Wouldn’t it be helpful to know if other cloud users are seeing the same or similar attacks that you are? Security intelligence about cloud applications beyond just those you own and operate as an enterprise opens up a new dimension in attack visibility against even large sets of cloud apps.
During AWS re:Inforce 2019, Sumo Logic announced it is extending its machine analytics and intelligence platform to include AWS GuardDuty. Dubbed Global Intelligence Service for Amazon GuardDuty, the new service is more than just a data aggregation and reporting play. The new service provides additional context around GuardDuty data by reporting attack information across multiple Sumo Logic customers using AWS GuardDuty. Essentially, it’s a “crowdsourcing” approach to reporting threat intelligence across the cloud.
In this episode of DevOps Chat, David Andrejewski, senior engineering manager at Sumo Logic, joins us to talk about this new, more expansive threat intelligence service. More information about Global Intelligence Service for Amazon GuardDuty is available in the press release and website.
As usual, the streaming audio is immediately below, followed by the transcript of our conversation.
Mitch Ashley: Hi, everybody, this is Mitch Ashley with DevOps.com, and you’re listening to another DevOps Chat podcast. Today, I’m joined by David Andrzejewski, Senior Engineering Manager at Sumo Logic, and our topic is a real meaty one—Global Intelligence Service for Amazon Guard Duty. David, welcome to DevOps Chat.
David Andrzejewski: Thanks so much. Thanks for having me on.
Ashley: Well, we really appreciate you being on the podcast today. Would you start by introducing yourself, just tell us a little bit about what yourself and what you do at Sumo Logic, and maybe just a brief overview of Sumo Logic the company?
Andrzejewski: Yeah, fantastic. So, Sumo Logic, what we offer is a cloud-based machine data analytics platform, which is a bit of a mouthful, but what that specifically means is a cloud-based, multi-tenant service where you can send your logs and metrics and data to our service for helping you monitor, troubleshoot, and secure your applications, platform, environment, infrastructure for your own application or your IT infrastructure.
So, we offer this as a kinda cloud-based web app service. The idea here is, you’re sending us all of that data and we can kind of manage the scale, reliability, and analysis for you and kinda help you focus on running your business and kind of running your app and everything like that.
Specifically at Sumo Logic, I manage the Advanced Analytics Team, and we’re focused in particular on ways that we can do especially kind of useful or interesting things to help customers get more out of their data. So, some of the features in the past we’ve worked on are log reduce, which kind of applies clustering techniques to your logs to kind of give you a more comprehensible snapshot as well as outlier detection and things like this. But our current focus right now is this kind of Global Intelligence Service that we’re really excited to be announcing at AWS Reinforce.
Ashley: Great. Well, we are a DevOps and also a security podcast—talk a little bit about how Sumo Logic fits into the DevOpsSec world.
Andrzejewski: Yep, absolutely. So, ultimately, in any of these situations, you really need some kind of—you need the ground truth actual data to really kind of know what’s happening in your environment, both from what kinds of experience are your customers getting, how is the, kind of the health of your machines or what resources are available, what is the performance of various services, you know, events are being kind of logged and audited and then you’re kind of pulling data together from all up and down the stack into one place.
And that’s kind of where we come in as sort of one kind of one-stop shop for sending all of these very kind of heterogeneous logs into one service such that the teams that are responsible for up time from kind of a DevOps SRE perspective and security from all sorts of aspects of that, which increasingly is, like you said, kind of this DevSecOps. The developers themselves are often increasingly deeply involved in all of that, where they can kind of pull together the data from their own kind of custom application logs, the infrastructure, the actual machines, the operating system, the firewall, the databases, the third party services and kind of have it all in one place so that when you can sort of help detect when things do go wrong and then kind of identify, dig in, troubleshoot what’s going wrong and then once you fix it, you know, verify that it actually is corrected.
Andrzejewski: So, you would interact with the service by sort of operating queries against your data, creating dashboards and visualizations and using these dashboards or potentially setting up alerts to notify members of your team that some condition has been triggered that requires immediate attention or action to generate sort of scheduled kind of reports on these kinda things and in general, kinda analyze and interact with the data, the raw data being kind of sent out by your software, your machines and everything like that to really understand what’s going on in your app.
Ashley: And are you oftentimes the system in the SOC, or do you connect into a different monitoring system, alerting system in the SOC?
Andrzejewski: So, this is kind of a—as far as the SOC aspect, some customers are kind of using it for tracking these different kind of logging events, others are sort of, we have a lot of kind of integrations with other services to kind of consume data kind of emitted by those services. So, for example, AWS Guard Duty, you know, alerts like that.
So, it all kinda depends on, there’s sort of a wide variety of ways that customers have kinda made use of Sumo Logic. So, yeah, in some cases, I think that that’s a reasonable use case that the [Cross talk]—
Ashley: It’s probably, I imagine, where they’re starting from if they have systems all ready for you to integrate in, or maybe you become the main single pane of glass, if you will.
