Cybersecurity Guru CJ Moses: ‘We’re Not Playing Checkers, We’re Playing Chess’

From chasing terrorism cybersecurity threats across the globe at the FBI to playing a lead role in creating the world’s first virtual private cloud, CJ Moses says Amazon Web Services owns the most secure cloud on the planet.

“We’re not playing checkers, we’re playing chess. And we’re playing chess at 150 miles per hour, on the internet with everybody watching,” said Moses, AWS’ chief information security officer and vice president of security engineering, in an interview with CRN.

AWS’ CISO said his Seattle-based company is at the top of the cybersecurity cloud pyramid versus Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud due to AWS’ security culture, adopting strategies learned from Moses’ “paranoid life” working for the FBI and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI).

Moses was hired by Amazon CEO — and former AWS CEO — Andy Jassy 15 years ago with the purpose of bringing his cybersecurity expertise and engineering skillset from working at the FBI and U.S. Air Force Office of Specialist Investigations (OSI) to AWS.

“[Amazon Chief Security Officer] Steve Schmidt and I came on board with our history of chasing hackers around the wild west of the internet, doing all the things we did around nation-state threat actors, counterterrorism work, and we were given the opportunity to build the technical infrastructure to be able provide the most secure cloud in the world,” saidMoses.

“The reason why I can say that is we built it from scratch. We built the culture. We took the security culture that we had from our paranoid life at the FBI and OSI and all these things, and integrated it with the ownership model that is part of the core Amazon environment and culture,” he said.

[Related: AWS Marketplace’s ‘Incredible’ New Vendor Insights Tool: 5 Keys]

AWS Run Rate Hits $79 Billion

Last week, AWS reported a 33 percent spike in sales year over year for in its second quarter 2022, with total revenue hitting $19.74 billion.

The worldwide cloud market leader now has an annualized run rate of a whopping $79 billion. This historic benchmark comes as Amazon pours billions into new data centers to extend its national and international cloud reach as demand for AWS cloud services soar.

Keeping customer networks, data and entire IT environments safe is paramount for Moses and the security team at AWS, he said, as seen with various new security launches at AWS re:Inforce last week.

In an interview with CRN, Moses explains why AWS bests cloud rivals Microsoft and Google Cloud in the cybersecurity world, why cloud security is the future versus on-premise , and AWS’ overall vision.


LEARN MORE: Cloud Platforms  | Cloud Security  | Cybersecurity 

 Learn About Mark Haranas


Mark Haranas is an assistant news editor and longtime journalist now covering cloud, multicloud, software, SaaS and channel partners at CRN. He speaks with world-renown CEOs and IT experts as well as covering breaking news and live events while also managing several CRN reporters. He can be reached at [email protected].


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