Amazon Web Services is the lead Cloud Computing provider in the public cloud market. Organizations are rapidly moving their applications to AWS Cloud because of the cost, elasticity, easily accessible and on-demand provisioning and many more features that Amazon introduced step-by-step during the last years.
The computing resources are available from anywhere in the world with a single click on the console or APIs or SDKs. Because of this easy accessibility security becomes a challenge for the Cloud Providers and as well as the Consumers.
Recently, an unauthorized person had gained access to the Code Spaces AWS console and completely deleted their computing resources, data, volumes, snapshots and configurations. Because of this Code Spaces shutdown their operations completely and issued a public notice to all their customers saying that “Code Spaces will not be able to operate beyond this point,” citing the price of resolving the issue, as well as the expected cost of refunding paying customers. This attack put the Code Spaces in an irreversible position both financially and in terms of ongoing credibility.
So in Public Cloud, security becomes a key component to secure your resources. Organizations should employ known security consultants and follow best practices to manage their cloud workloads effectively.
In this article, I am putting some of the best practices that everyone should apply immediately to their organizations AWS account and resources.
- Amazon AWS Console is heavily used to manage the resources by Cloud Administrators and developers. It can be accessible via the browser HTTPS using simple username and password. To protect it further, AWS is supporting the Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for second level authentication. To login to AWS console, you have to use the integrated MFA code with respective user account. This MFA code is dynamically generated by the MFA device
- Don’t give access to the Amazon master credentials to every employee in the organization. Rather, create users using the AWS IAM (Identity and Access Management) service
- IAM Service allows you to assign the privileges using User Policies. Use the Policy Generator or Custom Policy to assign the privileges rather than using the predefined Policy Templates. Assign the least privileges to users and slowly grant the additional privileges as on when needed.
- Use Amazon AWS IAM Policy Simulator to simulate and test the user privileges. This will help you to find whether issued policies are working properly or not.
- If you are using the AWS CLIs or any SDKs within the EC2 environment, launch the EC2 Instances with IAM roles rather than using the AWS Keys to access any of your AWS resources
- Rotate all your users AWS Access Keys and Passwords periodically
- Do not open the remote access protocols like SSH and RDP to the Public. Rather use a Bastion Server with MFA or VPN connectivity to reach any of the AWS resources.
- Enable CloudTrail to log all your API calls via the Console, Command-line or SDKs, which will help you to identify who are accessing the AWS resources and their Identities.
- Perform security audit periodically on all the Amazon AWS Services which is used by your organization and make sure you are following the best practices.
- Run the AWS Trusted Advisor periodically to see any security issues on our AWS resources
We will cover more about the Amazon AWS security in future blog posts. Our database of quizzes and learning has a lot of information about Security, make sure you subscribe to Cloud Academy for free and start using our quizzes and courses to learn how to secure your AWS infrastructure.
WaitCondition Controls the Pace of AWS CloudFormation Templates
AWS's WaitCondition can be used with CloudFormation templates to ensure required resources are running.As you may already be aware, AWS CloudFormation is used for infrastructure automation by allowing you to write JSON templates to automatically install, configure, and bootstrap your ...
The 9 AWS Certifications: Which is Right for You and Your Team?
As companies increasingly shift workloads to the public cloud, cloud computing has moved from a nice-to-have to a core competency in the enterprise. This shift requires a new set of skills to design, deploy, and manage applications in cloud computing.As the market leader and most ma...
Two New EC2 Instance Types Announced at AWS re:Invent 2018 – Monday Night Live
The announcements at re:Invent just keep on coming! Let’s look at what benefits these two new EC2 instance types offer and how these two new instances could be of benefit to you. If you're not too familiar with Amazon EC2, you might want to familiarize yourself by creating your first Am...
Google Cloud 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 2018, research firm Gartner placed Google in the Leaders quadrant in its Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service for the first time. In t...
Understanding AWS VPC Egress Filtering Methods
In order to understand AWS VPC egress filtering methods, you first need to understand that security on AWS is governed by a shared responsibility model where both vendor and subscriber have various operational responsibilities. AWS assumes responsibility for the underlying infrastructur...
S3 FTP: Build a Reliable and Inexpensive FTP Server Using Amazon’s S3
Is it possible to create an S3 FTP file backup/transfer solution, minimizing associated file storage and capacity planning administration headache?FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is a fast and convenient way to transfer large files over the Internet. You might, at some point, have conf...
Microservices Architecture: Advantages and Drawbacks
Microservices are a way of breaking large software projects into loosely coupled modules, which communicate with each other through simple Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).Microservices have become increasingly popular over the past few years. The modular architectural style,...
What Are Best Practices for Tagging AWS Resources?
There are many use cases for tags, but what are the best practices for tagging AWS resources? In order for your organization to effectively manage resources (and your monthly AWS bill), you need to implement and adopt a thoughtful tagging strategy that makes sense for your business. The...
How to Optimize Amazon S3 Performance
Amazon S3 is the most common storage options for many organizations, being object storage it is used for a wide variety of data types, from the smallest objects to huge datasets. All in all, Amazon S3 is a great service to store a wide scope of data types in a highly available and resil...
How to Optimize Cloud Costs with Spot Instances: New on Cloud Academy
One of the main promises of cloud computing is access to nearly endless capacity. However, it doesn’t come cheap. With the introduction of Spot Instances for Amazon Web Services’ Elastic Compute Cloud (AWS EC2) in 2009, spot instances have been a way for major cloud providers to sell sp...
What are the Benefits of Machine Learning in the Cloud?
A Comparison of Machine Learning Services on AWS, Azure, and Google CloudArtificial intelligence and machine learning are steadily making their way into enterprise applications in areas such as customer support, fraud detection, and business intelligence. There is every reason to beli...
How to Use AWS CLI
The AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) is for managing your AWS services from a terminal session on your own client, allowing you to control and configure multiple AWS services.So you’ve been using AWS for awhile and finally feel comfortable clicking your way through all the services....