Andrzejewski: Yeah, so, in the security use case, I think—again, it depends on kind of which sort of person within the organization might be most interested in that. Developers often, you know, given that this is a place, a single sort of solution that you can collect the logs for both these kind of monitoring SRE troubleshooting as well as some of the security use cases.
Andrzejewski: That ends up being kind of an appealing property that you can kind of have one service to collect the data, analyze the data for various use cases, right?
Ashley: Okay, great. Well, this is the week of AWS Reinforce, and I feel like we’ve kind of laid out enough teasers about your announcement that you’re making this week. [Laughter] Tell us about Global Intelligence Service for Amazon Guard Duty.
Andrzejewski: Yeah, yeah, we’re really excited about this. So, the basic idea here is that we’re going to add some additional context around the Guard Duty alerts where we can essentially take your alerts and kind of recontextualize them in terms of how frequently we’re kind of seeing them or they’re being sent or observed across others.
So, if something is a very kind of rare threat that very few other organizations are kind of getting, seeing in their environment, then that might be something that you would want to prioritize more highly, right, if you are—you know, there’s going to be some, in any kind of alerting system like Guard Duty or others, there’s often going to be a very kind of high just baseline of sort of very generic, general threats that everybody kind of sees at some base rate all the time, and this is kind of one way that you can sort of kind of do some noise reduction on those and really kind of prioritize and focus on the ones that are a little bit more idiosyncratic or unique to your environment and more, perhaps more interesting and more relevant for kind of immediate investigation and triage.
And this is kind of being exposed to the customers via an app, which is kind of, in the Sumo Logic scenario, it’s kind of some pre-defined analyses and dashboards against your Guard Duty data. So, your customer would sort of consume this service by installing the new Guard Duty with Global Intelligence Services app, and they would immediately get access to these new visualizations, analyses, and dashboards that kind of place their own Guard Duty alerts in this modified context, this more—you know, bringing in a little bit broader information about how often these are being seen in other environments, what are the general most common threats, threat purposes, various threat types seen across sort of the general customer population at Sumo Logic.
And this will sort of kind of serve these multiple purposes for the user—on one hand, helping you kind of prioritize rare events, on the other hand, kind of giving you sort of this bird’s eye view survey of what’s generally out there, right? And that can help potentially in prioritizing or allocating efforts at improving your own security posture or efforts in, for example, you see that a particular kind of threat is especially prevalent, you know, elsewhere, that might be something that you say, “Okay, well, what do we have to be doing to make sure that we’re, our bases are covered with respect to that ourselves,” right?
So, ultimately, we want to kind of show you your AWS Guard Duty threat data, but in this kind of enhanced context that’s hopefully going to be more meaningful and more relevant to you and help you make better decisions and kind of run your business more securely.
Ashley: Okay, so, the benchmarking aspect of this, is that something that happens in real time? You know, we’re looking at the console, we’re getting alerted to say, “This attack is happening, and by the way, it’s happening on 20 percent of the other AWS customers” or however your present it, or is it more a retrospective looking at past data of what’s occurred over the last month, last quarter, last year? Or is it both?
Andrzejewski: Yeah, so, this is something that we’re kind of, in some sense, as we are having conversations with customers, seeing what’s going to be most valuable for their use cases. Right now, the real time—is it real time, like, up to the second? You know, is that really something that’s going to be valuable, or is that going to be kind of too noisy of a signal?
Andrzejewski: So, right now, it’s derived from sort of recent history in some sense, and yet, potentially, that’s an interesting question of whether more very long term stuff, like, month over month is going to be useful for people, but you know, is it—right now, we’re not kind of focused on the use case of, you know, up to kind of real time real time.
Andrzejewski: Really, your data will still be real time, real time, but the question of whether that’s—you know, does the context need to evolve that quickly, or is that just going to kind of introduce more noise?
Andrzejewski: Part of the advantage of kind of using a little bit of a recent historical window is looking at—you know, it gives you a little bit broader pool of data to kind of contextualize your real time activity against, right? So, again, it’s all about sort of your data and kind of seeing how—you know, how it kind of looks in context of this broader view and evolving the broader view in real time. It’s an interesting thought.
Ashley: Well, that makes sense, too, because you may be having a false positive or something. Not everything that is being highlighted by Guard Duty might be as relevant as other things, so if you have a chance to filter some of that information out to say, “This is what’s relevant” versus, if everything’s real time, you could introduce some noise, maybe some things that aren’t as helpful, too.
Andrzejewski: Yep. Yeah, exactly. So, it’s—that’s definitely a potential tradeoff, there.
Ashley: So, what would you learn—because now, there must be some kind of an opt-in where you’re looking at events that are happening across different customers, AWS users—what would you learn by knowing that a whole other population of people are seeing this same kind of attack versus if you were only looking at your data, if you had known that you would do something differently?
What would be a scenario like that where this would be super helpful?
