Introduction to Amazon Simple Storage Services S3

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Written by Team CloudEnsure

The most commonly used cloud service Amazon S3 as the name suggests is “Simple storage services” but is it really simple to store & at the same time secure your S3 bucket?

S3 bucket an object storage offering is a public cloud storage resource available in Amazon Web Services (AWS). The service is purposely built with a minimal feature set that emphasizes simplicity and robustness.

The advantages are numerous but the below listed are the ones making it the most popular AWS service:

• Easy bucket creation

• Desired & unlimited storage tiers

• Granting required permissions

• Standard interfaces for communication

While the demand, availability & consumption are all the most for this service, so are the security breaches that have happened in recent years. The researchers & analysts have provided reasons, reports & details around why and what of those breaches, and one thing has come to everyone’s notice, that it was the security in the cloud, in simple terms misconfigurations by consumers that resulted in many of those breaches.

AWS does rate Cloud security as the highest priority amongst other features such as reliability, scalability & performance. AWS S3 is a managed service and thus is protected by the AWS global network security procedures which ensure that there are numerous controls, well-defined processes & specific policies in place to secure the S3 provisioning & usage by various enterprises in various ways. As an AWS S3 consumer, one is entitled to receive the advantage from the data centre and network architecture that is built to meet the requirement of the foremost security-sensitive organizations. But as we have heard many times security is a shared responsibility between the cloud provider and the cloud consumer. While the security of the cloud is taken care including the physical infrastructure, backup centres, availability zone & compliances. Security in the cloud is the area most organizations have been found wanting.

In present times, settings available in the cloud are so many that making a mistake is easy but finding where exactly you made the mistake is challenging. While AWS makes S3 storage private by default, enough organizations do not follow best practices making this an easy target for the miscreants of the cloud and thus resulting in newsworthy breaches.

But How do you ensure security & where do you start?

As Cloud experts & industry stalwarts suggest the best place to start is the AWS management console. While the cloud admin & engineers do get comfortable with that application, there are few third-party tools that leaders & business heads also utilize to ensure everything is indeed getting followed. Ensuring that security & optimization of the S3 bucket becomes the core of your cloud governance Model it is indeed essential for everyone in the organization to understand and relate to the cloud concepts and get visibility into the cloud.

AWS S3 Best Practices that Every Organisation should Definitely Incorporate:

• Make sure that your Amazon S3 buckets use the correct policies and are not publicly accessible.

• Implement least privilege access.

• Use IAM roles for applications and AWS services that needed Amazon S3 access.

• Consider encryption of data at rest.

• Enforce encryption of data in transit.

• Consider S3 Object Lock.

• Enable versioning.

• Consider Amazon S3 cross-region replication.

• Consider VPC endpoints for Amazon S3 access.

Bottom Line:

While adopting & adhering to all the above stated for a simple “S3 bucket” could be a daunting task, considering multiple permutations & combinations that are available for the consumer. It may take days or weeks to get the right state of S3 instances in place. That’s where tools like CloudEnsure come in handy providing all best practice checks in a single pane ensuring the S3 buckets are always being governed the right way. With the automated S3 bucket checks and vast cloud expertise available, it reduces the time to manage & govern ensuring industry benchmarks are adhered always.

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