Amazon Web Services to beef up container security with new threat detection

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Amazon Web Services said it was responding to the growing need for container security with plans to launch new threat detection capabilities for container workloads during the first quarter of 2022.

At the AWS re: Invent 2021 conference today, AWS Chief Information Security Officer Stephen Schmidt said the company does not usually pre-announce features that are still under development. But given the growing importance of container security, Cloud Giant is making exceptions in revealing its new container threat detection features, he said.

There is clearly a need for some new security tooling regarding this particular space, “Schmidt said.

Advanced threat detection

A survey conducted by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation found that the use of containers in production has increased by 300% since 2016, with 92% of organizations using containers in production in 2020. That makes the container an attractive target for cyber attackers: A recent study by Aqua Security found that 50% of new falsely configured docker instances are attacked by botnets within 56 minutes of being set up.

“As container skyrockets are adopted, so is the need for easy-to-manage and scale container security,” Schmidt said.

AWS has “heard that message,” he said, and the cloud provider is now “developing a feature set addressing the container environment.”

He said the first new container threat detection features, to be launched in Q1 2022, would include extending the Amazon Guard Duty Threat Detection service to the Amazon Elastic Cubernets Service (EKS) audit log.

“This will provide customers with intelligent threat detection for their container workload – scanning for unusual resource deployments [and] Things like malicious configuration changes or increased privilege efforts, “Schmidt said.

More features are coming

Amazon Guard Duty capabilities are the only new container security features currently pre-announced by AWS, as we “never want to over-promise,” he said.

But the company expects to follow coverage from its Amazon inspector for the Amazon Elastic Container Registry (ECR), Schmidt said. AWS also plans to expand the Amazon Detective Service which will “bring its investigative analysis into container space in the near future,” he said.

AWS also announced container security updates on Re: Invent earlier this week. The company revealed that Amazon Detective can now continuously evaluate ECR-based container workloads in addition to the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) workload.

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