Serving more than a million companies seeking easy-to-scale web services, AWS is currently the world’s leading provider of cloud infrastructure.

However, securing your landscape on AWS is not the same as guarding on-premises infrastructure. Cybersecurity on cloud has its own specific set of challenges. You need specialist techniques and expertise when planning AWS Cloud native security for your IT ecosystem. It is essential to understand that the security-mindset is architectural. When it comes to security, risks are not assessed in isolation. Any plan needs to be created in a holistic and cross-disciplinary manner.

The National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) has published a framework built towards improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity. To perform a successful cybersecurity program, they recommend five core functions, which are identify, protect, detect, respond and recover.

The key to a good cybersecurity strategy is that it consists of a set of layers surrounding and protecting sensitive resources and data. A well-rounded security plan will also account for unpredictability. This blog explains how to plan your cybersecurity on AWS and delves into the details of the top AWS Security Services.

AWS: The Core Cloud Security Challenges

When planning your AWS security, there are two things you need to do:

  • Know the security responsibilities of AWS clients
  • Clearly understand the shared security model

Under a shared security model, the service user and the cloud provider have different roles. Businesses often fail to grasp this fact because of a lack of awareness about cloud security. Firms erroneously assume that their IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS partners will take care of things. This assumption is far removed from reality.

AWS is responsible for securing all of its global cloud infrastructure and the native cloud apps. However, this also leaves a massive responsibility gap that users need to focus on.

AWS clients will need to handle:

  • Access management
  • Client-side encryption
  • Password security
  • Network segmentation
  • Compliance

Security incidents occur when users fail to master these challenges.

The Crux: AWS Security Visibility

Essentially, companies will lose control over their security on AWS if they don’t have a plan to make cloud operations transparent and visible. Without complete awareness, you cannot protect cloud resources. Users need to know what resources are in use and who needs to use them with complete clarity. However, visibility can be challenging - security teams can lose track of the services they maintain, exposing them to security weaknesses.

These problems are particularly endemic in a fast-changing environment. In such scenarios, apps and storage solutions come online just-in-time at a massive scale. Overworked security managers may not even know when departments add extra services or create new AWS containers.

A Word About Compliance and AWS

Large-scale AWS setups can make managing compliance problematic. AWS users must ensure their cloud deployments meet relevant data protection regulations without fail. Your security teams must assess every app and storage solution so it aligns with your compliance goals with audits of every cloud asset.

Robust Security Policy Management

Your Cloud-based assets could include a large portfolio of apps and multiple IaaS platforms. In addition, you may need to manage extensive user communities that may include:

  • Local staff
  • Remote workers
  • External partners

As is clear, it becomes highly complex to apply uniform security controls and monitoring across complex AWS deployments. Fortunately, AWS provides cloud native security services that make it possible to apply policies consistently.

AWS and the Shared Responsibility Model

According to Amazon, the AWS security landscape works as a Shared Responsibility Model. This means that security is divided between the AWS domains and the client with AWS handling some aspects of cybersecurity. However, other core areas are the responsibility of the users.

AWS provides security for the hosting infrastructure and anything that happens inside the cloud is their responsibility. It covers the operating system and virtualization layer. This makes the foundations extremely solid as it includes active threat monitoring, constant software updates and logging

Customer (Responsibility for Security IN the Cloud)

  • Customer Data
  • Platforms, Apps, IAM
  • OS, Network, and Firewall Configuration
  • Client-side Data, Encryption and Data Integrity Authentication
  • Server-side Encryption (File System and/or Data)
  • Networking Traffic Protection (Encryption, Integrity, Identity)

AWS (Responsibility for Security OF the Cloud)

  • Software: Compute, Storage, Database, Networking
  • Hardware: AWS Regions, Availability Zones, Edge Locations

The AWS Security Plan: What Users Need to Do

Data Protection: One of the most common attacks in the enterprise world is related to data breaches. The key is to understand what the compliance requirements are and develop an inventory of all the sensitive data and cloud resources. Mapping these requirements involves help from external experts and government advisors, especially in highly regulated industries. AWS users need to essentially secure customer data as it passes through the AWS environment. If there’s a data breach, it’s on you. Additionally, data encryption is strongly recommended for data-at-rest and in-transit. The good news is that there are tools for cloud security.

