10 Best Practices for Securing Workloads in AWS

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Flentas Tech 26th July 2022 - 5 mins read

Cloud technology has permeated all business fields, not limiting itself to just IT operations. Cloud adoption continues to accelerate as crucial workloads are needed to support remote working. But what exactly is a workload? A workload is any program that runs on a computer or is powered by computing technology. In a way, the computer system can process the input and give the output. For instance, when you search for anything on the internet, a workload is processed, and thus you get the result on the screen. In a cloud environment, a workload can be defined as an app, capability, service, or a certain amount of work that consumes cloud-based resources like computing or memory power. Databases, containers, Microservices, VMs, and Hadoop are all examples of cloud workloads. Every time cloud workloads are deployed, a new version is created, thus enabling more resiliency and portability. Therefore we can say that workloads are fundamental to computing. However, the importance of workloads continuously varies based on their context.

Based on their usage patterns, cloud workloads can be classified into three main types:

Static workloads Periodic workloads Unpredictable workloads

An essential thing to be considered about workloads is their security. Organizations must have a robust security policy as more and more data is being stored in the cloud. Cybersecurity is one of the significant hurdles faced by organizations today. AWS is one of the world's most adopted cloud platforms. However, considering that AWS alone is responsible for the security of your workloads is a misconception. Security in a cloud-based environment is a shared responsibility. For instance, AWS is responsible for the security of the cloud, while customers are responsible for security in the cloud. This is called the shared security model. AWS has a well-architected security framework that can be revised when needed. You can strengthen your workloads' security by gaining comprehensive visibility into the AWS security infrastructure, meeting compliance requirements, and ensuring cloud security practices. As securing workloads is key to any cloud environment, let us see 10 best practices for securing workloads in AWS:

1. Building a complete AWS security strategy

Many organizations often rely on incomplete security solutions and neglect the protection they need. The answer is a comprehensive AWS security strategy that bridges the gap between the shared security models. As cloud security is not easy, a solution monitored by round-the-clock security experts is a must to navigate the complexities of the cloud environment.

2. Multi-factor authentication

Using the standard username and password is not the safest bet, as sensitive and crucial data is being stored in the cloud. Hackers have become more sophisticated, and standard login credentials are not hard for them to hack. Multi-factor authentication requires an access code or OTP to log in, so the hacker can't log in even if they get login credentials.

3. Use Identity and Access Management (IAM)

As an organization, you want fast access with fewer roadblocks and still want your data to be secure. IAM balances streamlined access and secure data by combining three elements: identification, authentication, and authorization.

4. Use end-to-end encryption

End-to-end encryption helps to protect your data against unauthorized access. You must install an SSL certificate that allows encrypted interaction between a browser and a web server. This protects sensitive data like card info from being stolen or tampered with.

5. Strong visibility in your cloud environment

You must have clear visibility in your cloud environment at all times to avoid any blind spots. Deep visibility is essential for maintaining operations and pinpointing issues. You must know what's going on with your infrastructure, apps, and data. Thus the chance of an attack is minimized.

6. Use CloudTrail

CloudTrail helps in operational and risk auditing and with compliance and governance of your AWS account. The activities on your AWS account can be constantly monitored using CloudTrail. It also preserves the history of all your activities across AWS services.

7. Set up security alerting

Security alerting ensures that the moment any suspicious behavior is detected, you are aware of it. You can also detect possible malicious activity by assigning different security levels to different types of alerts. Customization is the key to the security warning.

8. Have a valid recovery policy

Even if your security is top-notch, having a backup or disaster recovery is crucial; hence, you need to have a robust backup policy. AWS backup helps you to find the right tools for scalable backup and recovery solutions. AWS enables you to automate and centralize your backup easily.

9. Safe access to production

Security and monitoring across production servers are crucial. A suspicious event like package installations and updates needs to be monitored to ensure the security of your system. Monitor code should also be tracked to know if users manually install packages on a host with security risks.

10. Train your employees

Periodic training sessions must be organized for the employees to enhance the security of your system on AWS. Hackers frequently target workers to enter protected networks. Hence to protect your workloads in AWS, your staff must be familiar with the security protocols.

Conclusion

As cloud adoption is increasing globally, more precautions are needed to manage data security. This blog has given ten best practices for securing your workloads in AWS.

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