Keep Projects in AWS secure at times of high pressure

Saturday, May 9, 2020
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Are you looking to improve the security of your AWS projects? With a rising level of cybercrime associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, it would be wise to look into any further security measures you could take.


An organisation is given a lot of functionality by using Amazon Web Services (AWS). As the world’s largest internet service provider, it serves a lot of products to a lot of people. In fact both the services and the customer base just continue to grow. Alongside this growth of products, there is also an increase in the amount of security risks, because there are more areas where weaknesses could be found.

As a project owner within the AWS system, it’s important that you implement further safety measures specific to the platform you use. This article will look at the security on offer from AWS and further strategies that could be employed.

The AWS Cloud Platform

The AWS platform is used throughout the world and is extremely common. A strength of the platform is that there are a large amount of modules and services available that are built under a shared convention and authentication system. This allows a user to access almost all of the services available to them through a web-based, internet dashboard.

One of the biggest sections of Amazon is EC2, the elastic compute cloud. The security built into it works in several different locations. These include the specific operating system, active firewalls and their defined rules, virtual machines and API calls that are signed.

Firewalls are defaulted to deny-all, which means that project owners will have to allow  inbound traffic to specific locations before they can function correctly. Advanced levels of customisation means that setup can be tailored specifically for each use case. Protocol, port and IP address can all have restrictions allocated. A further essential aspect is the ability to create group rules, which are vital to projects conducted at a large scale.

Another inbuilt feature to the platform means that users aren’t given RAW access to original disks, instead they are able to work on virtualized copies of them. This interaction between customer and virtual machine provides a unique security component, especially when coupled VM encryption.

Security Tips for AWS

There is a huge amount of features available to improve security in AWS. To get the best out of the platform, users and organisations should make sure they are taking full advantage of the products on offer.

Educate

Project owners should take every opportunity to educate themselves on cloud hosting setup and the infrastructure involved. There is an Amazon Cloud security portal which can provide a solid grounding for project owners, it’s recommended to read and learn from that page. Some of the learning opportunities involve e-books, use case scenarios, and specialised training.

Create Tiered Access

If working on a large scale project, there will be multiple layers and much complexity involved. These should be protected by having different levels of accounts for users such as administrators, content creators, and operations. This means that users can only gain access to areas of AWS they are permitted to be and also stops them accidently working on areas that they are not qualified to touch. As well as this, access credentials and keys should be regularly changed and updated.

Multi-Factor Authentication

For a further security dimension, there is the AWS multi-factor authentication mechanism. Using this means that a person logging in will be asked for a secondary six-digit code that will expire after one use. This has to be inputted alongside the normal password and username. The six digit code is usually sent via text or email to another device associated with the user. Without all elements entered correctly, access to the system cannot be granted.

As with so many many technologies these days, AWS is constantly evolving. New services, features and modules are regularly being rolled out to the user base. Because of the scale at which AWS operates, there can’t be one overarching security guideline to protect all areas of the platform. Instead, there are specific recommendations that are repeatedly being revised, improved, and updated according to the latest industry occurrences. Staying up to date with the latest news and software is vital to keeping your projects safe within AWS.