Cloud security is serious business, one in which you can never ever be too sure of something. We already went over a basic overview of EC2 security in one of the previous articles in this series.
Now, let’s take a look at some recommendations and best practices to securing and maintaining your cloud presence, and having your Amazon EC2 instances running safely and securely.
While these tips primarily focus on EC2, many are actually applicable across AWS and its various services.
Best practices for EC2 security
The following is a brief list of recommendations and best practices for Amazon EC2 security in particular, and Amazon Web Services security in general. Making them a habit if you are an individual, or company policy if you are an organization, is the best way to ensure the security of your cloud infrastructure.
Here they are:
- Get rid of the Root Account, and hide away the Root key to only use it in severe cases.
- Uses IAM wherever necessary, as it provides a magnitude better level of security for your EC2 instances.
- If you are in a corporate environment, then make sure you create separate IAM users for your organization, giving each of them their own sets of access and secret keys.
- Never share your keys or passwords, these can cause serious implications.
- Leverage multifactor authentication (MFA), wherever possible. Passwords are good, but they are not the best option when it comes to authentication users.
- Do not share your account details with other users and applications. Instead use temporary credentials, also known as IAM Roles.
- Use roles and groups to assign individual IAM user permissions. Only provide the required level of access and permissions that a task demands, never higher.
- Maintain logs and history of your AWS accounts, and its associated services.
- Create separate administrators for each AWS service that you are using.
- Rotate your passwords and keys on a periodic basis, ensuring that you delete any unused keys and users on a regular basis.
- Make sure you are using AWS CloudTrail for security and compliance auditing.
These are basically the recommend practices that experts suggest when using AWS services. You can never be too safe in the high stakes world of cloud computing. But making a habit of these, at least assures you of streamlined security management of your cloud presence.
While simplifying audit and compliance in larger, more critical setups.
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