How to ensure your AWS is secure

As cloud-based computing evolves and Amazon emerges as an early leader in the renting of cloud space, more businesses are migrating to Amazon Web Services (AWS) than ever before. But a poorly planned cloud migration can expose a business to data intrusion vulnerability. Explore the following important steps to keep your AWS cloud secure.

Focus on Encryption, Encryption, Encryption

Image via Flickr by Christiaan Colen

While security tools like a cloud access security broker (CASB) in a modern computing environment are powerful, they will never be absolutely inviolable because most breaches are due not to lack of proper security technology, but rather human error. Intelligent data thieves could defeat the strongest firewalls and smartest countermeasures, but they can far easily trick someone into clicking in a phishing email. The best way to keep your data secure in the event of a data breach, therefore, is to use data encryption as much as possible.

Encrypted data becomes disguised as gibberish. To translate encrypted data, you need a special secure access key. Although heavy encryption is likely too cumbersome to use on every data element in your cloud, you’ll want to at least encrypt the most sensitive info, such as account numbers, both in transmission and while in storage.

Start With the Built-In Tools

Thankfully for its users, the standard AWS package includes some basic security tools to both set up your cloud to deflect intruders and to detect incidents as they occur. If you deploy these standard measures intelligently, you can head off many problems.

For example, many of the more common types of data breach attacks involve lateral movement. A hacker gains access to a less secure portion of the data infrastructure and moves into more secure areas. By using the Security Groups functions, you can silo off important sections of your storage, making that type of movement more difficult.

Bring in More Power

The native AWS security suite is powerful, but it is also predictable in a way. Those seeking to crack an AWS cloud can be going in with the assumption that the target is using AWS security tools. Bringing in a few new technologies can help keep the environment secure.

For example, a cloud access security broker (CASB) is a security solution that can manage and analyze security credentials and cloud usage to isolate malicious actors before they can damage your system. Adding a CASB to your AWS could prevent future security issues.

Actively Manage Privileges

Despite how intelligently you deploy your security tools or how heavily you encrypt your data, your data security plan could crumble due to a persistent problem: the human factor. Every access code that exists on your AWS is like asking people to leave their logins and passwords on a sticky note in the wrong place, allowing unwanted intrusion by unknown parties. Teaching your team proper data security procedures is a start, but you’ll also want to keep a tight focus on who has access, eliminating any needless logins as soon as you can.

Although data breaches often come to light in the news, a well-equipped security team can do much to help protect your company from unwanted intrusions. Make sure that those who work with your data take their responsibilities seriously so that you can safeguard your data.


Author: Kar

Dr. Kar is in the Information Systems & Management area in one of the top QS Ranked universities of Asia/world. He has extensive experience in teaching, training, consultancy and research in Indian Institutes. He has published over 100 high impact research papers. He has hundreds of citations as per Google Scholar. He has also authored/edited 4 books. He is the Editor and Founder of Business Fundas. Note: The articles authored in this blog are his personal views and does not reflect that of his affiliations.