Which Security Topics Are AWS Users Most Interested In?

May 26, 2016 | Leave a Comment

By David Lucky, Director of Product Management, Datapipe

AWSSecurityWe hope this blog provides an insightful dive into topics like cloud computing, managed services, products, and ways to improve your business strategy. Of course, our partners have great things to say, as well. One of those partners is AWS, and they’ve been kind enough to highlight the most popular security posts on their blog from the past year. There is some great info here; below is our take on just a few of these posts.

Privacy and Data Security
Security has always been a concern for the enterprise. Initially, it was a major barrier to entry for migrating to the cloud, but over the past few years, a greater number of businesses have realized that, like us, AWS takes security very seriously. This post talks about some of the best practices of the company.

Perhaps the biggest is protecting the privacy of its customers. AWS doesn’t disclose customer information unless required to do so to comply with a legally valid and binding order. And, if they do have to disclose information, they’ll notify customers beforehand. AWS also offers strong encryption as one of many standard security features, and gives organizations the option of managing their own encryption keys. That’s one of the driving forces behind our Datapipe Access Control Model for AWS (DACMA) offering – you get to hang onto the keys to your system, and maintain complete control of your virtual infrastructure and your data. What’s more, DACMA requires two-factor authentication, and all system access and activities are tied back to unique user names, without the hassle of managing an exhaustive list of AWS users. This added layer of security and accountability ensures your business is protected and meeting compliance requirements.

Receiving Alerts
It’s never a bad idea to have an extra layer of security within your infrastructure. As an AWS administrator, you can be notified of any security configuration changes. Changes are to be expected, but if anything seems out of the norm, you can make sure no changes to your AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) configuration are made without you being made aware.

This post from AWS goes into detail on some of the steps you can take to stay in touch with all that’s going on within your AWS structure. From using CloudWatch filter patterns, to monitoring changes to IAM, to generating alarms and metrics, these are all necessary to ensure nothing gets by your watchful eye. Once everything is set up, you’ll receive an alert via email or SNS topic. The below image illustrates the process:

alertsdiagram_p

 

PCI Compliance in the AWS Cloud
Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance is important for just about any business. However, one of the more complex aspects of cloud hosting is deciding which party is responsible for PCI requirements. The PCI Compliance workbook provides a guide on where AWS can cover compliance requirements, and which areas a business must cover itself.

There are twelve top-level PCI requirements in all, and they are quite complex. It can be easy to miss certain requirements or not stay up to date with audits. It’s important to note that you can’t just arbitrarily ignore a PCI requirement—all of them must be met. It may be possible that not all requirements apply to your business, so a PCI assessor is helpful for clarifying which do and do not apply. We were one of the first hosting providers in the world to achieve PCI DDS Level 1 service provider status—the highest, most rigorous status in the industry—and are happy to work with enterprises to ensure they’re setup and maintain their AWS environment compliance.

As a business, it’s refreshing to know your provider has your best interests in mind. For more information, check out our previous posts on AWS security.

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