Do your part to make the most of Amazon Web Services security
While Amazon designed their cloud platform infrastructure to be highly available and scalable, Amazon Web Services security features also comply with industry standards. AWS Data centers are built like fortresses and staffed 24×7, and remote access is permitted strictly according to the principle of least privileged.
AWS infrastructure is designed and managed in full compliance with security best practices and a wide range of IT security standards, including SOC 1/SSAE 16/ISAE 3402 (formerly SAS 70 Type II), SOC2, SOC3, FISMA, DIACAP, FedRAMP, PCI DSS Level 1, ISO 27001, ITAR, HIPPA, and Cloud Security Alliance.
So Amazon has done their part to ensure that Amazon Web Services security is up to the challenge. But you’ve got to do your part, too. We’re going to focus on how you can leverage some of AWS’s built-in security features to meet specific business requirements and protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of your data in the cloud.
Shared Security Responsibility
When you host your application in the cloud, you agree to share responsibilities with AWS. It’s the job of Amazon Web Services Security to take care of host operating systems, visualization layer, network, and physical Security. But it’s up to you to secure anything you deploy on the top host operating systems.
Amazon Web Services Security built-in features
You have a responsibility to become familiar with each security-related AWS service. Here’s a quick rundown.
Identity and Access Management (IAM)
Using Identity and Access Management (IAM), you can create users, groups, and roles, and use permissions to allow and deny their access to AWS resources such as EC2, RDS, and VPC. IAM enables you to grant unique credentials to every user within your AWS Account, allowing individual access only to the AWS services and resources required.
With IAM Mutifactor Authentication enabled, a user trying to access an AWS resource will be prompted for normal authentication (user name and password), but also for an authentication code available only through their MFA-configured device.
IAM can be used to grant your employees and applications access to the AWS Management Console and AWS service APIs. IAM is also compatible with your existing Active Directory.
Virtual Private Clouds (VPCs)
Amazon’s VPCs allow you to provision compute resources, like EC2 instances and RDS deployments, inside isolated virtual networks. VPCs give you complete control over all inbound and outbound network traffic. You can (and should) use VPCs to secure your application by restricting, where appropriate, access to and from the Internet. Using Virtual Private Network (VPN) connections, you can connect on-premise servers directly to your cloud-based VPC, bypassing public networks.
Security Groups and Network ACL’s
Using Security Groups, you can create firewall rules controlling incoming and outgoing traffic at the instance level. You can restrict traffic by protocol type (TCP, UDP, ICMP), IP address, and port.
Access Control Lists (ACLs) work at the network subnet level. Network ACLs can be especially useful in the prevention of DDOS attacks when you have a particular need to blacklist traffic from specific IP addresses.
When you create an encrypted EBS volume and attach it to an instance, data on the volume, disk I/O, and snapshots created from the volume, are all encrypted. When so configured, AWS encrypts each S3 object with a unique key. Amazon S3 server-side encryption uses one of the strongest block ciphers available – 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES-256).
RDS generates an SSL certificate for each DB Instance. Once an encrypted connection is established, data transferred between the DB Instance and your application will be encrypted during transfer.
You can use AWS Direct Connect to establish a private virtual interface between your on-premise network and your Amazon Virtual Private Cloud. Direct Connect provides a private and secure high-bandwidth network connection.
AWS Cloud Trail
CloudTrail provides you with a history of all API calls made against your account resources, including API calls made via the AWS Management Console, SDKs, and command line tools.
AWS Trusted Advisor inspects your AWS environment and makes recommendations for saving money, improving system performance and reliability, or closing security gaps.
Even without upgrading to a paid support plan, Trusted Advisor will warn you about weaknesses like security groups allowing unrestricted access (0.0.0.0/0) to specific ports or S3 buckets with open access permissions. Trusted Advisor can provide a highly effective summary of your overall Amazon Web Services security profile.
