Category: Compliance


Register for and Attend This March 29 Tech Talk—Best Practices for Managing Security Operations in AWS

by Craig Liebendorfer | on | in Announcements, Best Practices, Compliance, Security | | Comments

AWS webinars logo

As part of the AWS Monthly Online Tech Talks series, AWS will present Best Practices for Managing Security Operations in AWS on Wednesday, March 29. This tech talk will start at 9:00 A.M. and end at 10:00 A.M. Pacific Time.

AWS Global Cloud Security Architect Armando Leite will show you different ways you can use AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) to control access to your AWS services and integrate your existing authentication system with IAM.

You also will learn:

  • How to deploy and control your AWS infrastructure using code templates, including change management policies with AWS CloudFormation.
  • How to audit and log your AWS service usage.
  • How to use AWS services to add automatic compliance checks to your AWS infrastructure.
  • About the AWS Shared Responsibility Model.

The tech talk is free, but space is limited and registration is required. Register today.

– Craig

In Case You Missed These: AWS Security Blog Posts from January, February, and March

by Craig Liebendorfer | on | in Announcements, Best Practices, Compliance, Encryption, How-to guides, Security | | Comments

Image of lock and key

In case you missed any AWS Security Blog posts published so far in 2017, they are summarized and linked to below. The posts are shown in reverse chronological order (most recent first), and the subject matter ranges from protecting dynamic web applications against DDoS attacks to monitoring AWS account configuration changes and API calls to Amazon EC2 security groups.

March

March 22: How to Help Protect Dynamic Web Applications Against DDoS Attacks by Using Amazon CloudFront and Amazon Route 53
Using a content delivery network (CDN) such as Amazon CloudFront to cache and serve static text and images or downloadable objects such as media files and documents is a common strategy to improve webpage load times, reduce network bandwidth costs, lessen the load on web servers, and mitigate distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. AWS WAF is a web application firewall that can be deployed on CloudFront to help protect your application against DDoS attacks by giving you control over which traffic to allow or block by defining security rules. When users access your application, the Domain Name System (DNS) translates human-readable domain names (for example, www.example.com) to machine-readable IP addresses (for example, 192.0.2.44). A DNS service, such as Amazon Route 53, can effectively connect users’ requests to a CloudFront distribution that proxies requests for dynamic content to the infrastructure hosting your application’s endpoints. In this blog post, I show you how to deploy CloudFront with AWS WAF and Route 53 to help protect dynamic web applications (with dynamic content such as a response to user input) against DDoS attacks. The steps shown in this post are key to implementing the overall approach described in AWS Best Practices for DDoS Resiliency and enable the built-in, managed DDoS protection service, AWS Shield.

March 21: New AWS Encryption SDK for Python Simplifies Multiple Master Key Encryption
The AWS Cryptography team is happy to announce a Python implementation of the AWS Encryption SDK. This new SDK helps manage data keys for you, and it simplifies the process of encrypting data under multiple master keys. As a result, this new SDK allows you to focus on the code that drives your business forward. It also provides a framework you can easily extend to ensure that you have a cryptographic library that is configured to match and enforce your standards. The SDK also includes ready-to-use examples. If you are a Java developer, you can refer to this blog post to see specific Java examples for the SDK. In this blog post, I show you how you can use the AWS Encryption SDK to simplify the process of encrypting data and how to protect your encryption keys in ways that help improve application availability by not tying you to a single region or key management solution. (more…)

Updated CJIS Workbook Now Available by Request

by Chris Gile | on | in Compliance | | Comments

CJIS logo

The need for guidance when implementing Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS)–compliant solutions has become of paramount importance as more law enforcement customers and technology partners move to store and process criminal justice data in the cloud. AWS services allow these customers to easily and securely architect a CJIS-compliant solution when handling criminal justice data, creating a durable, cost-effective, and secure IT infrastructure that better supports local, state, and federal law enforcement in carrying out their public safety missions.

