Learning about security is something that is, or should be, on everyone’s todo list. As we look to the public cloud for new ways to deploy and manage infrastructure, we also have to look at how new security models and procedures have to come along with it. An interesting way to make this easier and more widely adopted is to add some gamification or some sort of interactive learning tools to make the journey more enjoyable. The flAWS challenge is a great way to accomplish this type of learning.
Finding FLAWS – Adventures in Security for AWS
A great tool that can help with your learning journey for security basics on AWS is called flAWS. The website which is found at http://flaws.cloud allows users of the site to take a step-by-step approach to exploring common use-cases for security within some AWS products. Using a simple but fun interface which will be familiar to fans of the classic text-based adventure games of the past, you find yourself getting coached along the way in this interesting and interactive tutorial.
As you progress to Level 2, you need to be able to use your AWS account credentials for the AWS CLI. Luckily, there is a free tier in AWS which lets you not only get access to the public cloud platform, but also to spin up minimal workloads without having to incur any charges.
There are some services which are only free for one year, so make sure to check the different options on the AWS site to make sure you aren’t going to get a surprise bill.
The flAWS challenge site keeps you engaged and makes sure to drop hints as you go. You’ll never find yourself stuck, but make sure you do your best at each step before you take the hints. You never know what you may gain as you dig deeper into the security learning.
Interactive Learning – Fun, Informative, Effective
One thing is for sure. The interactive style of the flAWS challenge site gets you involved in a fun and progressive learning journey. This leads to some interesting knowledge you gain along the way and also some good hands-on techniques as you go. Many of the challenges with learning about different aspects of IT is the lack of a use-case to apply it to. Your step-by-step progression through the flAWS challenge does a great job of making sure that the content is both interesting, and has good use-case context which will make sense to the learner.
There are also lots of self-paced labs at the AWS learning site which can help you to up your learning game in the public cloud. Again, they are many opportunities for free learning if you look over the content catalog and search using the cost column which indicates the credits needed or if a course is freely available. Once again, this is another fantastic AWS free learning resource.
Looking at the amount of growth in AWS should indicate how important some of these learning tools may become for today’s technologists. The ability to jump in and spend time without spending money means that you add to your repertoire of skills and you can do so anywhere you have internet access. There are lots of great blogs popping up around topics that you may find enticing which can also help with the learning journey.
A big thanks goes to Scott Piper who built this site and for opening up the introductory learning path for people who want to explore the basics of some important AWS tools and practices. Take a look when you get a chance and see just how well you can identify what flAWS you may find.