Businesses can build and scale applications quickly and securely with Amazon Web Services (AWS). To be sure, the addition of new tools and services poses new security threats. Seventy percent of enterprise IT leaders are concerned about the security of their cloud data, and sixty-one percent of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) believe the same.

For customers to keep their AWS accounts and applications secure, AWS offers a wide range of security tools. To enhance your security posture in 2021 and beyond, we’ll look at the top AWS security tools you should consider using. Prior to that, let’s take a look at the differences between AWS account security and application security. When it comes to protecting against different types of attacks, organizations must focus on both. 

Account Security Versus Application And Service Security

AWS offers a variety of security tools to enhance account security, application security, and service security. An AWS account is a potential attack vector because resources and data can be accessed via the public API (API). Introducing a secure identity and access management strategy can help prevent the public from gaining access to sensitive data, such as that stored in S3 buckets. All actions are recorded for compliance and audit purposes by AWS’ many tools. As a result, applications and services hosted in AWS are vulnerable to a variety of external threats.

Cyber attacks like cross-site scripting (XSS), SQL injection, and brute-force are aimed at public-facing systems. DDoS attacks may bring down your services, compromising the security of your architecture. Confidential data, such as passwords to databases, can be leaked if it’s not properly managed. To minimize risk and improve overall security posture, it’s critical that organizations migrating to the cloud address account security and application/service security in equal measure. Below are a few AWS services that help secure your cloud and help protect your customer data and systems.

Top 6 AWS Account Security Tools

AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM)

Controlling access to your AWS resources is impossible without the use of AWS IAM. Users and roles with permissions to specific AWS resources can be created. If an attacker gains access to these users and roles, the impact of a breach is minimized. Further securing and centralising user access, AWS IAM also supports multi-factor authentication and single sign-on (SSO).

When configuring IAM permissions, use the IAM policy simulator to test and troubleshoot the extent of permissions you grant to your users and roles.

Amazon GuardDuty

Amazon GuardDuty uses machine learning to monitor your AWS environments for malicious activity. S3 Event Logs, S3 Event Logs, and DNS Logs are all combined into a single tool to continuously monitor all activity. Protection against privilege escalation, exposed credentials, and communication with malicious IP addresses and domains are some of the issues that GuardDuty helps to identify. Additionally, it can detect instances that are serving malware or mining bitcoins. The software can also detect anomalies in your access patterns, such as API calls in new regions. Costs will get high linearly as your AWS environments grow.

Amazon Macie

Your sensitive data that is stored in AWS S3 buckets will be discovered and protected by Amazon Macie. As a first step, it uses discovery jobs to identify sensitive data in your buckets, such as personally identifiable data or personal health information. These jobs can be scheduled to monitor new data that is added to your buckets on a regular basis. You’ll be notified when a bucket is not encrypted, publically accessible, or shared with AWS accounts outside of your organization after Macie finds sensitive data in your buckets.

AWS Config

Using AWS Config, you can keep track of your AWS resource configuration and evaluate it over time. You’ll also want to keep a record of all changes to your resources, which will help you comply with legal requirements and your organization’s policies. Config evaluates new and existing resources based on a set of criteria. The AWS Config tool can detect non-encrypted EC2 volumes, for example, and send an alert. It can also perform remediation actions such as encrypting or deleting the volume.

To ensure that all resources are recorded, you must enable AWS Config in every region, even those where you don’t expect to create resources.

AWS CloudTrail

AWS CloudTrail keeps tabs on all activity in your AWS environment with the help of its logs. Events are created for every action a user takes in the AWS console and every API call that is made. These events can be viewed and searched to identify unexpected or unusual requests in your AWS environment, which you can then address.

To help identify unusual activity, AWS CloudTrail Insights is an add-on for Amazon Web Services. Whenever it detects abnormal activity, it raises a notification.

All AWS accounts have had CloudTrail enabled as a default since August 2017. Additionally, if you use AWS Organizations to manage multiple AWS accounts, you can enable CloudTrail on all of them.

Security Hub

Security Hub is essential for providing all the information your security team may need. As a result of AWS Security Hub, data from all of the above services is combined into a single, centralized view. You can easily get a complete picture of your AWS security posture by collecting data from all security services across multiple AWS accounts and regions. It also supports data collection from third-party security tools.

Conclusion

Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers various security services, making it difficult to choose the right one for your needs. You should explore Strategic Resources International cloud security learning resources if you look for solutions to specific security use cases.