Enhance the security of your website with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure’s Web Application Firewall

Oracle recently introduced a Web Application Firewall (WAF) to further enhance and secure Oracle Cloud Infrastructure offerings. The Oracle Cloud Infrastructure WAF is based on Oracle Zenedge and Oracle Dyn technologies. It inspects all traffic destined to your web application origin and identifies and blocks all malicious traffic. The WAF offers the following tools, which can be used on any website, regardless of where it is being hosted:

  • Origin management
  • Bot management
  • Access control
  • Over 250 robust protection rules that include the OWASP rulesets to protect against SQL injection, cross-site scripting, HTML injection, and more

In this post, I configure a set of access control WAF policies to a website. Access control defines explicit actions for requests that meet conditions based on URI, request headers, client IP address, or countries and regions.

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Media Capture using Oracle Visual Builder for Facial Recognition App

Recently I built a Facial Recognition Mobile App using Oracle Visual Builder having set up the Facial recognition APIs using Tensorflow taking some inspiration from FaceNet. As highlighted above the app does the following: record a video of your face and send it to the API that generates various images and classifies them based on the label we provide at runtime. And in turn, invoke another API that is going to train the machine learning model to update the dataset with the new images and label provided. These two APIs will build a facial recognition Database. Once I have this, I can capture the face and compare that with the dataset I have captured earlier in my Facial recognition Database to output if the face exists in our system.

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Why we must cede to our robot overlords (to do the dull stuff)

Can I get a show of hands – whose spine shudders at the sound of their own phone ringing? If your hand is up, chances are a component of your role (or role in days gone by… the scarring can be permanent) involves operations. Day or night, it’s that dread associated with wondering “What now?”. A few years back, enterprise started outsourcing the problem of supporting key business systems to 3rd party services, and while this reduced the quantityof calls, it only served to increase the quality – now when the phone rings at 3am, you know things are bad. Real bad.

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Getting started with OCI Traffic Management

Over the past week, Oracle has soft-launched a range of new services that leverage the capabilities of our Dyn investment to offer a significant enhancement to the native Edge management capabilities of our second generation cloud. These services include:

  • Traffic Management Steering Policies
  • Health Checks (Edge)
  • Web Application Firewall

I’ll reserve my discussion on the Web Application Firewall for a later post, but what I’d like to discuss today is Traffic Management, and how it can be leveraged to deploy, control and optimise globally dispersed application services for your Enterprise.

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AUSOUG Connect 2018 – Talking Dev

ausoug-title-01.pngIn November 2018, I had the privilege to attend the Australian Oracle User Group national conference “#AUSOUG Connect” in Melbourne. My role was to have video interviews with as many of the speakers and exhibitors at the conference. Overall, 10 interviews over the course of the day, 90 mins of real footage, 34 short clips to share and plenty of hours reviewing and post-editing to capture the best parts.

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Teaching How to Get Started with Oracle Container Engine for Kubernetes (OKE)

In a previous blog, I explained how to provision a Kubernetes cluster locally on your laptop (either as a single node with minikube or a multi-node using VirtualBox), as well as remotely in the Oracle Public Cloud IaaS. In this blog, I am going to show you how to get started with Oracle Container Engine for Kubernetes (OKE). OKE is a fully-managed, scalable, and highly available service that you can use to deploy your containerized applications to the cloud on Kubernetes.

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Teaching How to Invoke Gen2 Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) resources via REST APIs

I am thrilled with the Oracle’s Gen2 Cloud Infrastructure architecture, where Oracle completely separates the Cloud Control Computers from the User Code, so that no threats can enter from outside the cloud and no threats can spread from within tenants.

Obviously with more security, there comes more coordination, especially at the moment of invoking OCI resources APIs. Luckily, Oracle did a good job at providing a simple to use CLI and SDK (see here for more information).

For the purpose of this blog, I built a simple NodeJS application that helps demystify the security aspect of invoking OCI APIs. Check this link for examples of running similar code across other Programming Languages.

My NodeJS application manages OCI resources in order to:

  • List ADW instances
  • Stop an ADW instance
  • Start an ADW instance

I started this NodeJS application to list, start and stop ADW resources. However, I designed this application to easily extend it to invoke any other type of OCI resources.

I containerised this application with Docker, to make it easier to ship and run.

This is a picture of the moving parts:

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Making access easy but secure

So following on from my earlier article, Policies let your teams play safe, I have been given another challenge: Can we give our users single sign on now that each team can play safely in their own Oracle Cloud Infrastructure compartments?

Single sign on delivers a number of really important benefits. Firstly, the user experience is much smoother and seamless as users don’t get prompted for multiple passwords and don’t have to remember even more passwords. More importantly, single sign on eliminates the need to manage multiple stores of identities. This can be a big overhead for administrators and sometimes open up additional risks. Finally, an enterprise wide identity solution can often provide additional capabilities can be leveraged by your Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

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Policies let your teams play safe

Earlier today I was given a challenge by my colleagues. Recently Oracle released the Autonomous Data Warehouse and we have a lot of excitement from customers, partners and internal folk alike. This excitement is driving a lot of innovation right now, but that also brings some challenges. The last thing we want is the Marketing team to mess with Finance resources. How do we make sure different teams don’t step on each other’s toes?

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