IAM, MFA and Integrated Access Management

Access Management: IAM grants permissions for AWS users, groups, and machines to use, access, and create resources. In the Security Pillar section of the AWS Well-Architected Framework, the recommendation is to follow the least privilege principle. It consists of having a centralized authorization repository. Separation of duties ensures only the minimum permissions are given to users to fulfill their tasks. Regularly rotating credentials and the enabling of Multifactor Authentication is another well-established security practice.

Additionally, when planning or provisioning for a new service, part of the AWS cloud security assessment should consist of detailing what AWS services and instances are allowed to be accessed to meet your service requirements. Clearly defining specific IAM policies, roles and users for the service makes this possible.

OS and Network Security

Operating System and Network Infrastructure Protection: Clients that choose an IaaS solution based on Amazon EC2 will have greater security tasks. AWS users will also need to manage cloud apps and ensure code integrity. Clients must also protect their operating systems, network infrastructure, and firewall configurations.

Advantage You: The Top AWS Security Services Are Built-in

With AWS, here’s what you get out-of-the-box. You will need to configure and plan these tools to work the way you want.

Identity and Access Management

Risk Detection Management

Infrastructure Security Management

AWS Identity and Access Management

Securely manage access to services and resources

AWS Security Hub

Unified security and compliance management portal

AWS Network Firewall

network security and firewalls management

AWS Single Sign-On

Cloud Single-sign-on service for easy signing in and out functionalities

Amazon GuardDuty

Managed threat detection solution

AWS Shield

Specialized tool for protection against DDoS attacks

Amazon Cognito

Identity administration across all applications and app workflows

Amazon Inspector

Analyze application and app workflows security

AWS Web Application Firewall

Protection from suspicious web traffic

AWS Resource Access Manager

Streamlined, secure solution to share AWS resources

AWS CloudTrail

Track user and workflow activity, API usage


AWS Organizations

Centralized administration and governance across all AWS accounts

AWS IoT Device Defender

Security Management for IoT devices and environments


Data Protection Management

Incident Response Management

Compliance Management

Amazon Macie

Discover and protect sensitive data

Amazon Detective

Deep investigation of security issues

AWS Artifact

No cost, self-service portal for on-demand access to AWS’ compliance reports

AWS Key Management Service

Key storage and management solution

Cloud Endure Disaster Recovery:

Fast, automated, and cost-effective disaster recovery solution suite

AWS Audit Manager

Continuously audit your AWS usage to simplify how you assess risk and compliance


Hardware-based key storage solution for compliance management


AWS Certificate Manager

Provision, manage, and deploy public and private SSL/TLS certificates


AWS Secrets Manager

Rotate, manage, and retrieve secret/sensitive information


Cloud4C: Your End-to-end AWS Security Partner

Cloud4C is the world’s largest application-focused Managed Cloud Services Provider and one of the leading managed cybersecurity companies. Cloud4C is also an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner with over 7 dedicated competencies. We have been serving 4000+ enterprises including 60+ Fortune 500 organizations in 25+ countries across Americas, Europe, Middle East, and APAC for 12+ years. At Cloud4C, we have dedicated services management expertise with 40+ Security Controls, 20+ Centers of Excellence, 2000+ global cloud experts.

We can help you plan your AWS security with Comprehensive 24x7 AWS Security monitoring through automated Security Solutions and AWS native tools management for threat prediction, detection, and response. Gain robust security through our dedicated AWS Cybersecurity Consulting Practice.

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Team Cloud4c
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Team Cloud4c

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