially from a security standpoint?

Erica Windisch: [00:01:14] Absolutely. So, I mean, my background, it's not just Docker, it's building open stack. It's building web hosting services. And, you know, this is an evolving ecosystem that, I mean, in the 2000s was, you know, as simple or as hard as taking your content and uploading it to a remote server and running your application to as complex as running your own servers. Right. And these, of course, are options that are available to you now. But increasingly, developers are moving towards dev ops. They're using containers. They are finding that CI/CD and deployments and all of these things are useful tools for the organizations to move quickly and operating physical machines as pets, as we would call it, versus cattle, which as a vegan is probably not the best metaphor. But, you know, over this time, we've been increasingly going higher level and operating and deploying and building at higher level layers. And serverless is that highest layer in a sense where rather than building a micro service is shipping a service that runs on a VM in a container and a host that you have to manage and operate, even if that's part of a larger Kubernetes cluster.

Erica Windisch: [00:02:33] Instead, you just take your application and you give it to your cloud provider and your cloud provider runs it for you. There's a lot of advantages to this, largely that the platform is fully managed for you to a large degree. You know, you don't have to maintain operating system patches. You don't have to maintain Kernels. You don't have to do anything other than operate your application. And really, the biggest disadvantages to this are that you do lose control of managing some of these pieces. But for most users, there's there's a...