AWS has created several documents (collectively referred to as the CJIS Workbook) to assist you in aligning with the FBI’s CJIS Security Policy. You can use the workbook as a framework for developing CJIS-compliant architecture in the AWS Cloud. The workbook helps you define and test the controls you operate, and document the dependence on the controls that AWS operates (compute, storage, database, networking, regions, Availability Zones, and edge locations).

Our most recent updates to the CJIS Workbook include:

AWS’s commitment to facilitating CJIS processes with customers is exemplified by the recent CJIS Agreements put in place with the states of California, Colorado, Louisiana, Minnesota, Oregon, Utah and Washington (to name but a few). As we continue to sign CJIS agreements across the country, law enforcement agencies are able to implement innovations to improve communities’ and officers’ safety, including body cameras, real-time gunshot notifications, and data analytics. With the release of our updated CJIS Workbook, AWS remains dedicated to enabling cloud usage for the law enforcement market.

Please reach out to AWS Compliance if you have additional questions about CJIS or any other set of compliance standards.

– Chris Gile, AWS Risk and Compliance

New AWS Big Data Blog Post: Analyze Security, Compliance, and Operational Activity Using AWS CloudTrail and Amazon Athena

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

Yesterday, the AWS Big Data Blog published a new blog post: “Analyze Security, Compliance, and Operational Activity Using AWS CloudTrail and Amazon Athena.”

In this blog post, AWS Professional Services Consultant Sai Sriparasa shows how to set up and use the recently released Amazon Athena CloudTrail SerDe to query AWS CloudTrail log files for Amazon EC2 security group modifications, console sign-in activity, and operational account activity. This post assumes that you already have CloudTrail configured.

To read the whole post, see Analyze Security, Compliance, and Operational Activity Using AWS CloudTrail and Amazon Athena.

– Craig

 

How to Audit Your AWS Resources for Security Compliance by Using Custom AWS Config Rules

by Myles Hosford | on | in Compliance, Security | | Comments

AWS Config Rules enables you to implement security policies as code for your organization and evaluate configuration changes to AWS resources against these policies. You can use Config rules to audit your use of AWS resources for compliance with external compliance frameworks such as CIS AWS Foundations Benchmark and with your internal security policies related to the US Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), and other regimes.

AWS provides a number of predefined, managed Config rules. You also can create custom Config rules based on criteria you define within an AWS Lambda function. In this post, I show how to create a custom rule that audits AWS resources for security compliance by enabling VPC Flow Logs for an Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). The custom rule meets requirement 4.3 of the CIS AWS Foundations Benchmark: “Ensure VPC flow logging is enabled in all VPCs.”

Solution overview

In this post, I walk through the process required to create a custom Config rule by following these steps:

  1. Create a Lambda function containing the logic to determine if a resource is compliant or noncompliant.
  2. Create a custom Config rule that uses the Lambda function created in Step 1 as the source.
  3. Create a Lambda function that polls Config to detect noncompliant resources on a daily basis and send notifications via Amazon SNS.

(more…)

AWS Announces CISPE Membership and Compliance with First-Ever Code of Conduct for Data Protection in the Cloud

by Stephen Schmidt | on | in Compliance | | Comments

CISPE logo

I have two exciting announcements today, both showing AWS’s continued commitment to ensuring that customers can comply with EU Data Protection requirements when using our services.

AWS and CISPE

First, I’m pleased to announce AWS’s membership in the Association of Cloud Infrastructure Services Providers in Europe (CISPE).

CISPE is a coalition of about twenty cloud infrastructure (also known as Infrastructure as a Service) providers who offer cloud services to customers in Europe. CISPE was created to promote data security and compliance within the context of cloud infrastructure services. This is a vital undertaking: both customers and providers now understand that cloud infrastructure services are very different from traditional IT services (and even from other cloud services such as Software as a Service). Many entities were treating all cloud services as the same in the context of data protection, which led to confusion on both the part of the customer and providers with regard to their individual obligations.

