AWS Security

AWS has a comprehensive suite of Security Services and an extensive White Paper.  You will want to deploy many of these services (they are managed by AWS); along with (depending if you are using an IaaS, PaaS, or blend of both) your own security models (based on your own firm’s Security Principles and Architecture).  AWS has partners who have built Security offerings.





AWS Artifact

Compliance, No cost, self-service portal for on-demand access to AWS’ compliance reports

Compliance, Audits, Governance

AWS Certificate Manager

Provision, manage, and deploy public and private SSL/TLS certificates


AWS Cloud Directory

Organizational charts, course catalogs, and device registries, flexibility to create directories with hierarchies that span multiple dimensions



Hardware based key storage for regulatory compliance

Access, Keys

AWS CloudTrail

Monitors, provides history of access to all AWS resources including SDKs, CLI, Console can detect unusual activity


Amazon Cognito

Identity management of all apps, often used with mobile application access

Access, IAM

AWS Config

Assesses, audits, evaluates the configuration of the deployed AWS resources

Compliance, Audits

Amazon Detective

Incident response, Investigate potential security issues

Incident reporting

AWS Directory Service

Integrates with AD, can be integrated on premise or used just in the cloud, allows AD permission-based access to resources (SSO, GPO, Workspaces etc)


AWS Firewall Manager

Centralises the management and deployment of firewall configurations across the AWS accounts


AWS GuardDuty

Monitors the accounts and environments, integrates with CloudTrail and VPC Flows



Identity and Access Management, SSO for users, roles and groups including MFA, mandatory to set up and use

IAM, Access, Governance

AWS IAM Access Analyzer

Based on least privilege provides an overview of resource usage by user and access based on existing policies (eg root vs OU)


AWS Inspector

Checks configuration, security, compliance of existing applications deployed on AWS, can be integrated into DevOps

Environments, Configuration

AWS IoT Device Defender

Security management for IoT devices

IoT Access

AWS Key Management Service (KMS)

Key storage and management

Access, Keys

AWS Macie

Uses Machine Learning to understand patterns of usage, access and threats to sensitive data eg S3 buckets, integrates with CloudWatch


AWS Organizations

Automate account creation, create groups of accounts, apply policies to these groups for governance

Environmental Governance

AWS Resource Access Manager

Allows sharing of resources across accounts including AWS Transit Gateways, Subnets, AWS License Manager configurations, and Amazon Route 53 Resolver rules resources


AWS Secrets Manager

Rotate, manage, and retrieve key secrets (access to EC2, environments)

Keys, Access

AWS Security Hub

Scans and consolidates security settings, issues, findings across all assets and security services in a centralised location

Reporting, Monitoring, Governance

AWS Shield

Infrastructure protection, DDoS protection


AWS Single Sign-On

SSO for end users, integrates with AD, access across accounts or applications for users, managed centrally

SSO, Governance

AWS Web Application Firewall (WAF)

Filters malicious web traffic


CloudEndure Disaster Recovery

Fast, automated, cost- effective disaster recovery



For larger firms many of the above services will need to be used.  They form part of the overall security model.  NIST and CSBP (cloud security best practices) are mapped to these AWS services. 


AWS keeps an active Security Blog and should be consulted regularly.  An example is from the AWS Security Blog (July 2020); on how to secure data in the AWS Cloud, to meet various compliance and regulatory statutes (SEC and Financial authorities for instance).  Many of these ideas are also linked to cost reduction. 


Overview Diagram of AWS Security Services


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AWS covers a lot of the IT Stack and is focused on providing automation, alerts, integrated monitoring.  Clients will still need to develop a Security Model based on who they are; what tools they are using and the types of deployments (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS).  Data backup, AMI backup, Code backup, EBS and disk backup are also part of Security.  Key data and data types should be backed up within AWS to a 2nd region (the DR-Backup Region) and outside of AWS (in case AWS suffers a fabric failure).