AWS Security

As an AWS customer you inherit all the best practices of AWS policies, architecture, and operational processes.

The AWS Cloud enables a shared responsibility model.

AWS manages security OF the cloud, you are responsible for security IN the cloud .

You retain control of the security you choose to implement to protect your own content, platform, applications, systems, and networks no differently than you would in an on-site data center.

Benefits of AWS Security

  • Keep Your Data Safe – the AWS infrastructure puts strong safeguards in place to help.
  • Protect your privacy – All data is stored in highly secure AWS data centers.
  • Meet Compliance Requirements – AWS manages dozens of compliance programs in its infrastructure. This means that segments of your compliance have already been completed.
  • Save Money – cut costs by using AWS data centers. Maintain the highest standard of s security without having to manage your own facility.
  • Scale Quickly – security scales with your AWS Cloud usage. No matter the size of your business, the AWS infrastructure is designed to keep your data safe.


AWS Cloud Compliance enables you to understand the robust controls in place at AWS to maintain security and data protection in the cloud.

As systems are built on top of AWS Cloud infrastructure, compliance responsibilities will be shared.

Compliance programs include:

      • Certifications / attestations.
      • Laws, regulations, and privacy.
      • Alignments / frameworks.

AWS Config

AWS Config is a fully-managed service that provides you with an AWS resource inventory, configuration history, and configuration change notifications to enable security and regulatory compliance.

With AWS Config, you can discover existing and deleted AWS resources, determine your overall compliance against rules, and dive into configuration details of a resource at any point in time. AWS Config enables compliance auditing, security analysis, resource change tracking, and troubleshooting.

AWS Service Catalog

You can use AWS Service Catalog to create and manage catalogs of IT services that you have approved for use on AWS, including virtual machine images, servers, software, and databases to complete multi-tier application architectures.

AWS Service Catalog allows you to centrally manage commonly deployed IT services, and helps you achieve consistent governance to meet your compliance requirements, while enabling users to quickly deploy the approved IT services they need.

Amazon GuardDuty

Amazon GuardDuty offers threat detection and continuous security monitoring for malicious or unauthorized behavior to help you protect your AWS accounts and workloads.

The service monitors for activity that indicate a possible account compromise, potentially compromised instance, or reconnaissance by attackers or intellectual property, and continuously monitors data access activity for anomalies that might single unauthorized access or inadvertent data leaks.

AWS WAF & AWS Shield


      • AWS WAF is a web application firewall.
      • Protects against common exploits that could compromise application availability, compromise security or consume excessive resources.


      • AWS Shield is a managed Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) protection service.
      • Safeguards web application running on AWS with always-on detection and automatic inline mitigations.
      • Helps to minimize application downtime and latency.
      • Two tiers – Standard and Advanced.

AWS Key Management Service

AWS Key Management Service gives you centralized control over the encryption keys used to protect your data.

You can create, import, rotate, disable, delete, define usage policies for, and audit the use of encryption keys used to encrypt your data.

AWS Key Management Service is integrated with most other AWS services making it easy to encrypt the data you store in these services with encryption keys you control.

AWS KMS is integrated with AWS CloudTrail which provides you the ability to audit who used which keys, on which resources, and when.

AWS KMS enables developers to easily encrypt data, whether through 1-click encryption in the AWS Management Console, or using the AWS SDK to easily add encryption in their application code.


AWS CloudHSM is a cloud-based hardware security module (HSM) that enables you to easily generate and use your own encryption keys on the AWS Cloud.

With CloudHSM, you can manage your own encryption keys using FIPS 140-2 Level 3 validated HSMs.

CloudHSM offers you the flexibility to integrate with your applications using industry-standard APIs, such as PKCS#11, Java Cryptography Extensions (JCE), and Microsoft CryptoNG (CNG) libraries.

AWS Artifact

AWS Artifact is your go-to, central resource for compliance-related information that matters to you.

It provides on-demand access to AWS’ security and compliance reports and select online agreements.

