AWS Security Best Practices: All you need to know about challenges & security measures for AWS

April 17, 2017

AWS has been the top-ranking IaaS provider for years now. No wonder why, the organizations across the globe look up to AWS for their increasing need for cloud native visibility in terms of the behavior and activities, when it comes to the security concerns, majority of organizations are still in the adaptive phase for the best practices to be followed. This post intends to discuss and address to the key security concerns these organizations have. While there can be different types and levels of gravity of the cloud security issues for different companies operating in different industries, to put it in a simplistic manner, there are three broad categories of the security related issues they face:

  • How can the key file changes be monitored?
  • Can one be assured of timely notifications in case of any anomalies?
  • How to control who all have the access to which all applications and when.

Before a company considers to move to AWS, it is critical for it to understand the importance of taking sufficient security measures specially in the current scenario where the data, its use case and the security mandates are getting more complex by the day. This makes it more challenging for the organizations to efficiently protect their customers’ and their crucial data. Here are some of the key security measures the organizations should consider well before making a move to the cloud:

1) Plan your security strategy before setting up the tools & controls

Once your cloud security strategy is well in place, while setting-up all the tools and controls you can easily verify to ensure that their installation supports your security strategy. This goes a long way in helping you integrate the security strategy across all your organizational functions. Also, when you already have a security strategy in place, on installing a new set of tools you can implement this strategy to these tools as well right from the day one.

2) Ensure high degree of security visibility in the cloud

With the vastness of the number of applications in use on AWS and the numerous multiple logins , it is understandably difficult to keep a track of who is accessing what and when. So, while the logs are important, logs alone won’t serve the purpose of staying on top of any anomalies occurring at the users’ end. So, to ensure this, above and beyond the network based intrusion detection (NIDS), you need to consider embedding your security strategy at the host level and opt for Host-based intrusion detection (HIDS). This helps you stay aware of the what, when, and where of before, during, and after any malicious activity.

3) Communicate with your cloud providers to ensure security

AWS has quite a few security configurations and tools enabled, however it is important for your organization to notice at what point their liability to your data security ends and you become liable to protecting it, more so when it comes to some of your sensitive business data which you wouldn’t risk at any cost. So, collaborate and communicate with your cloud services partner and ask them all the critical questions that help you understand what all you need to secure at your end and what is their approach to ensure helping you in this context.

4. Define the role and responsibility of users clearly

It is advisable to define user roles with respect to the access control, monitoring, and audit logging to know who can access what, how you are going to monitor data and applications & how the alerts will be managed. This will help you understand who has been responsible in the event of an anomaly and take appropriate action accordingly.

In the present-day scenario, the organizations seem to have understood the importance of moving to the cloud and they are no longer skeptical about its relevance for their business type and size. Also, AWS has proven its worth as a stable cloud partner to help them meet most of their cloud security and compliance needs. A strong cloud services provider can help fulfil any gaps in your cloud security needs. At organizational level, the best approach you can follow is to communicate, coordinate, trust and yet verify to ensure that your data security concerns are well taken care of.

With 15+ years of offering Advanced Managed IT Solutions to organizations ranging from start-ups to large enterprises, Carmatec is the perfect choice for your AWS partners. Having offered AWS managed services to multiple organizations, we are well-exposed to all the potential challenges of a business while migrating their data to the cloud. This is why we are well-equipped with 360 degree solutions to enable smooth cloud migration for your business.