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KeyConf NYC Interviews – Helping Devs Go #fastsecure

David Spark: Kevin, there’s this classic metaphor of Cybersecurity which is security is like brakes on a race car. And specifically, the DevOps team has hence in the name also has been pushed to go faster and faster and faster. But we also know if you are not securing going fast, not hitting the brakes, you’re going to crash. There’s going to be some problems. So, how do you look at your team as brakes on the race car too is simply, I guess hit the turns well?

Kevin: Yeah, I mean I again very much think of like a Formula One engineer, race engineer, which is, you’re trying to help your driver go fast safe, fast secure. As you said, you know what brakes so they’re actually to go faster. And the arrow is there to go faster the chassis all that goes into it.

DS: It’s a complex, it is not just the brakes.

KB: It not just the brakes. It’s everything working together. So, if you can bring together experience actually that’s faster for a DevOps engineer, but also safer at the same time. That is job done, that is our job as a fast secure engineer.

DS: So, let’s boil it down give me just one example of how you’ve made your engineers faster and safer and they’re like oh this is enhancing the experience of them doing their work and then the end becomes better.

KB: Well, every engineer today loves Kubernetes and you know that actually Kubernetes is built on the idea of identity, machine identity. You need certificates at the Ingress, at the service mesh and the way that developers in the past would have thought about that. Well, I’ll go roll it my own. But now they get access to a project called Cert Manager. Cert Manager built in is just about every Kubernetes distribution and it connects then to the certificate authorities, the issuers of machine identities that you’re already using. Whether that be like DigiCert or Entrust whether that be like your Microsoft CA.

Those are already things that you’re already using and that’s helping the business go safe, but now actually it’s built in. It can go fast, secure. So, that’s something that Venafi with our JetStack team and developing the Cert Manager Project. We actually help engineers running Kubernetes go faster. They don’t have to build it on their own. It’s consistent. It’s easy and it’s also safer.

DS: Go back just a little bit before that. Before you were doing that, what was I guess the domino effect of complications that were happening when you were not doing that?

KB: Yeah, before that and you’d have engineers trying to do it their own. Guessing, trying. What we would see is that businesses would go offline. There would be outages. I’ve shared of the examples today at KeyConf whether that was the likes of LinkedIn going out multiple times. We’ve seen Microsoft go offline, Azure go off multiple times. We’ve even seen, in California we’ve seen actually where COVID reporting stop just because one machine identity, a TLS certificate, expired.

And now the great thing is we can change that. We can make the business go safer and actually because we’re making it easier and more consistent for engineers is actually faster too. That’s fast secure.

DS: So, I didn’t, you just presented today or?

KB: I did.

DS: Yes. You did. Alright. Just give me a quick 32nd synopsis. What was your presentation about?KB: Yup. It was on this concept of Fast Secure and how we can take secrets management and machine identity management and how we can make outcomes like this actually happen today, right now. We actually could go and sign up on IQS. You can go sign up on Venafi. Put this together and actually can make a difference so these outcomes don’t happen and the other thing I share too which is that our Business has changed. Our businesses have become whether we’re a retailer or a bank or a logistics. We’re a software company now. And so that means again, if the jobs of developers have changed, they’ve actually become our competitive advantage, then, our role as security professionals have to change. Again, hence, fast, secure.