Let’s Encrypt serverless automation with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure

Let’s Encrypt made its debut back in late 2015. It is a free Certificate Authority provided by the Internet Security Research Group. The goal was to support the adoption of SSL / TLS to ensure the privacy of information sent over the public Internet. Let’s Encrypt is now serving over 2.5M certificates per day.

If you’re reading this it’s likely you’ve had to deal with SSL certificates before. It’s also likely some of you will have investigated an outage, only to find that an SSL certificate expired somewhere that no one knew about. Certificate discovery, management, and renewal can be time consuming and not much fun.

Cloud providers have made this job easier with the introduction of certificate services that are able to issue public Domain Validation (DV) certificates. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) currently allows you to create private Certificate Authorities (CA’s), private Certificates, and private Certificate Authority bundles. Private certificate resources are used to secure communication across a private network, where certificates can be installed and trusted to enable secure communication.

But what about publicly signed certs for users connecting over the Internet? Using a private OCI certificate will result in a “certificate not trusted” error in your web browser; this is where Let’s Encrypt comes in. I’m going to show you how to run a completely automated serverless Let’s Encrypt solution in your OCI tenancy to install and automatically renew certificates that show as trusted in your web browser.

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A Better Mechanism for Periodic Functions Invocation?

Functions in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure are great. As a serverless execution environment with pre-built logging, metrics, etc. it allows developers to simply focus on their code and not worry about all of the supporting infrastructure, while still providing a lot of flexibility through the use of container primitives. As great as Functions are, they are reactive, they can only be invoked and can’t natively be configured to be executed in a spontaneous or scheduled manner. Often this won’t matter, as Functions will be invoked directly or indirectly by users, or in response to events, but sometimes you simply need a bit of code to run periodically.

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Field Level Encryption with Oracle Integration and OCI Vault

Integration platforms are often required to handle confidential information such as personal details, payment information or other data protected by compliance and regulatory standards such as HIPAA, GDPR, PII and PCI.

Various methods exist to protect data from unauthorized access while data is in transit and at rest. These approaches typically encrypt the entire payload. As a complementary approach Field Level Encryption has an important role to play by ensuring that only appropriately configured clients can read sensitive data fields. This approach also allows clients without the encryption keys to work with the non-sensitive data which would be impossible to do with a fully encrypted payload.

Although Field Level Encryption (FLE) is not natively supported in Oracle Integration (OIC) today, this blog will explore several options that will allow you to implement FLE with OIC. In this blog, I will present these options, discuss some guiding principles and showcase some sample implementations.

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Bastion Access For Minecraft

In the previous post, I did some work in managing Security Lists to protect the Minecraft Server. To read about that, head (here). Another method of connecting to the Minecraft Server is through a Bastion Host. As part of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, it is free to create a session through the Bastion Service (service limits do apply). Here’s a brief encounter of getting this up and going.

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Using OCI Bastions with PuTTY

Recently, Oracle rolled out the OCI Bastions service, which is designed to simplify the process of accessing instances which do not have a public IP address. They are really easy to use, with simple commands to allow access to these internal hosts… if you are using a Unix shell. Unfortunately I suffer from being quite wedded to various tools, and as a Windows user, I tend to use PuTTY to access hosts via SSH, so this blog post will detail both the OCI Bastion service in a little more detail, as well as how I continued to resist changing my old habits, and set up connections using the OCI Bastion service using a number of components of the PuTTY suite of tools.

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Getting Insights with OCI Audit Log with Logging Analytics (via Service Connector)

Recently Clay Magouyrk, EVP of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure engineering announced the new Oracle Cloud Observability and Management Platform.

The new platform will provide OCI native integration to provide operational insights into our OCI services in addition to previous capabilities available in Oracle Management Cloud. Logging Analytics is the first major Oracle Management Cloud Service to be incorporated, and so my fellow colleague @callanhp and I were itching to give it a go and see how we could implement it, so we chose the most available logs we could think of, the audit logs from the OCI control plane.

In this blog we will discuss the mechanics for forwarding OCI Audit Logs to the Logging Analytics service from the Oracle Cloud Observability and Management platform, and discuss how this pattern can be extended to other log sources.

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