Category: Announcements

Amazon QuickSight Now Supports Audit Logging with AWS CloudTrail

by Craig Liebendorfer | on | in Announcements, Security | | Comments

QuickSight diagram

Amazon QuickSight democratizes business intelligence, making it easier and cheaper for you to provide advanced business analytics capabilities to everyone in your organization. Amazon QuickSight also enables you to understand your business better and helps you make data-driven decisions more quickly. However, determining who has access to which data in your organization can still be an administrative challenge.

Today, we are happy to announce that Amazon QuickSight now supports AWS CloudTrail, which enables you to log Amazon QuickSight events across your account. Amazon QuickSight administrators can now quickly and accurately answer questions such as who changed an analysis last or who connected to a sensitive database. CloudTrail support in Amazon QuickSight gives your administrators better governance, auditing, and risk management of your company’s Amazon QuickSight usage.

To learn more, see the full AWS Big Data Blog post.

– Craig

Announcing the Availability of Hardware Multi-Factor Authentication in the AWS GovCloud (US) Region

by Craig Liebendorfer | on | in Announcements | | Comments

AWS GovCloud (US) Region image

Hardware multi-factor authentication (MFA) is now available in the AWS GovCloud (US) Region to help strengthen data security while giving you control over token keys that have access to your data. MFA is a best practice that adds an extra layer of protection on top of users’ user names and passwords.

These token keys that are specific to the AWS GovCloud (US) Region are distributed by SurePassID, a third-party digital security company, and implement the Initiative for Open Authentication Time-Based One-Time Password (OATH TOTP) standard. SurePassID tokens are available for purchase on

For more information about hardware MFA in the AWS GovCloud (US) Region, see the AWS Public Sector Blog post.

– Craig

More Than One Dozen AWS Cloud Services Receive Department of Defense Impact Level 4 Provisional Authorizations in the AWS GovCloud (US) Region

by Chad Woolf | on | in Announcements, Compliance | | Comments

AWS GovCloud (US) Region logo

Today, I am pleased to announce that the AWS GovCloud (US) Region has received Defense Information Systems Agency Impact Level 4 (IL4) Provisional Authorization (PA) for more than one dozen new services. The IL4 PA enables Department of Defense (DoD) customers to operate their mission-critical and regulated workloads in the AWS GovCloud (US) Region, with data up to the DoD Cloud Computing Security Requirements Guide IL4.

The new AWS services added to the authorization include advanced database, low-cost storage, data warehouse, security, and configuration automation solutions that will help organizations with IL4 workloads increase the productivity and security of their data in the AWS Cloud. For example, with AWS CloudFormation you can deploy AWS resources by automating configuration processes. AWS Key Management Service enables you to create and control the encryption keys that you use to encrypt your data. With Amazon Redshift, you can analyze all your data by using your existing business intelligence tools and automate common administrative tasks to manage, monitor, and scale your data warehouse.

For a list of frequently asked questions, see AWS DoD Compliance page. For more information about AWS security and compliance, see the AWS Security Center and the AWS Compliance Center.

– Chad

AWS and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

by Stephen Schmidt | on | in Announcements, Compliance | | Comments

European Union image

Just over a year ago, the European Commission approved and adopted the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR is the biggest change in data protection laws in Europe since the 1995 introduction of the European Union (EU) Data Protection Directive, also known as Directive 95/46/EC. The GDPR aims to strengthen the security and protection of personal data in the EU and will replace the Directive and all local laws relating to it.

AWS welcomes the arrival of the GDPR. The new, robust requirements raise the bar for data protection, security, and compliance, and will push the industry to follow the most stringent controls, helping to make everyone more secure. I am happy to announce today that all AWS services will comply with the GDPR when it becomes enforceable on May 25, 2018.

In this blog post, I explain the work AWS is doing to help customers with the GDPR as part of our continued commitment to help ensure they can comply with EU Data Protection requirements.

What has AWS been doing?

AWS continually maintains a high bar for security and compliance across all of our regions around the world. This has always been our highest priority—truly “job zero.” The AWS Cloud infrastructure has been architected to offer customers the most powerful, flexible, and secure cloud-computing environment available today. AWS also gives you a number of services and tools to enable you to build GDPR-compliant infrastructure on top of AWS. (more…)

Manage Access to Your RDS for MySQL and Amazon Aurora Databases Using AWS IAM

by Craig Liebendorfer | on | in Announcements, Security | | Comments

RDS service image

Starting today, Amazon RDS enables you to use AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) to manage database access for Amazon RDS for MySQL database instances and Amazon Aurora database clusters. By using IAM, you can manage user access to all AWS resources from a single location, without needing to manage users in the database. This includes expanding and restricting permission levels, associating permissions with different roles, and revoking access. IAM authentication also allows easier and safer integration with your applications running on Amazon EC2.

To learn more, see the full announcement.

– Craig

New Whitepaper Available: AWS Key Management Service Best Practices

by Matt Bretan | on | in Announcements, Best Practices, Encryption, Security | | Comments

AWS KMS service image

Today, we are happy to announce the release of a new whitepaper: AWS Key Management Service Best Practices. This whitepaper takes knowledge learned from some of the largest adopters of AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS) and makes it available to all AWS customers. AWS KMS is a managed service that makes it easy for you to create and control the keys used to encrypt your data and uses hardware security modules to protect the security of your keys.

