We live in an age where all major decisions taken by organizations across the board are data driven. This makes it important to keep your IT infrastructure secure and private. In 2021, companies cannot afford to make the smallest mistakes that could put the security of their cloud computing system and database in jeopardy.
If you are an AWS user, here are some of the most important security tips that would help you keep your environment secure:
1. Use the right Log Monitoring tools
As more and more organizations are switching to cloud-based platforms, the importance of log monitoring has increased significantly. Reliable log monitoring tools help companies in log management and in undertaking robust analysis of their systems.
A single Google search will put a range of log monitoring tools at your disposal. However, it is important to choose the alternative that best suits your needs and preferences. Always choose a tool that provides utmost security to your IT infrastructure and is in sync with your organizational needs. For example, log monitoring solutions like Cloudlytics help companies with monitoring their digital assets and ensuring the complete security of the system. Such a holistic approach keeps your AWS environment secure for a longer period of time.
2. Identify the important information assets
One of the most important tips for keeping your AWS secure is to identify the most important information assets for your organization. Assets like application data, user data, codes, and applications need to be prioritized and categorized to secure your system from threats (both internal and external).
Once you have identified the information assets, it is advisable to categorize them into the following two categories:
- Essential Information Assets – These assets include internal specific processes, information critical to the business, and data from other strategic business processes.
- Supportive Information Assets – As the name suggests, these assets include the components or assets that support the essential information assets. These assets include software packages, hardware infrastructure, partnerships, personnel roster, etc.
3. Work on your Information Security Management System
Once you are done with 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 in operating, monitoring, reviewing, and maintaining the security and privacy of your AWS system.
4. Keep a track of AWS accounts, roles, and groups
It is not advisable to use your AWS account for undertaking daily processes as it has root permissions that might pose a threat to your system’s security. It is, therefore, advisable for an AWS user to create Identity and Access Management (IAM) users and provide each user with unique security credentials.
Based on your needs and preferences, an IAM user can be an application, an individual, or a specific service that needs access to your AWS resources. Further, it is important to make sure that all your IAM users have adequate permissions to access specific resources. This helps you solve problems like data leaks, unauthorized access of data, and more.
5. Monitor your AWS Credentials
Although it may seem like a trivial detail, it is always important for a user to manage their AWS credentials well to ensure the infrastructure’s security. All AWS accounts possess unique identities and credentials. It is always advisable to not have a security key for the root user 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 adequate user permissions to them, and use the same to interact with your system. In case you have already created an access key, it is advisable to replace the same with an IAM user key for improved security. When you are done replacing all access IAM keys, you can disable the root access key.
6. Make use of Resource Access Authorization
Once you have successfully authenticated an IAM role, it becomes capable of accessing your system resources. It is advisable for an AWS user to ensure resource authorization with the help of capability or resource policies. These policies can be used to restrict access to specific source IP ranges during a specific time of the day.
7. Keep your encryption keys protected within the Cloud
The digital security of your platform essentially depends on the encryption keys. One of the most basic yet important ways of ensuring the security of your AWS environment is to store your encryption keys in the cloud. The cloud computing system provides users with key management features to make sure that the environment stays protected.
8. Keep your data at rest protected
Whether you are storing your data in Amazon S3, EBS, or any other AWS service, it is important to secure your data at rest to keep your system protected.
In order to do so, you can define the policies for access control, data retention, data deletion, or data classification. Moreover, it is important to classify all your valuable data and ensure its storage in the right AWS region. Always keep your data encrypted to further ensure its security.
9. Keep the applications running on multiple systems secure
AWS allows users to manage applications running on multiple operating systems. It is advisable to use Amazon EC2 for launching 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 and secure repository.
10. Make use of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
When you incorporate Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) within your system, you can ensure data security even if an unauthorized individual has your password. Always make sure you set up MFA on your root user account and privileged IAM user accounts. Using MFA is even more important if your business required multiple accounts to be operated by a single user.
The Final Word
These were some of the many AWS security tips for keeping the digital environment of your system secure. Always make sure you choose the right tools and solutions for managing your AWS data and keeping your infrastructure free from threats.
Abhijeet Chinchole is Chief Technology Officer at Cloudlytics. Over the years, Abhijeet has helped numerous global businesses transition to the cloud by helping them with strategy and implementation. He is also an expert on cloud migration, cloud security, and building modern SaaS applications. When not working, he likes to drive and don the hat of a creative tinkerer.