How to Secure Your AWS Environment
AWS is a cloud-computing service provided by Amazon. Organizations can use an AWS environment to perform a wide range of tasks, from simple data storage to complex artificial intelligence applications. If you’re planning on using an AWS environment, it’s important to protect it against outside threats.
Amazon does quite a bit to protect those using its AWS platform. However, whenever you open something up to outside connections, you make it vulnerable to threats. As a result, you’ll need to take a few extra steps to ensure your AWS environment is secure. Below, we’ll walk you through the steps you can follow to secure your AWS environment and protect it against outside threats.
Identify Your Assets
The first thing you’ll want to do is identify your assets. Your assets include anything on the AWS platform that you want to protect. For example, your assets might include customer information, application data, or computer code you use to run your programs. It’s a good idea to make a list of everything you need to protect, as this will help you when it comes time to implement your various security procedures.
When creating your list, try dividing everything up into essential assets and secondary assets. Essential assets include vital information or internal processes. Secondary assets include anything used to support those essential assets, such as software packages. If you plan to store a lot in your AWS environment, this process may take a while. However, spending the time now to organize your assets will pay dividends during later stages.
Track and Report Threats
The next thing you’ll want to do is develop a system for tracking and reporting threats. If someone tries to gain access to your assets, you’ll want to know where this attack is coming from. This way, you can better protect yourself against future threats from the same source. You may even be able to report the attack to the authorities and protect others from getting attacked.
One tool you can use to track your threats is a WHOIS API. With a WHOIS API, you can quickly trace the source of an attack on your assets. You can often find out information such as the original location of the attack or the name on the account behind it. And while it’s possible to conduct manual WHOIS searches without API integration, using an API makes the process a lot simpler when you have a large number of searches to conduct.
A big part of AWS cloud security is controlling who has access to what assets. Every time you grant a new person access to an asset, you are creating a potential security threat. All it takes is one person forgetting to sign out of their account or being the victim of a phishing scam to compromise your system.
To prevent this, go through each of your assets and decide who needs to have access to it. You should only allow those who absolutely need access to an asset. You can also grant different levels of privilege, such as the ability to edit a file or just view it.
The last part of controlling access is access monitoring. Make sure you have a system in place that records who is accessing which files and when. That way, if you experience a security threat, you can trace it back to the source quickly. Access control is one of the best ways to secure your environment against human error so look to implement this as soon as you can.
Secure Integrated Technology
Lastly, you need to secure any other platforms or technologies you integrate with your AWS system. Just as you increased protection for each user connecting to the environment, you need to do the same for each connected software application. For example, you may have some project management or data visualization software that directly integrates with your AWS environment. This constant connection creates another security threat that you need to guard against.
The best way to do this is by taking security measures within the software applications themselves. For example, you can have strict rules about the passwords used within those systems, or implement further access control within those platforms. In the end, your software applications are only as secure as the people using them. So, you should make sure you spend time training your employees on your security protocols, particularly on how they pertain to using your AWS environment.
Rest Easy With a Secure AWS Environment
Using an AWS environment within your organization can open up a lot of possibilities. However, the last thing you want is a security breach into your sensitive data, which could significantly set back your organization. AWS inherently has some strong security within it but there are some things you can do to make your entire environment even stronger. With the steps above, you should be able to more strictly control who has access to your data and prevent future security threats, giving you some peace over your essential assets.
Dave is a serial entrepreneur who co-founded Shortlist in 2018, a marketing un-agency that serves as an outsourced dedicated marketing team. He has also co-founded Less.churn, a churn reduction app, prior to selling it in 2018. In 2012, he quit his job to travel the world, and has visited over 65 countries.