Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a major cloud platform that offers a whopping 200 fully-functional services within a dynamic ecosystem. If you’re new to AWS, it’s important to take advantage of the right cloud services to avoid common pitfalls and maximize security. Gaining a stronger understanding of AWS fundamentals can also help you keep the costs associated with your AWS account to a minimum.
Take advantage of Identity and Access Management (IAM)
Identity and Access Management (IAM) plays a key role in cloud security. It essentially defines and manages user identities and access permissions, which means anyone who accesses the system is who they say they are (authentication), and that users can only access the applications and resources they’re permitted to (authorization). This is particularly important from a security standpoint as 84% of businesses have experienced an identity-related breach in the past year, with 78% reporting a direct business impact.
In particular, IAM encourages secure credential management techniques, such as, the use of strong passwords – this is particularly valuable since as many as 80% of data breaches occur as the result of stolen or weak passwords. Additionally, IAM also ensures users change their passwords frequently, too.
CloudTrail is another useful service that continually tracks and logs activity across your AWS infrastructure. So, for example, if a user adjusts a firewall configuration, this activity will be recorded, which therefore makes it easier for you to investigate security issues, or debug failures.
It’s also advisable to send a copy of your CloudTrail logs to a different AWS account under restricted access. Doing so increases security as hackers are no longer able to erase access history.
CloudTrail is just one of many services offered in AWS, and, as such, you may easily find yourself paying for resources you’re not actually using – in fact, it’s estimated around 30% of cloud spend is wasted. Optimizing your AWS expenses is therefore an essential step to ensure you’re only paying for services you use. Maintaining a lean and efficient AWS cloud infrastructure is key for cost efficacy.
Use AWS Command Line Interface
The AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) is a useful tool that can manage your AWS services – you just need to download and configure this one tool and you’ll be able to control a host of AWS services from the command line and automate them through scripts.
As such, this eliminates the need for you to interact with the system through a Graphical User Interface (which, although user-friendly, can be a time-consuming process). Simply install this tool by downloading it from Amazon’s AWS CLI resource page; it’s a quick and straightforward process.
AWS provides reliable and user-friendly cloud computing services to businesses of all sizes around the world. By making sure to take advantage of Identity and Access Management, enable CloudTrail, and use AWS Command Line Interface, you’ll be able to successfully get the most out of AWS.