10 Best Practices for Securing Your Workloads on AWS

By Michal Ferguson

Achieving optimal security in a cloud environment can seem like a moving target. New security threats are constantly popping up along with security implementations meant to fight them off. To help you achieve optimal security in this environment, this post highlights the top 10 best practices for AWS security.

1. Leverage Multi-Factor Authentication

Think of the sheer amount of sensitive, business-critical data being stored in the cloud. Using a standard username and password combo as the sole gatekeeper between your data and hackers is no longer the safest bet. As we’ve seen with many highly publicized hacks in recent years, login credentials are not that hard for hackers to get.

When you implement multi-factor authentication (MFA), you put that extra roadblock in front of your critical data. MFA requires users to take an extra step like receiving an access code on their phone or one-time passwords to complete the login process so that even if a hacker obtains login credentials, they aren’t able to log in.

2. Use Identity and Access Management (IAM)

Users expect two things from your website or application: They want access to be fast with as few roadblocks as possible, and they want you to keep their data secure. As much as users expect their personal data to be secure, they simply can’t be relied on to create and protect strong, unique passwords.

As an organization, you must find the balance between streamlined access and secure data. Identity and access management (IAM) combines the three elements you need to achieve this: identification, authentication, and authorization.

3. Maintain Strong Visibility Into Your Cloud Environment

Blind spots are the enemy to any security posture. You need to be able to see the state of your environment at all times. This includes what’s going on with your infrastructure, applications, data, and users. By knowing exactly how everything is operating, you minimize the chance that an attack will go unnoticed.

Having deep visibility into your cloud environment at all times is essential to maintaining operations, pinpointing issues, and adhering to compliance standards.

4. Implement End-to-End Encryption

Cloud security should be more proactive than reactive. Encrypting data end-to-end is a proactive move that ensures that even if the worst happens — your in-transit data getting into the wrong hands — it’ll still be secure and unreadable. This is achieved by turning your plain text into an unreadable code. It is only converted back to plain text with a carefully guarded encryption key. End-to-end encryption keeps your data protected at every point across the communication chain.

5. Monitor File Integrity

Establishing a known baseline and regularly monitoring file integrity helps alert you to unwanted or malicious changes to your files. Falling under the earlier mention of the importance of visibility, file integrity monitoring (FIM) is crucial in keeping track of activity happening within your cloud environment and alerting you to attacks as early as possible.

File integrity monitoring notifies you of three types of events:

  1. When files are added to or deleted from a directory
  2. When files are modified
  3. When files are opened

The purpose of file integrity monitoring Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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