reference deployment

Standardized Architecture for UK-OFFICIAL on AWS

Deploy a cloud architecture that helps support NCSC and CIS for UK-OFFICIAL workloads

This Quick Start sets up a standardized AWS Cloud environment that supports workloads that are classified as United Kingdom (UK) OFFICIAL. This data classification is associated with guidance and controls that help public sector organizations manage risks and ensure security when handling information assets.

The AWS environment built by the Quick Start aligns with the following guidelines that fall in scope with UK-OFFICIAL:

The Quick Start template automatically configures the AWS resources and deploys a multi-tier, Linux-based web application in a few simple steps, in about 30 minutes. The security controls matrix (Microsoft Excel spreadsheet) shows how the Quick Start components map to NCSC and CIS security requirements.

This Quick Start is part of a set of AWS compliance offerings, which provide security-focused architecture solutions to help Managed Service Providers (MSPs), cloud provisioning teams, developers, integrators, and information security teams follow strict security, compliance, and risk management controls. For additional Quick Starts in this category, see the Quick Start catalog.


This Quick Start was developed by AWS technical consultants and solutions architects.

  •  What you'll build
  •  How to deploy
  •  Cost and licenses
  •  What you'll build
  • This Quick Start deploys the following components and features:

    • Basic AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) configuration with custom IAM policies, with associated groups, roles, and instance profiles.
    • Standard, external-facing Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) Multi-AZ architecture with separate subnets for different application tiers and private (back-end) subnets for application and database. The Multi-AZ architecture helps ensure high availability.
    • Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) buckets for encrypted web content, logging, and backup data.
    • Standard Amazon VPC security groups for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances and load balancers used in the sample application stack. The security groups limit access to only necessary services.
    • Three-tier Linux web application using Auto Scaling and Elastic Load Balancing, which can be modified or bootstrapped with customer applications.
    • A management VPC hosting a secured bastion login host to facilitate command-line Secure Shell (SSH) access to Amazon EC2 instances for troubleshooting and systems administration activities. This VPC can be used for any other centralized governance and security tools, such as operational monitoring, long-term user credentials management, vulnerability management, configuration management source repositories, etc.
    • Encrypted, Multi-AZ Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) MySQL database.
    • Logging, monitoring, and alerts using AWS CloudTrail, Amazon CloudWatch, and AWS Config rules.
  •  How to deploy
  • Before you deploy the Quick Start, confirm that your AWS account is set up correctly by checking service limits and SSH key pairs, and setting up AWS Config. After you complete these prerequisites, you can build the Quick Start reference environment by following the instructions in the deployment guide. The deployment process includes these steps:

    1. Sign in to your AWS account at
    2. Launch the Quick Start. The deployment takes about 30 minutes.
    3. Test your deployment by connecting to the WordPress site built by the Quick Start.

    The Quick Start is modular and customizable. It includes nested AWS CloudFormation templates that automate deploying and configuring resources for IAM, logging, production VPC, management VPC, AWS Config rules, NAT, and the web application. You can deploy the entire architecture, or customize or omit resources.

  •  Cost and licenses
  • You are responsible for the cost of the AWS services used while running this Quick Start reference deployment. There is no additional cost for using the Quick Start.

    The AWS CloudFormation template for this Quick Start includes configuration parameters that you can customize. Some of these settings, such as instance type and storage, will affect the cost of deployment. See the pricing pages for each AWS service you will be using for cost estimates.