Published By - Brian Curtis

Beginner’s Guide to AWS Security Monitoring

Beginner’s Guide to AWS Security Monitoring

Organizations around the world are embracing the benefits of shifting their workloads, apps, and services to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and other popular cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) providers. Forrester Research predicts that more than half of global enterprises will rely on public cloud computing for their businesses by the end of 2018.

At the same time, cloud security concerns continue to rise. According to a 2018 Cloud Security Report from Cybersecurity Insiders, 91% of respondents are concerned about cloud security, an increase of 11% over last year’s report.

The truth is that the top three biggest security concerns are all based on operational error. The good news? You can fix these (we’ll tell you how). The bad news? Left exposed, these mistakes provide huge gaps that an attacker can walk right through. And because of that, continuous security monitoring of your AWS assets, configuration, and infrastructure is essential.

Let’s have a look at The TOP 3 AWS Security Concerns


AWS offers a number of security features from identity and access management (IAM) to security zones to multi-factor authentication to encryption (just to name a few). And for a new administrator, it may become a bit overwhelming to get all of those details completely right.


No matter how many security controls you may have in place, once an attacker has a set of authorized credentials, he can do a significant amount of damage under the guise of an authorized user. Credentials have enormous value – especially privileged ones with root and domain levels of access.


Without APIs, it would be nearly impossible to achieve all of the benefits that cloud platforms like AWS offer. By automating and enabling data transfer and use among disparate services, these interfaces unlock enormous scalability and efficiency gains.

AWS Security Best Practices

  • Understand the Shared Responsibility Model

AWS offers significant advantages for many organizations with its innovative technology model. However, one aspect of this innovation that can present unanticipated challenges is its ‘Shared Responsibility’ security model.

  • Identify the most common cloud configuration errors and make sure to avoid them

To avoid common cloud configuration errors and credential mismanagement, follow some of the key guidelines:
a) Lock down your root, domain, and administrator-level account credentials
b) Use IAM Roles and Temporary Credentials
c) Use VPCs (virtual private clouds)

  • Know the prevailing types of AWS attacks and what activities attackers perform

Unfortunately, cyber attackers don’t always use the same tools or techniques in every attack. But, there are enough common characteristics in AWS attacks to draw some instructive conclusions.

AlienVault USM Anywhere is an all-in-one platform that delivers powerful threat detection, incident response, and compliance management across cloud, on-premises, and hybrid environments. Unlike traditional security approaches that try to retrofit their network-centric approach to AWS, USM Anywhere is optimized for AWS.

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