Tag: Amazon EC2


AWS HIPAA Program Update – Dedicated Instances and Hosts Are No Longer Required

Over the years, we have seen tremendous growth in the use of the AWS Cloud for healthcare applications. Our customers and AWS Partner Network (APN) Partners who offer solutions that store, process, and transmit Protected Health Information (PHI) sign a Business Associate Addendum (BAA) with AWS. As part of the AWS HIPAA compliance program, customers and APN Partners must use a set of HIPAA Eligible Services for portions of their applications that store, process, and transmit PHI.

Recently, our HIPAA compliance program announced that those AWS customers and APN Partners who have signed a BAA with AWS are no longer required to use Amazon EC2 Dedicated Instances and Dedicated Hosts to store, process, or transmit PHI. To learn more about the announcement and some architectural optimizations you should consider making, see the full APN Blog post.

–  Craig

Now Available: Use Resource-Level Permissions to Control Access to and Permissions on Auto Scaling Resources

Auto Scaling image

As of May 15, 2017, you can define AWS Identity and Access Management policies to control which Auto Scaling resources users can access and the actions users are permitted to perform on those resources. Auto Scaling helps you maintain application availability and allows you to scale your Amazon EC2 capacity up or down automatically according to conditions you define.

With resource-level permissions, you can enable different users within an organization, such as application developers and IT specialists, to access and modify launch configurations and Auto Scaling groups with appropriately configured permissions.

To learn more, see the full What’s New announcement.

– Craig

Easily Tag Amazon EC2 Instances and Amazon EBS Volumes on Creation

In 2010, AWS launched resource tagging for Amazon EC2 instances and other EC2 resources. Since that launch, we have raised the allowable number of tags per resource from 10 to 50 and made tags more useful with the introduction of resource groups and Tag Editor. AWS customers use tags to track ownership, drive their cost accounting processes, implement compliance protocols, and control access to resources via AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) policies.

The AWS tagging model provides separate functions for resource creation and resource tagging. Though this is flexible and has worked well for many of our users, it does result in a small time window when the resources exist in an untagged state. Using two separate functions means that it is possible for resource creation to succeed and tagging to fail, which would leave resources in an untagged state.

New this week, we have made tagging more flexible and more useful, with four new features:

  • Tag on creation – You can now specify tags for EC2 instances and Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) volumes as part of the API call that creates the resources.
  • Enforced tag usage – You can now write IAM policies that mandate the use of specific tags on EC2 instances and EBS volumes.
  • Resource-level permissions – By popular request, the CreateTags and DeleteTags functions now support IAM’s resource-level permissions.
  • Enforced volume encryption – You can now write IAM policies that mandate the use of encryption for newly created EBS volumes.

To learn more, see the full blog post on the AWS Blog.

– Craig

Easily Replace or Attach an IAM Role to an Existing EC2 Instance by Using the EC2 Console

AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) roles enable your applications running on Amazon EC2 to use temporary security credentials. IAM roles for EC2 make it easier for your applications to make API requests securely from an instance because they do not require you to manage AWS security credentials that the applications use. Recently, we enabled you to use temporary security credentials for your applications by attaching an IAM role to an existing EC2 instance by using the AWS CLI and SDK. To learn more, see New! Attach an AWS IAM Role to an Existing Amazon EC2 Instance by Using the AWS CLI.

Starting today, you can attach an IAM role to an existing EC2 instance from the EC2 console. You can also use the EC2 console to replace an IAM role attached to an existing instance. In this blog post, I will show how to attach an IAM role to an existing EC2 instance from the EC2 console. (more…)

New! Attach an AWS IAM Role to an Existing Amazon EC2 Instance by Using the AWS CLI

AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) roles enable your applications running on Amazon EC2 to use temporary security credentials that AWS creates, distributes, and rotates automatically. Using temporary credentials is an IAM best practice because you do not need to maintain long-term keys on your instance. Using IAM roles for EC2 also eliminates the need to use long-term AWS access keys that you have to manage manually or programmatically. Starting today, you can enable your applications to use temporary security credentials provided by AWS by attaching an IAM role to an existing EC2 instance. You can also replace the IAM role attached to an existing EC2 instance.

In this blog post, I show how you can attach an IAM role to an existing EC2 instance by using the AWS CLI. (more…)

How to Simplify Security Assessment Setup Using Amazon EC2 Systems Manager and Amazon Inspector

In a July 2016 AWS Blog post, I discussed how to integrate Amazon Inspector with third-party ticketing systems by using Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS) and AWS Lambda.

This AWS Security Blog post continues in the same vein, describing how to use Amazon Inspector to automate various aspects of security management. In this post, I show you how to install the Amazon Inspector agent automatically through the Amazon EC2 Systems Manager when a new Amazon EC2 instance is launched. In a subsequent post, I will show you how to update EC2 instances automatically that run Linux when Amazon Inspector discovers a missing security patch.

An overview of EC2 Systems Manager and EC2 Simple Systems Manager (SSM)

Amazon EC2 Systems Manager is a set of services that makes it easy to manage your Windows or Linux hosts running on EC2 instances. EC2 Systems Manager does this through an agent called EC2 Simple Systems Manager (SSM), which is installed on your instances. With SSM on your EC2 instances, you can save yourself an SSH or RDP session to the instance to perform management tasks.

