What is a data perimeter?
A data perimeter is a set of preventive guardrails in your AWS environment you use to help ensure that only your trusted identities are accessing trusted resources from expected networks. Data perimeter guardrails are meant to serve as always-on boundaries to help protect your data across a broad set of AWS accounts and resources. These organization-wide guardrails do not replace your existing fine-grained access controls. Instead, they help improve your security strategy by ensuring that all AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) users, roles, and resources adhere to a set of defined security standards.
Trusted identities: Principals (IAM roles or users) within your AWS accounts, or AWS services acting on your behalf.
Trusted resources: Resources owned by your AWS accounts or by AWS services acting on your behalf.
Expected networks: Your on-premises data centers and virtual private clouds (VPCs), or networks of AWS services acting on your behalf.
How it works
To establish data perimeters, define your control objectives first and implement those objectives by using resource-based policies, service control policies, and VPC endpoint policies. Then, apply these policies as data perimeter guardrails within your AWS organization.
Data perimeter control objectives and capabilities
Data perimeter coarse-grained controls help you achieve six distinct security objectives through the implementation of different combinations of IAM policy type and condition keys.
Meet security and compliance requirements
Implement organization-wide permissions guardrails that help prevent AWS accounts, organizational units, or an entire organization from taking actions that do not meet your security and compliance policies. By using preventive controls, you can establish that only your trusted identities are accessing trusted resources from expected networks.
Improve your data loss prevention strategies
Use data perimeters in your data loss prevention strategies to detect and help prevent intentional or unintentional transfers of sensitive information for unauthorized use. Data perimeters provide cloud-native preventive controls to restrict access to trusted identities accessing sensitive data as you intend.
Establish an organization-wide data perimeter
With an organization-wide data perimeter in place, you can start by granting broader permissions to developers to get them started quickly on their projects. After the workload is well defined, work your way toward specific permissions and least privilege.
Allow data access to only those you want to have access
Establish an organization-wide data perimeter to allow data access to only those you want to have access. For example, they can help you ensure that data is accessed only by your employees and only from your corporate network, including your on-premises data centers or VPCs. Also, they can help prevent resources from being shared with external roles and users.
Help protect sensitive information
Help protect sensitive information with organization-wide data perimeters. Also help prevent employees from using noncorporate credentials to access noncorporate resources, which could lead to intentional or unintentional data loss. Help ensure that your employees can access only company-approved data stores.
Help prevent credential use outside of your corporate environment
Help prevent employees from using corporate credentials outside of your corporate environment, including your on-premises data centers and VPCs. Create an organization-wide perimeter that helps prevent your identities from performing any actions outside of your corporate network.
The purpose of the Data Perimeters Blog Post Series is to provide prescriptive guidance about establishing your data perimeter at scale, including key security and implementation considerations. These blog posts cover in depth the objectives and foundational elements needed to enforce identity, resource, and network data perimeters and how to use a risk-based approach to apply the relevant controls.