The guide also aims for the highest security standards. No, these are not basic security measures you deploy to get started. It is actually a set of industry-accepted rules and top-level security best practices that even the most established corporations now use. Products such as the Amazon VPC and EC2 come with built-in security features that go hand in hand with the measures you will find in this Benchmark. On top of all this, there is also the fact that the Benchmark is widely used and easy to audit.
The best security vendors use the same guidelines as standard ones. Both the PCI 3. Some practices are pretty basic, such as removing the use of a Root account for most operations.
Rather than using a Root account directly, it is much more secure to manage identities and access in a more meticulous way. On a server level, this is the equivalent of setting up a user and giving that user a Sudo credential. Amazon IAM lets you create users and manage their access levels accordingly.
Next, you want to activate multi-factor authentication MFA for all IAM users that use passwords to secure their accounts. MFA adds extra layers of security to user login and access to the AWS environment, reducing the risk of unauthorized access by a substantial margin. This measure is further strengthened by rotating access keys every 90 days or less and disabling unused credentials after 90 days.
Information entropy, quantified in bits, is a strong measure for passwords. The access key for the Root account should be disabled completely, and the MFA feature needs to be activated for the account as well for maximum security. As an added measure, it is necessary to set up a security question for registered IAM accounts, particularly the Root account. As the administrator of the ecosystem, you can safely recover the Root account of the AWS setup by setting up security questions with unique answers.
It also guides you towards setting up other security measures, including:. Logging is a crucial part of information security, which is why following the logging best practices when setting up your AWS environment is a must. The tool is responsible for aspects such as management, compliance, operational and risk audits, and other evaluative functions.
Once activated, you also need to make sure that the CloudTrail log file validation is also enabled. When you use S3 buckets to store data, you also want to activate CloudTrail for each of the S3 buckets you utilize. As an added layer, the guideline also recommends activating Amazon CloudWatch.
Unlike CloudTrail, CloudWatch handles more of the monitoring tasks while also acting as a management service. These two tools, when integrated properly, give you all the insights you will ever need at any point. The purpose of these alarms, naturally, is to notify server admins about potential issues in real-time. With the alarms in place, you can better manage your AWS environment and react to server anomalies quickly — before they turn into a serious problem.
The complete set of alarms is designed to help you mitigate risks early.
When configured correctly, you can also stop problems early and maintain the smooth operations of your AWS setup with ease. The last part of the equation is networking.
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Just like with any other server setup, you want your server network to be fortified and for the server exposure to risks to be minimized. Explore our broader range of Cloud Services designed to enable a complete cloud strategy including private, public, applications and more. Our Cloud Assessment can offer a comprehensive insight into your IT environment, pinpoint how we can best bring it together for your cloud evolution.
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