One of CISPE’s key priorities is to ensure customers get what they need from their cloud infrastructure service providers in order to comply with the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). With the publication of its Data Protection Code of Conduct for Cloud Infrastructure Services Providers, CISPE has already made significant progress in this space.

AWS and the Code of Conduct

My second announcement is in regard to the CISPE Code of Conduct itself. I’m excited to inform you that today, AWS has declared that Amazon EC2, Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), AWS CloudTrail, and Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) are now fully compliant with the aforementioned CISPE Code of Conduct. This provides our customers with additional assurances that they fully control their data in a safe, secure, and compliant environment when they use AWS. Our compliance with the Code of Conduct adds to the long list of internationally recognized certifications and accreditations AWS already has, including ISO 27001, ISO 27018, ISO 9001, SOC 1, SOC 2, SOC 3, PCI DSS Level 1, and many more.

Additionally, the Code of Conduct is a powerful tool to help our customers who must comply with the EU GDPR.

A few key benefits of the Code of Conduct include:

  • Clarifying who is responsible for what when it comes to data protection: The Code of Conduct explains the role of both the provider and the customer under the GDPR, specifically within the context of cloud infrastructure services.
  • The Code of Conduct sets out what principles providers should adhere to: The Code of Conduct develops key principles within the GDPR about clear actions and commitments that providers should undertake to help customers comply. Customers can rely on these concrete benefits in their own compliance and data protection strategies.
  • The Code of Conduct gives customers the security information they need to make decisions about compliance: The Code of Conduct requires providers to be transparent about the steps they are taking to deliver on their security commitments. To name but a few, these steps involve notification around data breaches, data deletion, and third-party sub-processing, as well as law enforcement and governmental requests. Customers can use this information to fully understand the high levels of security provided.

I’m proud that AWS is now a member of CISPE and that we’ve played a part in the development of the Code of Conduct. Due to the very specific considerations that apply to cloud infrastructure services, and given the general lack of understanding of how cloud infrastructure services actually work, there is a clear need for an association such as CISPE. It’s important for AWS to play an active role in CISPE in order to represent the best interests of our customers, particularly when it comes to the EU Data Protection requirements.

AWS has always been committed to enabling our customers to meet their data protection needs. Whether it’s allowing our customers to choose where in the world they wish to store their content, obtaining approval from the EU Data Protection authorities (known as the Article 29 Working Party) of the AWS Data Processing Addendum and Model Clauses to enable transfers of personal data outside Europe, or simply being transparent about the way our services operate, we work hard to be market leaders in the area of security, compliance, and data protection.

Our decision to participate in CISPE and its Code of Conduct sends a clear a message to our customers that we continue to take data protection very seriously.

– Steve

New SOC 2 Report Available: Confidentiality

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

AICPA SOC logo

As with everything at Amazon, the success of our security and compliance program is primarily measured by one thing: our customers’ success. Our customers drive our portfolio of compliance reports, attestations, and certifications that support their efforts in running a secure and compliant cloud environment. As a result of our engagement with key customers across the globe, we are happy to announce the publication of our new SOC 2 Confidentiality report. This report is available now through AWS Artifact in the AWS Management Console.

We’ve been publishing SOC 2 Security and Availability Trust Principle reports for years now, and the Confidentiality criteria is complementary to the Security and Availability criteria. The SOC 2 Confidentiality Trust Principle, developed by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) Assurance Services Executive Committee (ASEC), outlines additional criteria focused on further safeguarding data, limiting and reducing access to authorized users, and addressing the effective and timely disposal of customer content after deletion by the customer. (more…)

Compliance in the Cloud for New Financial Services Cybersecurity Regulations

by Jodi Scrofani | on | in Announcements, Compliance | | Comments

Financial regulatory agencies are focused more than ever on ensuring responsible innovation. Consequently, if you want to achieve compliance with financial services regulations, you must be increasingly agile and employ dynamic security capabilities. AWS enables you to achieve this by providing you with the tools you need to scale your security and compliance capabilities on AWS.

