Probably, the explicit focus on AWS Cloud Security is one of the primary reasons why AWS has made such a remarkable success. Not to mention the vast array of AWS security tools.
It goes without saying that cloud security is a concern number one for cloud-adopting organizations globally. Nevertheless, 70% of IT leaders nowadays still highlight it as their primary reason for not switching to the cloud.
With this in mind today, we are turning our attention to the security aspect of AWS. We are going to first discuss what the AWS security topic broadly covers. Then, we are going to briefly review the top 10 AWS best practices and relevant security tools to ensure your best protection with the platform, as recommended by AWS itself.
Are you impatient about learning more with a click? If so, watch this AWS video introducing AWS security for beginners.
What does the introduction to AWS security unveil?
When you enter the realm of AWS security for the first time you may become a little overwhelmed with the amount of information, variety of AWS security tools and issues it involves.
To begin with, chances are that you may find a basic distinction among data, infrastructure and threat security. Then, you will come across inventory, configuration, monitoring and logging security as other aspects of concern. Discussions and tools about account, service and application security may add some other elements to the puzzle.
Going a step further, there is no way that you could miss the rich constellation of security products available on the AWS Marketplace. The big variety of AWS security tools, together with their different purpose, type, and payment conditions may make it even more complex for a newcomer.
That is why it may be a good idea to begin your AWS security journey by taking advantage of a relevant AWS security guide for beginners such as this one.
The Top 10 AWS Security Tools as recommended by AWS
To make sure you can properly plan your security protection, we decided to present you with the top 10 security best practices recommended by the AWS Chief Information Security Officer Stephen Schmidt.
Now, let’s see what they involve:
- Account Information – it is really important that your account information is accurate, including the information about your alternate contacts which should assure that you receive important messages from AWS. A good practice here is to set up a dedicated e-mail account for the purpose.
- Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) – MFA is one of the proven tools to prevent unauthorized access. You could apply it both to your Root User and Identity and Access Management (IAM) Users. Explore how it functions here.
- AWS Secrets Manager – if you are coding an application, the best practice here shows that you should never hard code sensitive information such as passwords or APIs keys. Instead, you could use AWS Secrets Manager and also research how to use IAM roles to grant permission.
- Security groups – you should make sure that your network is limited to a known network range. For this purpose, you could use several security controls but probably, you could also start by studying how to ensure control to your Amazon EC2 security groups here.
- Data policies – you should make sure that your data policies classify data sufficiently well to strike the right balance between your full protection and the building of a flexible agile environment. You could use different AWS best practices to achieve this such as 1) separate Amazon S3 for public access and set up a relevant access process to move data (i.e. do not provide access to persons); 2) block public access by the same storage option; 3) use different access roles for encryption and decryption of key management services (read relevant white paper here).
- CloudTrail logs – the principal AWS recommendation in this respect is that you do write logs, especially CloudTrail logs, by creating a dedicated AWS logging account, which can play the role of a log archive. This way you could centralize your logs and gradually upbuild the way you use them.
- IAM roles – you should make sure that you routinely review your IAM roles to avoid having roles that you no longer need. For this purpose, you can use IAM Access Analyser.
- Key Managed AWS Services – these types of services are easy to activate and integrate with your multiple accounts. Their main benefit is that they give you findings upon which you can immediately take relevant action, as some of them also provide automation of action. You can start exploring them by activating AWS Security Hub, Amazon GuardDuty, IAM Access Analyser.
- Access Keys – if you need access keys rather than roles, the AWS recommendation calls that you rotate them regularly. You could also explore some additional best practices to improve their management.
- Overall security culture – outside the technical steps you could take to ensure your protection, you should also always strive to improve and promote the security culture throughout your organization.
You can find further details about what these 10 AWS security recommendations involve here.
Instead of conclusion
As you can already guess, making sure that you enjoy a secure AWS cloud experience is a continuous process that can be also perceived as an endless journey. As AWS prioritizes security in all of its products, you should make sure that you are updated on all its recent security developments, as well as best practices and recommendations.
Finally, do feel welcome to contact us any time you would like to discuss your AWS security strategy or the selection of your AWS security tools. We will be happy to share our knowledge and contribute to your success.