Amazon Web Services (AWS) delivers a highly scalable cloud web hosting service, providing eclectic tools that enable the clients to run a variety of web applications successfully. They offer low-cost solutions to corporate firms, governmental organizations, and nonprofits to develop their web applications and websites. Amazon Web Service offers a secure framework proposing a wide range of functionalities such as managing and storing databases, content delivery, network flow, etc. These services work as the building blocks in designing a highly sophisticated and dynamic website for businesses while protecting the Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability (CIA model) of the customers’ system and data.
What are the Security Levels in AWS?
AWS allows full control over the data via dynamic tools that help in determining where the data will be stored, managing resource access for users, as well as ensuring data security during the transition. They provide strategic security services that focus on implementing the following key solutions to maintain the optimal security of the organizations.
Strategic Security System
Prevent: Preventive measures are taken by defining characteristics & privileges of users, data preservation, and infrastructure safety methods for an organized and steady AWS endorsement program.
● Detect: Increasing visibility into a company’s security system by reporting and auditing services and utilizing this report for investigating, researching, and auditing any issues.
● Respond: Automated event feedback and restoration helps change the immediate focus of security teams from feedback to determining the main cause of the issue.
● Rectify: Recognizing the issue and quickly rectifying it to protect the AWS situation immediately, in real-time.
The following classification will help you gain perspective about security from the data viewpoint.
Data Classification and Security Zone Modeling
Not all the data stored in the database is of equal importance, therefore, data classification is crucial from a security viewpoint. Our data classification approach is designed with a relevant blend of preventive and detective controls to match data confidentiality and to accommodate a broad range of access requirements. It can be challenging to determine the complex arrangements between a flexible, agile posture and a rigid security environment. A rigid security posture requires tedious access control methods that give a higher guarantee for data preservation.
Another aspect of data classification is security zone modelling, which is to recognize how and from where the data can be accessed. It emphasizes on well-defined network properties which are implemented to limit access to all the assets. A security zone technique provides simplicity and transparency in defining the roles based on the data characteristics, for determining and implementing network flow control. For illustration, all resources that consist of sensitive data are organized together in a secured zone. The combination of network Access Control Lists (ACL) and Identity and Access Management (IAM) policy places sensitive data beneath two security layers.
Data classification and security zone together enable the data access policies to be multifaceted. Data classification defines appropriate security zones for data while the security zone gives the resilience to employ the proper level of system flow restrictions and access policy to data.
Defense in Depth
This approach of defense implies multiple layering of security controls together to provide an alternative security layer, in case one fails.
There are two categories of defense in depth mechanism
● Preventive Controls
● Detective Controls
It includes the AWS Cloud Adoption Framework (CAF) security perspective, capabilities of Identity Access Management (IAM), infrastructure security, and data protection. There are three main categories in preventive control layers are:
● Identity Access Management (IAM)
● Infrastructure Security
● Data Protection
Identity and Access Management (IAM)
IAM offers strong yet dynamic techniques for authentication, separation of database administration tasks from application access flow. IAM services help in securely managing resources, identities, and grant permissions through access analysis. An application running on the AWS platform deploys strict protocols to re-fine access controls for workers within the firm and the users of the web application.
IAM services offer flexible options for how to manage an employee, partner, and customers’ identities to maintain confidentiality. IAM multi-factor authentication will prompt a user trying to get access to AWS resources, to provide a username, password, and also an authentication code that is only available through Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) configured device.
MAF and IAM work together for authentication and authorization of management flow. This approach limits the potential for damage to the system environment if an application is compromised, as management credentials and operations are separated from the application credentials and operations.
AWS infrastructure protection is divided into five significant categories. Let’s find out.
1. DDoS Protection: Managed Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) safeguard scheme protects applications running on AWS. AWS shield is automatically enabled to actively detect and remediate any event in the system, thereby minimizing downtime or delay in the network. AWS tools already come with an AWS standard shield that can defend the network and transport layer from frequently and most commonly occurring DDoS attacks that target the web flow. It gives comprehensive and effective protection from all the underpinning attacks. It gives access to AWS DDoS response team for rectification and also provides insights about the DDoS attack.
2. Network Isolation: One of the most fundamental ways to filter malicious traffic and securing a database is by network isolation. AWS provides additional layers of security, which is achieved by a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). It provides a private sub-network within the AWS cloud. This Virtual Private Network (VPN) can be used as an encrypted link between the AWS VPN and out of the data center. In any case, the traffic to and from the database remains within the network and is not exposed externally. This enables filtered access control to the network by restricting access to the database, to internal resources in a VPN.
3. Elastic Load Balancing: Elastic Load Balancing automatically distributes the incoming traffic across numerous targets such as EC2, containers, IP addresses, etc. It handles the fluctuating network traffic in specific availability or different availability zone. Elastic load balancing has three types of load balancers that feature high availability, automatic scaling, and sturdy security needed to make the application. Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) facilitates robust safeguard resources including integrated certificate management, user authentication, and SSL/TLS decryption.
