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Stephen Schmidt's Security Leadership Session at AWS re:Invent 2021

The leadership session at AWS re:Invent provide a deeper dive into a specific area of focus. Stephen Schmidt, CISO at AWS takes the stage to talk all things security.

I missed the first 10 minutes of the session and will update this post when I watch it on demand.

The First 10 Minutes

THe session is now available on demand so I was able to watch the first ten minutes. Here are my takeaways as a list, instead of a tweet storm;

  • “If we wanted continuous improvement, we need to lower the friction of security”, Stephen Schmidt

  • “If a process is inefficient or overly taxing, people will just work around. We’ve got to make security as easy choice.”, Stephen Schmidt

  • “Getting start is simple, and you start seeing value quickly…” This was mentioned in relation to making security easier to use. 100% spot on

  • Guard Duty has added a bunch of great Amazon S3 findings

  • AWS Security Hub now allows you to designate an “aggregation region.” This makes using AWS Security Hub so much easier

  • Amazon Detective uses a bunch of techniques (machine learning, statistical analysis, and graph theory) to help accelerate your security investigations

  • AWS’s security strategy is to remain focused on tangible ways to make customers safer

  • “We need to train people on security best practices in a manner that’s engaging”, Stephen Schmidt. He segues this into highlight the newly released & free security awareness training

  • The launch of Incident Manager from AWS Systems Manager was highlighted. Lots to love in this feature set

  • Focus on making the service better through collaboration with builders. That’s critical for better security outcomes. “Let’s makes security a great experience for developers”, Stephen Schmidt

Live Tweets

This πŸ‘‡ is the Twitter thread of my coverage of the keynote…

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...ahhh, jumping in late to this one


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Sarah from @AWSIdentity up now…


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β€œMFA is the best way to secure your work as you build”, Sarah from @AWSIdentity with a Yubikey on her earrings!

πŸ‘‡ her plates…


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ok, now I want a Yubikey on my earrings too. Sarah recommended this one, the 5c nano:


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β€œAll workloads on @awscloud should be multi-account, that’s how we’ve designed @AWSIdentity”

#reinvent #security

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β€œIf you are a human, you should be logging into @awscloud through SSO”, Sarah from @AWSIdentity

#reinvent #security

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more on @AWSIdentity SSO at

#reinvent #security

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the β€œdata perimeter” idea is all about protecting your solutions from all angles


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Sarah covering some @AWSIdentity recent releases. top of the list: IAM Access Analyzer

more at

#reinvent #security

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…there is also Network Access Analyzer

more on that new release at

#reinvent #securtiy

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another one in the list, Access Analyzer policy validation

more on that at

#reinvent #security

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Sarah also calls out the IAM Access Analyzer policy generation feature released by @AWSIdentity a little while back

more at

#reinvent #security

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πŸ‘† great list. everyone should be using these tools regularly

#reinvent #security

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. @StephenSchmidt back up to switch gears…updates!

#reinvent #security

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162 checks now in @awscloud Security Hub!


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Amazon Detective got support S3 and DNS finding types

more at

#reinvent #security

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. @awscloud Shield automatically does application layer DDoS mitigation


#reinvent #security

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Amazon Inspector got a big update. I covered that at

lots of great stuff in this complete revamp

#reinvent #security

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there is a dedicated session on site for Amazon Inspector. will be on demand in a few days

#reinvent #security

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simple win: update the alternative security contact for your accounts. you can do this via Orgs and the CLI now

more on that at

#reinvent #security

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β€œConsider the Security Pillar of the AWS Well-Architected Framework” << …and the rest of the framework! there’s a ton of amazing stuff in there that contributes to security


#reinvent #security

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Thomas Avant coming up now to talk about security culture at @awscloud

#reinvent #security

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here’s another great talk about @awscloud #security culture from re:Inforce 2021:

be sure to bookmark this one πŸ‘‡ and watch it later


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they regularly remind employees about the importance of #security to the work their doing


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πŸ”‘ @awscloud is always looking for ways to empower everyone to be a part of the #security team

#reinvent #infosec

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β€œ@StephenSchmidt himself gets page if it comes to that…it’s not fun, I’ve seen it”, Thomas Avant

#reinvent #infosec

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β€œWe’ve got all the runbooks you would expect @awscloud but we’re also heavily reliant on employees making the best decisions possible”

#reinvent #infosec

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πŸ‘† that only works because they’ve built up that #security culture. it’s hard work but well worth it


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I ❀️ how many times I’ve heard β€œbuilders” in this #security session


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. @StephenSchmidt back up to talk about what sets @awscloud apart from the #security angle


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first up: containers & code

#reinvent #security

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β€œContaining risk through isolation”, pun NOT pardoned @StephenSchmidt πŸ€£πŸ˜‰

#reinvent #infosec

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more on Amazon CodeGuru at

#reinvent #infosec

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there’s now a nice integration with Amazon CodeGuru + @awscloud Secrets Manager. more on that at

#reinvent #infosec

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. @awscloud GuardDuty support for #k8s audit logs coming in early 2022!


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broader container support coming to other @AWSSecurityInfo services too. no firm ETA but it’s being worked on…

#reinvent #infosec

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I remember when these slides were just a couple of names. nice to see the expansion of the #security partner community around @awscloud


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. @awscloud re:Inforce 2022 dates announced! 28 & 29-Jun-2022 in Houston, TX

#reinvent #infosec

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closing quote from @StephenSchmidt. this was a great leadership session (as expected), can’t wait to catch the first 10m on replay

#reinvent #security

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. @StephenSchmidt even gets in the β€œPlease complete the session survey” plug at the end! 🀣

/🧡 #reinvent #security