We live in an age where all the important decisions made by organizations at all levels are data driven. It is therefore important to keep your IT infrastructure secure and private. In 2021, businesses cannot afford to make even the smallest mistake that could jeopardize the security of their cloud computing system and database.
If you are an AWS user, here are some of the most important security tips that will help you secure your environment:
1. Use the right log monitoring tools
As more organizations turn to cloud-based platforms, the importance of log monitoring has increased dramatically. Reliable log monitoring tools help businesses manage logs and undertake robust analysis of their systems.
A single Google search will provide you with a range of log monitoring tools. However, it is important to choose the alternative that best suits your needs and preferences. Always choose a tool that offers maximum security to your IT infrastructure and that is aligned with the needs of your organization. For example, log monitoring solutions like Cloudlytic help businesses monitor their digital assets and ensure complete system security. Such a holistic approach protects your AWS environment for a longer period of time.
2. Identify important information assets
One of the most important tips for keeping your AWS secure is to identify the information resources that are most important to your organization. Assets such as app data, user data, code, and apps need to be prioritized and categorized to protect your system from threats (internal and external).
Once you have identified the information assets, it is advisable to classify them into the following two categories:
- Critical information assets – These assets include specific internal processes, business critical information and data from other strategic business processes.
- Supporting information assets – As the name suggests, these assets include the components or assets that support critical information assets. These assets include software packages, hardware infrastructure, partnerships, staff roster, etc.
3. Work on your information security management system
Once you are done identifying and categorizing your information assets, it is advisable to design your Information Security Management System (ISMS). It is always important for an AWS user to determine an ideal standard for their ISMS. Determining this standard will help you operate, monitor, review, and maintain the security and privacy of your AWS system.
4. Keep Track of AWS Accounts, Roles, and Groups
It is not advised to use your AWS account to undertake day to day processes as it has root permissions which could pose a threat to your system security. Therefore, it is recommended that an AWS user create Identity and Access Management (IAM) users and provide each user with unique security credentials.
Depending on your needs and preferences, an IAM user can be a specific application, individual, or department that needs to access your AWS resources. Additionally, it’s important to make sure that all of your IAM users have the correct permissions to access specific resources. It helps you to fix issues like data leaks, unauthorized access to data etc.
5. Monitor your AWS credentials
While this might seem like an insignificant detail, it is still important for a user to properly manage their AWS credentials to keep the infrastructure secure. All AWS accounts have unique identities and credentials. It is always recommended that you do not have a security key for the root user’s AWS account.
However, if you need to create a security key for the root user account, you can create multiple IAM users for your AWS, assign them appropriate user permissions, and use the same to interact with your system. If you have already created an access key, it is recommended that you replace it with an IAM user key for improved security. When you are finished replacing all the IAM access keys, you can disable the root access key.
6. Use the resource access permission
After you successfully authenticate an IAM role, it becomes able to access your system resources. It is recommended that an AWS user ensure authorization of resources using capacity or resource policies. These policies can be used to restrict access to specific source IP address ranges at a specific time of day.
7. Keep your encryption keys protected in the cloud
The digital security of your platform depends primarily on the encryption keys. One of the most basic but most important ways to keep your AWS environment secure is to store your encryption keys in the cloud. The cloud computing system provides users with key management features to ensure the environment remains protected.
8. Keep your data at rest protected
Whether you store your data in Amazon S3, EBS, or any other AWS service, it’s important to secure your data at rest to protect your system.
You can do this by setting policies for access control, data retention, data deletion, or data classification. Additionally, it is important to categorize all your valuable data and ensure it is stored in the correct AWS Region. Always keep your data encrypted to further ensure their security.
9. Ensure the security of applications running on multiple systems
AWS allows users to manage applications running on multiple operating systems. It is recommended that you use Amazon EC2 to launch application instances on different operating systems to ensure system security. This allows AWS users to monitor the security of applications running on multiple operating systems from a single, secure repository.
10. Use multi-factor authentication (MFA)
When you integrate multi-factor authentication (MFA) into your system, you can ensure data security even if an unauthorized person has your password. Always make sure to configure MFA on your root user account and your privileged IAM user accounts. Using MFA is even more important if your business requires multiple accounts to be managed by a single user.
The last word
These are some of the many AWS security tips for keeping your system’s digital environment secure. Always make sure you choose the right tools and solutions to manage your AWS data and protect your infrastructure from threats.
|Authors biography :
Abhijeet Chinchole is CTO at Cloudlytics. Over the years, Abhijeet has helped many global companies move to the cloud by helping them with their strategy and implementation. He is also an expert in cloud migration, cloud security, and building modern SaaS applications. When not working, he enjoys driving and donning the hat of a creative handyman.