AWS Summit San Francisco – Chris Steffen Recap

April 20, 2017 |
AWS Summit San Franscisco

Another great Amazon conference just wrapped up. The AWS Summit in San Francisco was earlier this week, and 7500 of my closest Amazon friends met at Moscone West to learn about the latest from AWS and their partners.

Amazon does not traditionally make any major announcements at these Summits (they save those for the re:Invent conference in December), but they did make a couple anyway: A SaaS licensing model (in addition to the other models that they have) and a code writing interface called CodeStar for writing optimized application on the AWS platform.  You can read about these and all of the other announcements here.

We had hundreds of people stop by the Cryptzone booth, interested in learning how AppGate can help secure their AWS and hybrid environment(s) and more about the Software-Defined Perimeter (SDP). And learning (for me at least) is always a two way street – I am constantly probing and prodding for the real world concerns that our customers and potential customers might be having. Here are the most common themes that I heard about while visiting with exhibitors and attendees in the expo hall:

Jim Anthony at AWS Summit Cryptzone booth

ANOTHER Security Product for AWS

Yes, as you might imagine, there were MANY security vendors at the Summit (and at re:Invent), all claiming that you need to buy their product or your AWS environment will perish and be wiped from the Earth. Well, as much as I appreciate the zeal of our competitors in the security space, those attending AWS are a bit more sophisticated than that – they understand that security in AWS may not be perfect, but it is pretty decent for what their requirements are, and that any third party security solution needs to address specific shortcomings that they see in their environments. The sky is not falling, and they are looking for a partner that will make their enterprise more secure and easier to manage.

Operational Complexity: The Biggest Security Threat to Your AWS Environment

Addressing the Hybrid Cloud

It is almost blasphemy to discuss environments that are not AWS while at an AWS Summit. But the fact is that every person I talked to had workloads that were NOT located exclusively in the AWS cloud – every one of them had some kind of hybrid environment. Connecting and managing those separate environments is a challenge, and IT professionals are looking for ways to solve this challenge.  Thankfully, AppGate is the solution!

Compliance is Lurking

While seemingly never front and center at these events, addressing regulatory compliance considerations is always in the back of people’s minds.  So many of the security solutions on the market are purchased – at least in part – to address a compliance-related concern.  Security professionals often to not have the luxury of purchasing a tool only for compliance reasons. They are very aware however (and are showing  greater awareness) of how a particular tool can be used to address compliance regulations while solving their security needs.

As I said – great conference, and I am looking forward to the future AWS Summits / conferences / meetups!

AWS Summit San Francisco banner

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Chris Steffen

Christopher Steffen joined Cryptzone in October 2016 as the Technical Director to educate and promote information security and regulatory compliance as it relates to network access management and cloud computing solutions. Before joining the team at Cryptzone, Chris served as the Chief Evangelist – Cloud Security for Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). He has also served in executive roles as the Director of Information Technology at Magpul Industries (a plastics manufacturing company) and as the Principal Technical Architect for Kroll Factual Data (a credit service provider). Steffen has presented at numerous conferences and has been interviewed by multiple online and print media sources. Steffen holds several technical certifications, including CISSP and CISA.

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