Reports available in AWS Artifact include our Service Organization Control (SOC) reports, Payment Card Industry (PCI) reports, and certifications from accreditation bodies across geographies and compliance verticals that validate the implementation and operating effectiveness of AWS security controls.

Agreements available in AWS Artifact include the Business Associate Addendum (BAA) and the Nondisclosure Agreement (NDA).

AWS Inspector and AWS Trusted Advisor

AWS Inspector:

      • Inspector is an automated security assessment service that helps improve the security and compliance of applications deployed on AWS.
      • Inspector automatically assesses applications for vulnerabilities or deviations from best practices.
      • Uses an agent installed on EC2 instances.
      • Instances must be tagged.

AWS Trusted Advisor:

      • Trusted Advisor is an online resource that helps to reduce cost, increase performance and improve security by optimizing your AWS environment.
      • Trusted Advisor provides real time guidance to help you provision your resources following best practices.
      • Advisor will advise you on Cost Optimization, Performance, Security, and Fault Tolerance.

Trusted Advisor scans your AWS infrastructure and compares is to AWS best practices in five categories:

      • Cost Optimization.
      • Performance.
      • Security.
      • Fault Tolerance.
      • Service Limits.

Trusted Advisor comes in two versions.

Core Checks and Recommendations (free):

      • Access to the 7 core checks to help increase security and performance.
      • Checks include S3 bucket permissions, Security Groups, IAM use, MFA on root account, EBS public snapshots, RDS public snapshots.

Full Trusted Advisor Benefits (business and enterprise support plans):

      • Full set of checks to help optimize your entire AWS infrastructure.
      • Advises on security, performance, cost, fault tolerance and service limits.
      • Additional benefits include weekly update notifications, alerts, automated actions with CloudWatch and programmatic access using the AWS Support API.

AWS Personal Health Dashboard

AWS Personal Health Dashboard provides alerts and remediation guidance when AWS is experiencing events that may impact you.

Personal Health Dashboard gives you a personalized view into the performance and availability of the AWS services underlying your AWS resources.

The dashboard displays relevant and timely information to help you manage events in progress.

Also provides proactive notification to help you plan for scheduled activities.

Alerts are triggered by changes in the health of AWS resources, giving you event visibility, and guidance to help quickly diagnose and resolve issues.

You get a personalized view of the status of the AWS services that power your applications, enabling you to quickly see when AWS is experiencing issues that may impact you.

Also provides forward looking notifications, and you can set up alerts across multiple channels, including email and mobile notifications, so you receive timely and relevant information to help plan for scheduled changes that may affect you.

Alerts include remediation details and specific guidance to enable you to take immediate action to address AWS events impacting your resources.

Can integrate with Amazon CloudWatch Events, enabling you to build custom rules and select targets such as AWS Lambda functions to define automated remediation actions.

The AWS Health API allows you to integrate health data and notifications with your existing in-house or third-party IT Management tools.

Penetration Testing

Penetration testing is the practice of testing one’s own application’s security for vulnerabilities by simulating an attack.

AWS allows penetration testing. There is a limited set of resources on which penetration testing can be performed.

You do not need permission to perform penetration testing against the following services:

  • Amazon EC2 instances, NAT Gateways, and Elastic Load Balancers.
  • Amazon RDS.
  • Amazon CloudFront.
  • Amazon Aurora.
  • Amazon API Gateways.
  • AWS Lambda and Lambda Edge functions.
  • Amazon Lightsail resources.
  • Amazon Elastic Beanstalk environments.

You can read the full vulnerability and penetration testing support policy here.

In case an account is or may be compromised, AWS recommend that the following steps are taken:

      1. Change your AWS root account password.
      2. Change all IAM user’s passwords.
      3. Delete or rotate all programmatic (API) access keys.
      4. Delete any resources in your account that you did not create.
      5. Respond to any notifications you received from AWS through the AWS Support Center and/or contact AWS Support to open a support case.

Also in AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Training Notes:

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