The Top 7 AWS Cloud Security Issues: What You Need to Know

You might not think that the cloud, which sits on top of the internet like an all-knowing, all-seeing eye in the sky, can be subjected to attacks as well as your local machine, but you’d be wrong. Whether it’s someone trying to steal your sensitive data or just some kids looking to make trouble for fun (and profit), cloud security issues are all too common, and it’s important that you know how to protect yourself from them. Here are the top seven Amazon web service issues and how you can protect yourself from them today.

1.User Account Management

Privileged Users, Admin Accounts and Passwords – admin users are probably one of your biggest security issues, regardless of cloud or on-premise deployments. The administrator or privileged account user is an account that has been granted powerful privileges in order to perform administrative tasks (system changes, software installation and configuration, etc.). The access level for these accounts means that a compromised privileged account could result in a complete loss of data if proper protection isn’t put in place. Securing your privileged users is all about knowing who you have as an admin user and verifying their legitimacy with off-line processes like multifactor authentication or smartcards. These types of checks may be too expensive for smaller businesses but are well worth it when it comes to properly protecting business data!

2. Identity and Access Management

It’s Complicated We’ve talked about identity and access management (IAM) before in our post about security. But we’re going to revisit it because, let’s face it, it’s complicated. Here are just a few of the problems IAM can solve for you: Who can do what? In order for an application or service on your cloud account to access your data, who has what permissions? And if they do have those permissions, are they supposed to be able to access all that data or is there only a specific subset they’re allowed to use? Getting everyone on board with these systems and making sure they’re also using them properly can be challenging in environments that encompass thousands of individuals and teams around the world.

3. Secure Configuration Management

As of August 2017, roughly 14% of all S3 buckets are public. It’s critical that you lock down access to your buckets and grant permissions only as needed. Additionally, make sure your bucket names do not contain easily guessable information such as names of customers or employees. If possible, use a directory structure within your bucket for improved security by adding a prefix or suffix like private/ or something similar. For example, a directory named private/company-001 is easier to secure than simply using company-001. This convention also makes it easier for an organization that uses multiple accounts to have unique subdirectories for each account without having overly long and complex bucket names.

4. Data Encryption

Confidentiality is a key aspect of security, but there’s another side to that coin. If data is stored in a way that’s readable, then it may also be accessible, or at least someone may be able to figure out how to access it. One way to protect against unauthorized access is by using encryption techniques. Encryption involves taking sensitive data and putting it through a mathematical process so that only authorized users are able to decrypt and use it properly. In some cases, it can mean scrambling information such that it’s completely illegible without being unencrypted first.

5. Serverless Code

Is Serverless Code Secure? Serverless architectures may be a very secure way of building apps. Because you can use third-party resources, you don’t need to expose your app or its logic directly on an Internet-facing endpoint. This can make it harder for attackers to find attack points. However, because these are third-party resources, they introduce another layer of trust and accountability that could potentially create security issues in their own right. For example, since FaaS frameworks rely on API keys, you need to protect those keys as well as any other sensitive data.

6. Trusted Advisor Audits

Change control, which sounds like a simple concept, is actually one of the most frequently missed security practices. Change control sets rules and processes for handling changes (or transactions) in your cloud environment. In theory, change control creates an audit trail so that you can easily track who made a change and what it was. It’s also designed to minimize errors by creating stringent standards around how changes are made. To protect against risks such as accidental deletion or exposure of sensitive data , it’s essential that you implement strong change control procedures, even if they seem tedious or annoying at first.

7. Change Control

Without a change control procedure, organizations run a high risk of unauthorized changes being made to their cloud infrastructure. This issue can be catastrophic if it exposes sensitive data or violates regulatory compliance. Since many AWS users are in high-security industries, it’s vital that they incorporate change control procedures into their cloud security plan. Change control is particularly important for large enterprises with multiple departments and business units using AWS. The only way to protect against rogue admins making unauthorized changes is by implementing strict change management policies and processes.

Without a change control procedure, organizations run a high risk of unauthorized changes being made to their IT infrastructure. This issue can be catastrophic if it exposes sensitive data or violates regulatory compliance. Since many AWS users are in high-security industries, it’s vital that they incorporate change control procedures into their cloud security plan. Change control is particularly important for large enterprises with multiple departments and Cloud computing business units using AWS. The only way to protect against rogue admins making unauthorized changes is by implementing strict change management policies and processes.

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