Andrzejewski: Right, so, the—you know, one kind of particular case sort of going the other way of a rare event might be that, you know, again, so, some of these threats are going to be very kind of common, and it ends up that that’s not something quite as potentially actionable or something that you need to jump on right away, but there’s still kind of part of your Guard Duty feed and they’re going to kind of potentially be a little overwhelming when you’re looking at everything. Whereas this more kind of like rare threat type, this—by kind of knowing, “Okay, this is a little bit out of the ordinary in that lots of customers are not seeing this,” that kinda helps it pop to the top of your queue and maybe you are going to allocate your very limited time and attention to focus on that.
It might be a little more challenging to prioritize or see that kind of rare event pop, because you don’t necessarily know that it’s rare, you just sort of see it amongst all of the other kind of more common alerts and more common threats.
Ashley: Right. This is a rare event, something that’s unusual, you should take a look at this versus something that’s happening normally across multiple AWS accounts.
Andrzejewski: Exactly. That’s exactly right. And so, that potentially becomes a valuable tool to kind of—like I said, ultimately, teams everywhere are ultimately struggling with the scarce resource of your time and attention.
Andrzejewski: And anything that can kind of bring in some additional context information to help you allocate that time and attention more efficiently, more effectively is potentially, hopefully going to give some good value for our customers.
Ashley: Well, many resources are precious resources, and certainly security folks are definitely in that precious category. So, being able to assign them to something you know is something we need to look at versus kinda chasing things that we really don’t need to be paying attention to would be super valuable.
Ashley: So, obviously, Sumo Logic does a lot of other things in your products. You have operational analytics, business analytics, those kinds of things. Does this Global Intelligence Service tie into those in some way, to give you some additional broader insights, or this focused really—just really heavily on the security aspect of what’s happening in Guard Duty?
Andrzejewski: No, absolutely—that’s a really good point. So, right now, kind of, very sort of aligned with Global Intelligence is some of the stuff that we’ve been doing a few years now around the modern app report and similar where kind of giving these sort of horizontal views of technology choice trends and various kind of software choices, infrastructure, cloud provider choices, kind of adoption of various tools and technologies across the industry, and that definitely kind of extends into the, kind of the DevOps SRE space. And again, hopefully the idea there is that these tools kinda give you this sort of broader context about actual hard data where various—you know, where the market in general is on their journey to cloud adoption or their migration to Docker or Kubernetes or other kind of related technologies.
Andrzejewski: So, that’s one place where there’s already something in place at Sumo Logic that’s kind of bringing that broader sort of horizontal context to bear to kind of help teams kinda make more effective, more informed decisions and, again, prioritize and allocate their attention and efforts in kind of using that extra information to kind of know, actually, from the hard data where others are actually at.
Andrzejewski: So, right now, this particular announcement at AWS Reinforce is focused on Global Intelligence Services for AWS Guard Duty in particular which, as you said, is absolutely a very kind of security focused use case.
Andrzejewski: But in general, the general sort of Global Intelligence Services, you know, kind of platform and approach is something that we’re also actively thinking about how can we help in the operational analytics use cases? Where are there places where that broader context is going to help our customers make better decisions or solve their problems more quickly?
So, right now, we have this Guard Duty announcement, definitely focused on security, but in general, we see Global Intelligence Services as a very powerful kind of horizontal enabler across the SRE DevOps kind of side of the house as well.
Ashley: Mm-hmm. Yeah, it seems like an area that would be ripe for machine learning—yeah, the statistical analysis that you could do across multiple areas of the analytics that you’re doing. You know, that’s what data’s all about, right? What insights and learnings can you get from that that brings additional value benefit to the business?
Andrzejewski: Definitely, yep.
Ashley: Well, good. Is this product available now? Is it coming out some time down the road? How soon can we get our hands on this?
Andrzejewski: So, as of the kind of announcement, it should be available to Sumo Logic customers at the enterprise level, and again, it would be a matter of installing the app and kind of start—obviously, in this case, you would need Guard Duty as well. I can provide some links to go out with this, if that’s helpful—
Andrzejewski: – that would have kind of links to the specific resources that would be involved in getting started and getting set up with this, but yeah.
Ashley: Okay, great. It sounds like a pretty easy thing to do to get started. If you’re already running Sumo Logic, installing the app is not a heavy lift, it’s pretty straightforward.
Andrzejewski: Absolutely. And the other aspect, of course, having Guard Duty in place as well. Which, again, is—in the links I’ll send, should be, is a pretty painless process.
Ashley: Excellent! I also want to mention, too, that Sumo Logic is located in Booth 714 at the Reinforce conference. So, definitely recommend folks stop by and maybe see a demo of this, get to talk with folks about the new announcement.
Well, our podcasts have no problem flying by quickly, because we talked about great things and I appreciate you doing that with us. David, I’d like to thank you, David Andrzejewski, Senior Engineering Manager at Sumo Logic, for joining us.
Andrzejewski: Well, thank you so much for having me. It’s been a really great conversation—super, super interesting to talk about.
Ashley: Great. It’s good stuff, and I wish you and Sumo Logic the best at the show this week.
I’d like to also thank you—you, our listeners—for joining us. This is Mitch Ashley with DevOps.com, and you’ve listened to another DevOps Chat. Be careful out there.