Launched in 2006 by Amazon, AWS is a cloud computing platform that provides over 100 cloud computing solutions. As organizations are becoming more tech-driven, the demand for cloud computing is on the rise. In such a case, a reliable service provider like Amazon is welcomed with arms wide open.

The AWS platform offers flexible, reliable, scalable, easy-to-use, and, cost-effective solutions. It is developed with a combination of infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and packaged software as a service (SaaS) offerings.

While several companies are actively using AWS, many can’t help but think about data security within the AWS infrastructure. The next few sentences may bring some relief to some of us. The answer is that AWS takes customer data security as a top priority and therefore has several compliance frameworks in place to ensure data safety. Some of the noteworthy AWS compliance include AWS HIPPA, GDPR compliance, PCI compliance, ISO 27018, NISC, CSA, and Germany’s C5, amongst others. But AWS is obliged for the security of the cloud, while the client is responsible for the security in the cloud. This is known as the AWS Shared Security Model, which has been explained further.

What is AWS Shared Security Model?

You must have heard the popular phrase, “Sharing is caring”? We all have heard it, and AWS seems to take it seriously when it comes to security and compliance. At least, that is the basis of their AWS Shared Security Model.

  • Responsibility of AWS: AWS is responsible for the safekeeping of the infrastructure that enabled the services it provides. These include all software, hardware, facilities, and network. In simple words, it only takes care of the infrastructure layer that enables AWS Cloud services.
  • Responsibility of the client: You as a client are responsible for protecting data within your framework or systems. Therefore, you are liable to implement user authentications and other methods to ensure your safety within the cloud.

There are three kinds of controls in AWS that work towards data security.

  • Inherited controls: As the name suggests, the clients get access to these controls from AWS, and they are physical and environmental controls.
  • Shared controls: These controls are used by AWS and the customers to ensure security. These are further divided into three parts, and members of both the party must be acquitted with these controls for effective safe-keeping of all the information within the cloud:
  1. Patch management
  2. Configuration management
  3. Awareness and training
  • Customer-specific: Every customer is deployed differently in the cloud, and therefore each of them will have diverse needs. Hence, depending on the application that a customer selects, these are controls are solely their liability.

There can be several ways to ensure the protection within the cloud, and we have listed some of them in this article.

What can you do to secure your data in AWS?

Data security in the cloud is a genuine concern, especially as attackers and hackers keep being creative. So here are a few standard things that you can do to ensure security.

  1.  Set passwords and other authentications: This is the first yet crucial step you must take to protect sensitive information. A password should be difficult to crack, and it is also advisable to opt for multi-factor authentication. MFA paired with dynamic passwords can do the trick. Moreover, the authentications must be changed once in 90 days to avoid predictability.
  2. Avoid hard-coding sensitive information: While developing an application in AWS, AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) roles are often used to give temporary credentials. However, this delicate information like API keys mustn’t be hardcoded in plain text. Rather, you can use AWS Secret Managers to control the information in your application.
  3. Justify IAM roles: Over the course of time, you may see that you have created multiple IAM roles in AWS. In this case, you must re-evaluate the roles and close the ones that you would not need any longer. It can be done using AWS IAM Access Analyzer, which will help you identify all the external places where you had shared permission access. Upon evaluation, you can determine which all are redundant and take necessary actions to prevent attackers.
  4. Take actions: Once you have used services like AWS IAM Access Analyzer, Amazon Security Hub, or Amazon GuardDuty, you will receive insightful reports. Depending upon the results, you must take immediate actions to resolve matters. In case you require assistance, you can reach out to the AWS account manager or Technical Account Manager (TAM) for support.