Using AWS for Your SaaS application–Here’s What You Need to Do for Data Security

In 2021, several AWS-related data breaches caused networks to be downed for several weeks together, disrupting business across the industries. For instance, an anonymous marketing services company put up 3.3 million Volkswagen and Audi records of customers and prospects in Canada and the US for sale online. Some of the other companies to experience breaches last year were Cosmolog Kozmetik, the Turkish beauty brand, 80 municipalities in the US, and Twitch, the game streaming company. 50,000 patient records and senior citizen information were also leaked due to the misconfiguration of the Amazon S3 bucket.

These instances show that the users of AWS, a very popular SaaS platform, need to be very careful about their data security and put up appropriate security to safeguard the safety and privacy of their data.

Security Posture with AWS

AWS is ahead of the competition having cornered 32-33% of the $178 billion cloud infrastructure services market in 2021. Apart from its other benefits, AWS provides its own security with network architecture and data centers to protect enterprise data, information, devices, identities, and applications. It helps businesses meet security and compliance requirements regarding data locality, confidentiality, and protection, and with our comprehensive services and features.

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AWS allows the automation of security to enable scaling and innovation of business and as a SaaS solution, users also benefit from lower costs as they pay only as per use.

Some of the features of the AWS security include:

Scalability, Visibility, Control: AWS empowers businesses to determine their data governance policies including where to store it, who has access to it, the resources it will consume at any given time, and so on. Identity and access controls with continuous monitoring provide near real-time information to ensure access to the right resources at all times. The solution can be integrated with the existing solutions.

Integrated Services for Automation and Risk Reduction: AWS facilitates automating security tasks to reduce the risk of errors due to human configuration errors.

Ensuring Highest Standards for Privacy and Data Security: The AWS data centers are monitored by security experts 24×7. Further, the data is encrypted before flowing through the AWS global network with additional encryption layers. These include customer or service-to-service TLS connections and VPC cross-region peering traffic, which are provided for extra protection.

Security and Compliance Controls: Third-party validation helps ensure that the AWS is compliant with most global regulatory requirements encompassing retail, finance, healthcare, and government, among others.

Misconfigurations Leading to AWS Breaches

Despite the in-built security feature and constant monitoring, why then do businesses that host their services on AWS face security breaches?

The vulnerability is often due to misconfiguration which leaves the applications prone to hacking. The most common causes for vulnerabilities include

Problem #1 Insufficient Permissions and Encryptions: Simple Storage Service (S3) infrastructure, also called S3 buckets, in AWS allows users to store and retrieve data by creating one wherever they want. This allows them to upload the data fast and cost-effectively. However, unless it is configured as private and permissions provided only to authorized users, it can be made public easily.

Problem #2 Making Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) Public by Mistake: Amazon Machine Images (AMIs), needed to launch an Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instance and replicate an existing solution for elastic cloud-based storage, can also be accidentally made public. Ensuring that it is set to private is essential for a secure system.

Problem #3 Identity and Access Management (IAM): Incorrect configuration of Identity and Access Management (IAM) is yet another reason why security can be compromised. Ensure that only the authorized users have permission for maintaining enterprise security protocols.

Problem #4 CloudTrail Logging: Amazon CloudTrail is a log of APIs recording all the calls made against their account and depositing them in the relevant S3 bucket. Often this is disabled because of which the source of API requests will not be known. When it is not enabled, the organization may not realize when there is a DDoS attack or where it originates.

Problem #5 S3 Buckets Logging: Disabling or not enabling S3 bucket logs makes security weaknesses potentially serious in your AWS account(s). Enable and review periodically to improve security.

Problem #6 Insufficient IP addresses Enabled within a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC): All who need access should be given it within the Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) infrastructures with enough IP addresses. While too many open IP addresses could pose a problem, not enough will prevent those who need to get in from accessing the apps.

Problem #7 Network Access Control (NACL) Allowing Uncontrolled Inbound Traffic: An optional layer, the Network Access Control list (NACL) manages the traffic flow in a subnet in a network such as a VPC or VPN. This too, when not configured properly, is a security concern.

Indium for a Secure AWS Hosting

The key to a secure AWS environment is in the proper configuration to ensure data security and privacy. India, Software, a leading provider of data, development, and security solutions, can help you leverage the flexibility and scalability of the AWS platform by configuring and enabling as required.

Indium is an AWS Partner that ensures that businesses leverage the speed of digital transformation by leveraging the underlying capabilities of the AWS cloud platform and maximize its services. Indium provides a secure solution while enabling you to:

● Migrate/modernize your applications and data on the cloud

● Leverage your data automation to scale and innovate in a secure, reliable, and compliant fashion

Author: Indium
Indium Software is a leading digital engineering company that provides Application Engineering, Cloud Engineering, Data and Analytics, DevOps, Digital Assurance, and Gaming services. We assist companies in their digital transformation journey at every stage of digital adoption, allowing them to become market leaders.