4. Application Layer Threat Prevention: This preventive layer is implemented indirectly between the database and application programming interface (API). Web applications have Cloudfront access to the database as this protection layer ensures that our data is secure from application-level threats like SQL injections or other web app vulnerabilities. Enabling the database firewall helps restrict the traffic by source-destination IP address. AWS Virtual Private Network (VPN) supports a complete firewall solution for ingress and egress traffic. AWS allows limited access to different administrative roles and the firewall, therefore, applying additional security measures whenever needed. The level of security provided by the firewall depends on the when and which port is opened, for how long, and its purpose. Well informed traffic management and security measures help obtain the optimum level of security for the database. Additional filters like host-based firewalls and windows firewall can be applied to restrict inbound and outbound traffic.
5. Security Group and Network ACL: Limiting the network traffic minimizes the breach events by allowing only legitimate traffic into the database and blocking undesired traffic. AWS network is engineered to empower users to define the standard of security and flexibility of the network according to the workflow. Network services like firewalls and other edge devices are used to control and monitor the communications at internal and key external points of the network.
Access Control Lists (ACL) works at the subnetwork level. Network ACLs can be especially useful in the prevention of DDOS attacks and when you have a particular need to blacklist traffic from specific IP addresses. They employ a set of rules and access control lists to ensure the flow of information to specific data system services only. AWS implements network strategies that are committed to carrying out disclosed communications with Internet Service Providers (ISPs). AWS strategically places a limited number of secure access points to the cloud to allow comprehensive monitoring of internal and external communication and network flow. These user access points are called APIs, which allows secure HTTP access to establish a secure connection between end-users. SSL is a cryptographic protocol designed to protect against tampering and message forgery. SSL is used to connect AWS access points via HTTPS.
Data Encryption and Tokenization
Data encryption at both ends is a vital process. Tokenization is another alternative technique to data encryption that supports preserving specific parts of the data which is highly sensitive or a specific managerial compliance requirement such as the Payment Card Industry (PCI). Accumulating data into its own secluded and secure data store and using tokens in place of end-to-end encryption reduces the complexity of the system. It further reduces the risk by using temporary one time use tokens. When an encrypted Elastic Block Store (EBS) volume is created and linked to an instance, data on the volume input-output disc and snapshot created from the volume are all encrypted. AWS encrypts each Simple Storage Service (S3) object with an exclusive key. Amazon S3 server-side encryption uses one of the strongest block ciphers available 256-bit advanced encryption standard. Relational database service produces a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate for each database instance. When this encrypted connection is established the data transfer between Data Base (DB) instance and an application will be encrypted during transfer.
These controls identify any modifications in the configuration or undesirable change in the system and enable immediate event response. They run with the preventative measure to maintain the overall security of the system.
AWS Security Logs
Credentials and encrypted endpoints are important for preventing security problems. Similarly, security locks are just as crucial for understanding events after an event has occurred. It includes a list of events that happened and when it also identifies the source of the cause which is an effective security measure. AWS Cloud trails a log of events within the account which shows what resource was accessed, what action was performed, and who made the request. In the real-time intrusion detection helps with the investigation process whenever an issue arises. Once the cloud is enabled it delivers event logs in about every five minutes, it records and delivers events in all situations. Besides, Amazon Cloud Watch (ACW) feature helps in monitoring system applications and custom log files in real-time. For example, monitoring web server log files for invalid users to detect any unauthorized login attempts.
AWS Trusted Advisor Security Checks
Trusted advisor customer care service helps in checking cloud security and tracking for cloud performance and flexibility. The trusted advisor examines the AWS system and makes suggestions for the vulnerabilities to enhance the system operation. It alerts on prevalent security configurations that can arise including leaving certain ports open that can make the system vulnerable to hacking and unauthorized access, spurning to create IAM accounts for an internal user, or granting public access.
AWS Configured Security Checks
AWS configuration is a regular monitoring and assessment function that shows any modifications in the configuration of an AWS resource. It examines the current and past configuration of the resource and uses this data to troubleshoot and conduct security attack analysis. We can view this information at any point in time to reconfigure the resources and bring them to a stable state whenever a mishap has occurred. Regular assessment checks of the resources are done by AWS configuration rules which verify with security policies, best practices of the industry, and compliance rules. AWS configuration gives out a managed set of rules to ensure that encryption is turned on at all times. AWS configuration notifies in real-time when there is a change in a resource or when a resource infringes with the specific security protocol.
At WAT Consulting Services, we realize that customers care profoundly about protecting their data. AWS has top-class network architecture that is carefully managed and monitored, enabling us to build fraud tolerant web infrastructure. The top-notch web security professionals who manage the AWS infrastructure also helps in maintaining and building a wide range of innovative security services for users, which helps in regulating and maintaining the users’ security. Needless to say, AWS is the most secure, highly functional, and efficient platform for web hosting. Enough reasons for us to adopt AWS for all our products including TutterflyCRM and TLAK App.