The following breakdown of the most recent cybersecurity regulations, NY DFS Rule 23 NYCRR 500, demonstrates how AWS continues to focus on your regulatory needs in the financial services sector.

Cybersecurity Program, Policy, and CISO (Section 500.02-500.04)

You can use AWS Cloud Compliance to understand the robust controls AWS uses to maintain security and data protection in the cloud. Because your systems are built on top of the AWS Cloud infrastructure, compliance responsibilities are shared. AWS uses whitepapers, reports, certifications, accreditations, and other third-party attestations to provide you with the information you need to understand how AWS manages the security program. To learn more, read an Overview of Risk and Compliance for AWS. (more…)

The Top 10 Most Downloaded AWS Security and Compliance Documents in 2016

by Sara Duffer | on | in Compliance, Security | | Comments

The following list includes the ten most downloaded AWS security and compliance documents in 2016. Using this list, you can learn about what other people found most interesting about security and compliance last year.

  1. Service Organization Controls (SOC) 3 Report – This publicly available report describes internal controls for security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, or privacy.
  2. AWS Best Practices for DDoS Resiliency – This whitepaper covers techniques to mitigate distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.
  3. Architecting for HIPAA Security and Compliance on AWS – This whitepaper describes how to leverage AWS to develop applications that meet HIPAA and HITECH compliance requirements.
  4. ISO 27001 Certification – The ISO 27001 certification of our Information Security Management System (ISMS) covers our infrastructure, data centers, and services including Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), and Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC).
  5. AWS: Overview of Security Processes – This whitepaper describes the physical and operational security processes for the AWS managed network and infrastructure, and helps answer questions such as, “How does AWS help me protect my data?”
  6. AWS: Risk and Compliance – This whitepaper provides information to help customers integrate AWS into their existing control framework, including a basic approach for evaluating AWS controls and a description of AWS certifications, programs, reports, and third-party attestations.
  7. ISO 27017 Certification – The ISO 27017 certification provides guidance about the information security aspects of cloud computing, recommending the implementation of cloud-specific information security controls that supplement the guidance of the ISO 27002 and ISO 27001 standards.
  8. AWS Whitepaper on EU Data Protection – This whitepaper provides information about how to meet EU compliance requirements when using AWS services.
  9. PCI Compliance in the AWS Cloud: Technical Workbook – This workbook provides guidance about building an environment in AWS that is compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).
  10. Auditing Security Checklist – This whitepaper provides information, tools, and approaches for auditors to use when auditing the security of the AWS managed network and infrastructure.

– Sara

FedRAMP Compliance Update: AWS GovCloud (US) Region Receives a JAB-Issued FedRAMP High Baseline P-ATO for Three New Services

by Chris Gile | on | in Announcements, Compliance | | Comments

FedRAMP logo

Three new services in the AWS GovCloud (US) region have received a Provisional Authority to Operate (P-ATO) from the Joint Authorization Board (JAB) under the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP). JAB issued the authorization at the High baseline, which enables US government agencies and their service providers the capability to use these services to process the government’s most sensitive unclassified data, including Personal Identifiable Information (PII), Protected Health Information (PHI), Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI), criminal justice information (CJI), and financial data.

On January 5, 2017, JAB assessed and authorized the following AWS services at the FedRAMP High baseline in the AWS GovCloud (US) Region:

By achieving this milestone, our FedRAMP-authorized service offering now enables you to quickly and easily develop databases to not only manage data but also to secure and monitor access.

You can address your most stringent regulatory and compliance requirements while achieving your mission in the AWS GovCloud (US) Region. Learn about AWS and FedRAMP compliance or contact us.

– Chris