With EC2 Systems Manager, you can perform various tasks at scale through a simple API, CLI, or EC2 Run Command. The EC2 Run Command can execute a Unix shell script on Linux instances or a Windows PowerShell script on Windows instances. When you use EC2 Systems Manager to run a script on an EC2 instance, the output is piped to a text file in Amazon S3 for you automatically. Therefore, you can examine the output without visiting the system or inventing your own mechanism for capturing console output. (more…)

The Most Viewed AWS Security Blog Posts in 2016

The following 10 posts were the most viewed AWS Security Blog posts that we published during 2016. You can use this list as a guide to catch up on your blog reading or even read a post again that you found particularly useful.

  1. How to Set Up DNS Resolution Between On-Premises Networks and AWS Using AWS Directory Service and Amazon Route 53
  2. How to Control Access to Your Amazon Elasticsearch Service Domain
  3. How to Restrict Amazon S3 Bucket Access to a Specific IAM Role
  4. Announcing AWS Organizations: Centrally Manage Multiple AWS Accounts
  5. How to Configure Rate-Based Blacklisting with AWS WAF and AWS Lambda
  6. How to Use AWS WAF to Block IP Addresses That Generate Bad Requests
  7. How to Record SSH Sessions Established Through a Bastion Host
  8. How to Manage Secrets for Amazon EC2 Container Service–Based Applications by Using Amazon S3 and Docker
  9. Announcing Industry Best Practices for Securing AWS Resources
  10. How to Set Up DNS Resolution Between On-Premises Networks and AWS Using AWS Directory Service and Microsoft Active Directory

(more…)

In Case You Missed These: AWS Security Blog Posts from June, July, and August

In case you missed any AWS Security Blog posts from June, July, and August, they are summarized and linked to below. The posts are shown in reverse chronological order (most recent first), and the subject matter ranges from a tagging limit increase to recording SSH sessions established through a bastion host.

August

August 16: Updated Whitepaper Available: AWS Best Practices for DDoS Resiliency
We recently released the 2016 version of the AWS Best Practices for DDoS Resiliency Whitepaper, which can be helpful if you have public-facing endpoints that might attract unwanted distributed denial of service (DDoS) activity.

August 15: Now Organize Your AWS Resources by Using up to 50 Tags per Resource
Tagging AWS resources simplifies the way you organize and discover resources, allocate costs, and control resource access across services. Many of you have told us that as the number of applications, teams, and projects running on AWS increases, you need more than 10 tags per resource. Based on this feedback, we now support up to 50 tags per resource. You do not need to take additional action—you can begin applying as many as 50 tags per resource today.

August 11: New! Import Your Own Keys into AWS Key Management Service
Today, we are happy to announce the launch of the new import key feature that enables you to import keys from your own key management infrastructure (KMI) into AWS Key Management Service (KMS). After you have exported keys from your existing systems and imported them into KMS, you can use them in all KMS-integrated AWS services and custom applications.

August 2: Customer Update: Amazon Web Services and the EU-US Privacy Shield
Recently, the European Commission and the US Government agreed on a new framework called the EU-US Privacy Shield, and on July 12, the European Commission formally adopted it. AWS welcomes this new framework for transatlantic data flow. As the EU-US Privacy Shield replaces Safe Harbor, we understand many of our customers have questions about what this means for them. The security of our customers’ data is our number one priority, so I wanted to take a few moments to explain what this all means.

August 2: How to Remove Single Points of Failure by Using a High-Availability Partition Group in Your AWS CloudHSM Environment
In this post, I will walk you through steps to remove single points of failure in your AWS CloudHSM environment by setting up a high-availability (HA) partition group. Single points of failure occur when a single CloudHSM device fails in a non-HA configuration, which can result in the permanent loss of keys and data. The HA partition group, however, allows for one or more CloudHSM devices to fail, while still keeping your environment operational. (more…)

Register for and Attend This July 29 Webinar—Best Practices for Managing Security Operations in AWS

AWS Webinars logo

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


As part of the AWS Webinar Series, AWS will present Best Practices for Managing Security Operations in AWS on Friday, July 29. This webinar will start at 10:30 A.M. and end at 11:30 A.M. Pacific Time.

AWS Security Solutions Architect Henrik Johansson 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 AWS 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 webinar is free, but space is limited and registration is required. Register today.

– Craig

How to Set Up DNS Resolution Between On-Premises Networks and AWS by Using Unbound

In previous AWS Security Blog posts, Drew Dennis covered two options for establishing DNS connectivity between your on-premises networks and your Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) environments. His first post explained how to use Simple AD to forward DNS requests originating from on-premises networks to an Amazon Route 53 private hosted zone. His second post showed how you can use Microsoft Active Directory (also provisioned with AWS Directory Service) to provide the same DNS resolution with some additional forwarding capabilities.

In this post, I will explain how you can set up DNS resolution between your on-premises DNS with Amazon VPC by using Unbound, an open-source, recursive DNS resolver. This solution is not a managed solution like Microsoft AD and Simple AD, but it does provide the ability to route DNS requests between on-premises environments and an Amazon VPC–provided DNS. (more…)