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5 Amazon Web Services security tips for businesses 2016

Brandon Butler | June 27, 2016
How to secure Amazon Web Services; AWS security tips.

Despite public cloud being as popular as ever, questions like, 'is it more secure than my data center?' still remain

In October, Amazon Web Services released a white paper outlining best practices for using its cloud. Sections include how to control costs, enable fault tolerant infrastructure and get the best performance. Perhaps most importantly, it has advice on how to secure an AWS cloud environment.

Here are five tips from Amazon's own best security practices.

1. AWS security tips: Apply security at all layers

AWS security tips: Apply security at all layers
© iStock/Henrik5000

Instead of just having a firewall at the edge of the infrastructure, place virtualfirewalls (available in the AWS Marketplace) on each virtual network that is created.

2. AWS security tips: Enable traceability, and enforce privilege management

AWS security tips: Enable traceability, and enforce privilege management
© iStock/Opera3d

Use tags to indicate which users created and accessed which data when, then use permissions to define which users have access to do what functions. Use the strictest access controls to limit the ability to change root settings, which control the master controls for the environment. Add authorisation and multi-factor authentication to the root access controls and any other highly sensitive functions.

3. AWS security tips: Monitor and log all actions, changes and points of ingress/egress in your AWS environment

AWS security tips: Monitor and log all actions, changes and points of ingress/egress in your AWS environment
© iStock/Maxiphoto

Set up alerts if unusual activity is detected. CloudTrail is AWS's product to recordAPI call logs, including identifying the time, user who accessed it, and/or source of the IP address.

4. AWS security tips: Create custom image templates of virtual servers

AWS security tips: Create custom image templates of virtual servers
© iStock/pictafolio

Use these images automatically when a new server is launched. Amazon Machine Image (AMI) service will automatically create reusable templates for any EC2 instances that are spun up, with security setting already preinstalled. The goal should be to create an entire environment that is managed through a template.

5. AWS security tips: Encrypt all sensitive data in your AWS environment in transit and in rest

AWS security tips: Encrypt all sensitive data in your AWS environment in transit and in rest
© iStock/Danil Melekhin

If desired, customers can choose to encrypt data on their own premises then send only encrypted data to the cloud and store the keys to the encryption behind their own onpremises firewall using AWS's hardware security module.

Source: Computerworld UK

 

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