AWS Cloud Security
As we all know what AWS is? And how it’s offering services to its clients. In today’s post, we will discuss how AWS offers security to the most important data for its clients. AWS values customer data and sets security as a highest priority for its public Cloud and as an AWS customer, you will take advantage from a data center and the network architecture that is built to meet the requirements of the most security-sensitive organizations. To protect a public cloud is much like security in your on-premises data centers without costs of managing data center facilities and hardware. In cloud environment, you don’t need to manage physical servers or storage devices, software-based security tools are used to monitor and protect the data into and of out of your cloud environment.
AWS cloud allows you to scale and transform in a secure environment while paying only for the services are being used. It means that you have the security for your cloud environment at a lower cost as compare to on-premises environment.
Benefits of AWS Security
AWS provides many benefits in the form of security and some of them are following:
- Keep Your Data Secure: AWS stores all data in highly secure AWS data centers across the globe, and puts stronger protection mechanism to protect the customer data and privacy.
- Fulfill Compliance Requirements: AWS brings about tons of compliance programs in its cloud infrastructure which` means that segments of your compliance have already been completed.
- Saving Money: You can save money by maintaining the highest level of security without managing your on-premises environment.
- Scale-out Quickly: No matter the size of your business, the AWS infrastructure is designed in such a way that you can not only protect your data but also scale easily while maintaining safe data.
AWS Security Threats and Their Mitigation:
While providing a secure cloud environment to their customers, still some have security threats and can be mitigated. Following are some security threats to AWS environment and their mitigations:
Being an AWS customer, the biggest threat is user access control over public network, which is known as Identity and Access Management (IAM) in AWS. When an account is being signed-up in AWS, a granted privileged access is granted to access your environment to people in your company. When an access is given to wrong person who actually doesn’t require it, things can go horribly downhill. This was what happened with GitLab, when their production database was partially deleted mistakenly.
Luckily, IAM access threats can be controlled and mitigated without offering too much effort. By improving IAM security, make sure you and your company empoyees are well educated about how AWS IAM works? When creating new IDs and access policies for your company, principle of least privilege (PoLP, also known as the principle of minimal privilege or the principle of least authority) should be granted and make sure everyone has a particular level of access to his/her AWS account. And when absolutely needed, provide temporary access to get the job done. To access the environment security, you can take the advantage of VPC methods that allow administrators to create isolated networks that connect to only some of the business deployment environment instances. This way, you can have staging, testing and production instances.
Weak Security Group Policies
System Administrators sometimes configure weak security group policies that leave loopholes to attackers; as group policies are simpler in configuration than setting granular permissions on a per-user basis. Anybody who has some basic knowledge of configuring AWS security policies can easily take benefit of lax group policy settings to exploit AWS infrastructure. They may leave your AWS-based workloads at high risk of being exploited by bots. These bots are unmanned scripts that can run on public network and always looking for simple security flaws, and misconfigured security groups on AWS servers.
The mitigation of this issue is that all ports should be closed at the start of your account setup with AWS. The simple way of doing this is to ensure that only your IP address is allowed to connect to your servers. This can be done by setting up your security groups for your instances to allow incoming traffic only to your defined (public, private & elastic) IP addresses.
Protecting Your S3 Data
According to Detectify report, it finds a vulnerability in AWS servers that allows hackers to detect the name of the S3 buckets. By using this info, an attacker can easily start talking to Amazon’s API. If it done correctly, then attackers can read, write, and update S3 bucket without it being noticed by the bucket owner.
As per Amazon, this is not an actual S3 bug. It is basically an unexpected result of misconfigured S3 access policies. It means as long as you’re educating yourself about S3 configuration and avoiding careless exposure of S3 data to the community, you can avoid the S3 security risks mentioned above.
AWS Security Tools
AWS sets a very high priority to protect customer data and applications inside AWS cloud infrastructure. For this, AWS has introduced plenty of security tools that protects user data and applications from DDos attacks, apps latency and downtime, and analyzing behavior of AWS resources. Following are some of important security services and tools those are used to protect AWS cloud infrastructure.
AWS WAF is a web application firewall that helps protect your web applications from common web exploits that could affect application availability, compromise security, or consume extreme resources. AWS WAF provides control to allow or block traffic to your web applications and programs by defining customized web security rules.
Amazon Inspector allows you to analyze and study the behavior of AWS assets and helps us to identify possible security problems. By using Amazon Inspector the security service in your AWS cloud, you can outline a pool of AWS resources those are included in an assessment target. After this, an assessment template can be created and launched for a security assessment run of this target.
During the assessment run process; the file system, the network, and process activity within the specified target are analyzed and monitored, and configuration data is collected. This data contains communication with AWS services, secure channels usage, running processes details and their network traffic, and more. The collected data is analyzed, correlated, and compared with a set of security rules defined in the assessment template.
AWS Shield is a managed Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) protection that protects applications that are running on AWS infrastructure. AWS Shield delivers always-on detection and automatic inline mitigations that helps in minimizing application downtime and latency. AWS Shield consists of two tiers – Standard and Advanced.
With Standard tier of AWS Shield, AWS resources are automatically protected from common DDoS attacks. High level of defense can be achieved easily by simply enabling AWS Shield Advanced protection for Elastic IP, Elastic Load Balancing (ELB), Amazon CloudFront or Amazon Route 53 resources using the management console or APIs.
With advanced tier of AWS Shield, you can write customized rules to overcome most sophisticated application layer attacks. These customized rules can be deployed quickly to mitigate DDoS attacks.
IAM (Identity & Access Management) is a feature of your AWS account which is offered without additional charges. AWS IAM allows you to manage secure access to AWS services. By using AWS IAM, you can create and copy AWS users and groups using permissions to allow/deny access to AWS services and resources.
AWS sets a highest priority to AWS Cloud infrastructure. Being AWS customer, you will take advantage from a data center and network architecture as the most security-sensitive organizations.
AWS cloud allows their customers to scale and innovate, while maintaining a pretty secure environment. Customers pay only for the services they opt to use, while maintaining the security you need with lower infrastructure and maintenance costs as compare to on-premises environment.
AWS offers many security services and capabilities to improve privacy and control to network access including but not limited to:
- Network firewalls built into
- Amazon VPC and web application firewall such as AWS WAF allows you create private networks and control access to your applications and instances
- Encryption with protocols that provides privacy and data integrity between two communicating applications across all services
- Secure connectivity options that enable private or dedicated connections from your office or on-premises environment to AWS Cloud