There was a time when both business leaders and IT leaders avoided the cloud, citing security as one of their top reasons to keep data, applications, and infrastructure out of the cloud and on-premises. Although this line of thinking was relatively recent, it is a myth that has since been dispelled. Cloud providers such as Amazon bring highly talented, security-focused people to their teams to help businesses better secure things on their side. Security is still a concern, however. Just as you are responsible for securing your on-premises assets, your organization is responsible for securing certain assets in the cloud. Unfortunately, this is where most data breaches and security incidents occur. Gartner predicts that “through 2022, at least 95 percent of cloud security failures will be the customer’s fault.”
In order to better secure your organization’s cloud-based resources, you need to understand what you have available to help. These tips give you information on how to better secure Amazon Web Services (AWS) so that your data stays secure.
Create a Cloud Strategy
One mistake organizations make when moving to the cloud is to buy into the benefits without setting a proper strategy. Before taking any steps, gather your business and IT leaders and ask the simple question: Why are we moving to the cloud? There should be a legitimate, valid business reason for moving to the cloud. Too many organizations move to the cloud simply because they feel it is the right move based on industry trends.
Thinking of the cloud as a solution to solve a business problem or as a tool to help you accomplish tasks better, faster, or cheaper puts things in perspective. If you are unsure of how, or if, moving to the cloud will benefit your business, consider reaching out to a managed services provider in Boston (or your city) that specializes in cloud frameworks. A trusted provider will be able to provide you with examples, case studies, risks, and other information to help you make an informed decision.
Set up Identity/Access Management
Identity/access management (IAM) ensures that the right people have the proper access to the resources they need to do their job. Properly configured IAM makes sure that people who should not have access to sensitive data or resources are adequately restricted from the moment their account is created. When you automate this process, you lessen the risk that someone will forget to apply access restrictions.
Amazon provides a service called Key Management that helps you encrypt data stored on AWS. The process is simple: You create custom master keys and access control policies that align with those keys. When the keys are assigned, the access control is assigned along with it.
Amazon makes it seem easy to set up on the surface, but creating your plan around IAM takes both knowledge and experience. If mistakes are made, you may inadvertently expose sensitive data to people with improper access. Conversely, if you restrict access to people who need it, you may prevent them from doing their jobs. IAM is a foundation to AWS security, and can be unforgiving if someone makes a mistake.
Set up Auditing and Compliance Monitoring
No security strategy is complete without discussing auditing and monitoring. Today, there are a number of laws and regulations that businesses are required to comply with when it comes to data security. Again, AWS makes it easy to set up auditing and monitoring; however, it takes an expert to understand what it is you need to focus on, how often you need to check the logs, and how long you need to retain this information. Additionally, you need to have someone who understands how to read and interpret these logs to see if there is an event worth investigating further, if something is nothing but noise, or if everything is going well.
When it comes to cloud providers, Amazon has a reputation for providing tools and solutions in AWS that make its customers’ security responsibilities easier to handle. However, if that customer does not have an experienced staff of individuals who are knowledgeable in security concepts, best practices, and solutions, then there is a risk of creating a false sense of security.
If your organization is moving to AWS but lacks the staff required to adequately secure your cloud-based resources, reach out to a trusted partner to help you navigate through the ins and outs of good cloud security.