This new whitepaper is structured around the AWS Cloud Adoption Framework (AWS CAF) Security Perspective. The AWS CAF provides guidance to help organizations that are moving to the AWS Cloud and is broken into a number of areas of focus that are relevant to implementing cloud-based IT systems, which we call Perspectives. The Security Perspective organizes the principles that help drive the transformation of your organization’s security through Identity and Access Management, Detective Control, Infrastructure Security, Data Protection, and Incident Response. For each of the capabilities, the new whitepaper provides not only details about how your organization should use KMS to protect sensitive information across use cases but also the means of measuring progress.

Whether you have already implemented your key management infrastructure using KMS or are just starting to do so, this whitepaper provides insight into some of the best practices we recommend to our customers across industries and compliance regimes.

– Matt

Attend This Free April 27 Tech Talk—Applying AWS Organizations to Complex Account Structures

by Craig Liebendorfer | on | in Announcements | | Comments

AWS webinars logo

Update: This webinar is now available as an on-demand video.

As part of the AWS Monthly Online Tech Talks series, AWS will present Applying AWS Organizations to Complex Account Structures on Thursday, April 27. This tech talk will start at 10:30 A.M. and end at 11:30 A.M. Pacific Time.

AWS Principal Product Manager Anders Samuelsson will show you this new service that allows you to group AWS accounts and simplify cross-account management of security, financial, and automation settings. AWS Organizations provides enterprises the ability to centrally manage multiple accounts and operate efficiently at scale. For example, you can control which AWS services are available to individual accounts based on their organizational unit or type (Dev, Test, Production).

You also will learn:

  • About the impact of enabling Organizations on your existing accounts.
  • How to automate account creation.
  • How to create and use organizational units, including invitations and handshakes.

This tech talk is free. Register today.

– Craig

Introducing an Easier Way to Delegate Permissions to AWS Services: Service-Linked Roles

by Abhishek Pandey | on | in Announcements, How-to guides | | Comments

Some AWS services create and manage AWS resources on your behalf. To do this, these services require you to delegate permissions to them by using AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) roles. Today, AWS IAM introduces service-linked roles, which give you an easier and more secure way to delegate permissions to AWS services. To start, you can use service-linked roles with Amazon Lex, a service that enables you to build conversational interfaces in any application by using voice and text. Over time, more AWS services will use service-linked roles as a way for you to delegate permissions to them to create and manage AWS resources on your behalf. In this blog post, I walk through the details of service-linked roles and show how to use them.

Creation and management of service-linked roles

Each service-linked role links to an AWS service, which is called the linked service. Service-linked roles provide a secure way to delegate permissions to AWS services because only the linked service can assume a service-linked role. Additionally, AWS automatically defines and sets the permissions of service-linked roles, depending on the actions that the linked service performs on your behalf. This makes it easier for you to manage the permissions you delegate to AWS services. AWS allows only those changes to service-linked roles that do not remove the permissions required by the linked service to manage your resources, preventing you from making any changes that would leave your AWS resources in an inconsistent state. Service-linked roles also help you meet your monitoring and auditing requirements because all actions performed on your behalf by an AWS service using a service-linked role appear in your AWS CloudTrail logs.

When you work with an AWS service that uses service-linked roles, the service automatically creates a service-linked role for you. After that, whenever the service must act on your behalf to manage your resources, it assumes the service-linked role. You can view the details of the service-linked roles in your account by using the IAM console, IAM APIs, or the AWS CLI.

Service-linked roles follow a specific naming convention that includes a mandatory prefix that is defined by AWS and an optional suffix defined by you. The examples in the following table show how the role names of service-linked roles may appear. (more…)

Register for and Attend This Free April 27 Tech Talk—Deep Dive on Amazon Cloud Directory

by Craig Liebendorfer | on | in Announcements | | Comments

AWS webinars logo

Update: This webinar is now available as a slide deck.

As part of the AWS Monthly Online Tech Talks series, AWS will present Deep Dive on Amazon Cloud Directory on Thursday, April 27. This tech talk will start at noon and end at 1:00 P.M. Pacific Time.

AWS Cloud Directory Expert Quint Van Deman will show you how Amazon Cloud Directory enables you to build flexible cloud-native directories for organizing hierarchies of data along multiple dimensions. Using Cloud Directory, you can easily build organizational charts, device registries, course catalogs, and network configurations with multiple hierarchies. For example, you can build an organizational chart with one hierarchy based on reporting structure, a second hierarchy based on physical location, and a third based on cost center.

You also will learn:

  • About the benefits and features of Cloud Directory.
  • The advantages of using Cloud Directory over traditional directory solutions.
  • How to efficiently organize hierarchies of data across multiple dimensions.
  • How to create and extend Cloud Directory schemas.
  • How to search your directory using strongly consistent and eventually consistent search APIs.

This tech talk is free. Register today.

– Craig

The New AWS Organizations User Interface Makes Managing Your AWS Accounts Easier

by Anders Samuelsson | on | in Announcements | | Comments

With AWS Organizations—launched on February 27, 2017—you can easily organize accounts centrally and set organizational policies across a set of accounts. Starting today, the Organizations console includes a tree view that allows you to manage accounts and organizational units (OUs) easily. The new view also makes it simple to attach service control policies (SCPs) to individual accounts or a group of accounts in an OU. In this post, I demonstrate some of the benefits of the new user interface.

The new tree view

The following screenshot shows an example of how an organization is displayed in the tree view on the Organize accounts tab. I have chosen the Frontend OU, and it shows that two OUs—Application 1 and Application 2—are child OUs of the Frontend OU. In the tree view, I can choose any OU and immediately view and take action on the contents of that OU. This new view makes it easier to quickly view OUs and navigate the relationships between OUs in your organization.

Screenshot of the new tree view