Amazon Web Services Security: the next step
Besides the built-in Amazon Web Services security services, there are many open source and commercial software packages available through the AWS MarketPlace.
But all these powerful tools will have no value if you don’t take the time to learn how to use them properly to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of your cloud data.
New on Cloud Academy: Red Hat, Agile, OWASP Labs, Amazon SageMaker Lab, Linux Command Line Lab, SQL, Git Labs, Scrum Master, Azure Architects Lab, and Much More
Happy New Year! We hope you're ready to kick your training in overdrive in 2020 because we have a ton of new content for you. Not only do we have a bunch of new courses, hands-on labs, and lab challenges on AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud, but we also have three new courses on Red Hat, th...
Cloud Academy’s Blog Digest: Azure Best Practices, 6 Reasons You Should Get AWS Certified, Google Cloud Certification Prep, and more
Happy Holidays from Cloud Academy We hope you have a wonderful holiday season filled with family, friends, and plenty of food. Here at Cloud Academy, we are thankful for our amazing customer like you. Since this time of year can be stressful, we’re sharing a few of our latest article...
Google Cloud Platform Certification: Preparation and Prerequisites
Google Cloud Platform (GCP) has evolved from being a niche player to a serious competitor to Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. In 2019, research firm Gartner placed Google in the Leaders quadrant in its Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service for the second consecuti...
New Lab Challenges: Push Your Skills to the Next Level
Build hands-on experience using real accounts on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and more Meaningful cloud skills require more than book knowledge. Hands-on experience is required to translate knowledge into real-world results. We see this time and time again in studies about how pe...
New on Cloud Academy: AWS Solution Architect Lab Challenge, Azure Hands-on Labs, Foundation Certificate in Cyber Security, and Much More
Now that Thanksgiving is over and the craziness of Black Friday has died down, it's now time for the busiest season of the year. Whether you're a last-minute shopper or you already have your shopping done, the holidays bring so much more excitement than any other time of year. Since our...
Understanding Enterprise Cloud Migration
What is enterprise cloud migration? Cloud migration is about moving your data, applications, and even infrastructure from your on-premises computers or infrastructure to a virtual pool of on-demand, shared resources that offer compute, storage, and network services at scale. Why d...
6 Reasons Why You Should Get an AWS Certification This Year
In the past decade, the rise of cloud computing has been undeniable. Businesses of all sizes are moving their infrastructure and applications to the cloud. This is partly because the cloud allows businesses and their employees to access important information from just about anywhere. ...
AWS Regions and Availability Zones: The Simplest Explanation You Will Ever Find Around
The basics of AWS Regions and Availability Zones We’re going to treat this article as a sort of AWS 101 — it’ll be a quick primer on AWS Regions and Availability Zones that will be useful for understanding the basics of how AWS infrastructure is organized. We’ll define each section,...
Application Load Balancer vs. Classic Load Balancer
What is an Elastic Load Balancer? This post covers basics of what an Elastic Load Balancer is, and two of its examples: Application Load Balancers and Classic Load Balancers. For additional information — including a comparison that explains Network Load Balancers — check out our post o...
Advantages and Disadvantages of Microservices Architecture
What are microservices? Let's start our discussion by setting a foundation of what microservices are. Microservices are a way of breaking large software projects into loosely coupled modules, which communicate with each other through simple Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). ...
Kubernetes Services: AWS vs. Azure vs. Google Cloud
Kubernetes is a popular open-source container orchestration platform that allows us to deploy and manage multi-container applications at scale. Businesses are rapidly adopting this revolutionary technology to modernize their applications. Cloud service providers — such as Amazon Web Ser...
AWS Internet of Things (IoT): The 3 Services You Need to Know
The Internet of Things (IoT) embeds technology into any physical thing to enable never-before-seen levels of connectivity. IoT is revolutionizing industries and creating many new market opportunities. Cloud services play an important role in enabling deployment of IoT solutions that min...