Improve Security and Reduce Costs with AWS SSM Session Manager

AWS recently enhanced its Systems Manager offering with shell access to EC2 instances and then they enhanced it further with SSH tunnel support. With these improvements, it’s now possible to improve your application’s security posture while reducing it’s operational costs and simplifying setup/maintenance. Systems Manager vs Bastion Hosts Minimizing the attack surface, simplifying as much … Continue reading Improve Security and Reduce Costs with AWS SSM Session Manager

Improve Security with Mount Options

“Defense in Depth” is a key concept of information security; if an attacker can get through one security control, there should be others waiting to thwart him. Mount options are an oftentimes overlooked way to implement defense in depth which are easy to implement, simple to understand, and widely applicable to many situations. The directory … Continue reading Improve Security with Mount Options

Trusting AWS RDS Certificates in Docker and Beanstalk

To connect to AWS RDS databases using TLS/SSL, the client must trust the certificate provided by RDS; RDS doesn’t use certificates trusted by the CAs (Certificate Authorities) included by operating systems. Without TLS/SSL, the connection to the database isn’t secure, meaning an attacker on the network between the client (running in EC2) and the database … Continue reading Trusting AWS RDS Certificates in Docker and Beanstalk

End to End Encryption with Beanstalk

Beanstalk is often configured to terminate SSL at the load balancer then make the connection to the web server/application instances using unencrypted HTTP. That’s usually okay as the AWS network is designed to keep such traffic private, but under certain conditions, such as those requiring PCI compliance, DoD/government rules, or simply out of an abundance … Continue reading End to End Encryption with Beanstalk

Change the Spring Session JDBC Serialization Method to Improve Performance

Spring Session JDBC is a great way to allow an application to be stateless. By storing the session in the database, a request can be routed to any application server. This approach provides significant advantages such as automatic horizontal scaling, seamless failover, and no need for session affinity. By using JDBC, the database the application … Continue reading Change the Spring Session JDBC Serialization Method to Improve Performance

Performance Testing WebDAV Clients

Part of migrating applications from on-premises hosting to cloud hosting (AWS, Azure, etc) involves re-evaluating how users access their data. A recent migration involved users running Windows 10 accessing a Windows file share using the SMB protocol. Since SMB isn’t safe to run directly over the Internet (it’s usually not encrypted and it has a … Continue reading Performance Testing WebDAV Clients

WordPress on AWS The Easy Way with VersionPress

Developing and administering WordPress can be painful, especially when requirements include the ability to have a team of developers, the ability for a developer to run the site (including content) on their system (so they can reproduce issues caused by content or configuration), multiple content authors, multiple environments (such as staging and production), and the … Continue reading WordPress on AWS The Easy Way with VersionPress

DNSSEC on OpenWrt 18.06 and 19.07

DNSSEC ensures that the results of DNS queries (for DNSSEC enabled domains) are authentic. For example, integralblue.com uses DNSSEC, so if an attacker (using a man in the middle or spoofing attack) changes the IP address that www.integralblue.com resolves to, then a DNS resolver supporting DNSSEC will be able to tell and return an error. … Continue reading DNSSEC on OpenWrt 18.06 and 19.07

DNS Over TLS on OpenWrt 18.06 and 19.07

DNS over TLS encrypts DNS queries so no one between you and the DNS server you’re using (which, by default using these steps, will be Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1), can tell what DNS queries/responses are being exchanged. DNS over TLS provides confidentiality but not integrity or authenticity. For those, you need to setup DNSSEC which I’ve described … Continue reading DNS Over TLS on OpenWrt 18.06 and 19.07