Security and Compliance of Amazon Elasticsearch

Amazon Elasticsearch helps organizations build applications without the need for maintaining or setting up the search cluster. Amazon ES enables the leverage of the Identity and Access Management service of AWS that allows organizations to secure access to their search domains. This service is a boon to the enterprise IT as it facilitates the search, analysis, and visualization of the data in real-time.

An open source analytics engine as well as an effective analytics enabler, Amazon Elasticsearch not only processes varying data types but also is integrated into the ELK stack. Here, ELK is the acronym for three services, namely, Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana. As investment of organizations in the cloud continues to propel, over 14% through 2024 as predicted by Gartner, services such as Amazon Elasticsearch will see a high uptake in demand in the near future.

Secure Nature and Compliance Validation of Amazon Elasticsearch

There are various configuration options that Amazon ES offers. These configurations can be followed by organizations for minimizing the complexities associated with the deployment of Amazon ES clusters even as maximizing security. Key security best practices for Amazon Elasticsearch are linked with Data Protection, Identity and Access Management (IAM), Access Control, Logging and Monitoring, and Infrastructure.

Data Protection

In order to protect their data, organizations must safeguard the credentials of their AWS account while setting up individual accounts for users using the AWS IAM. Following ways help organizations enable data protection.

  • Using an advanced managed security service, for example Amazon Macie, to aid the discovery and security of personal information stored in S3.
  • Leverage of encryption solutions with default controls of security.
  • Logging user activities and setting up APIs.
  • Using multi-factor authentication for all accounts.


Amazon ES provides many options for securing access to the clusters with the help of various policies and approaches for creating custom policies. It helps organizations control access to standalone indices or operations through fine-grained access control. There are three main policies based on IP, identity, and resource. The safest option for an organization is to adhere to the least privilege principle, granting permissions to actions that are absolutely necessary.


The global network security procedures of AWS protect the Amazon ES as a managed service. Organizations are allowed to use the API calls for accessing the configuration API via the network. Also, the requests sent to configuration APIs are needed to be signed in with the access key ID along with the secret access key related to a particular principle of AWS IAM. Organizations are also required to send sign in requests to ES APIs based on the configuration of their cluster. 

Logging and Monitoring

Integrated with CloudTrail, Amazon Elasticsearch delivers organizations with the record of user actions and capture of configuration API calls. Organizations are allowed to create a trail and drive continuous delivery of events, including those related to Amazon ES, to S3 buckets. Using the intelligence gathered by CloudTrail, organizations become capable of identifying requests made to ES along with their IP addresses, source, time, etc. The log files of CloudTrail involve either single or multiple log entries, which help in analysis and taking actions on the data collected in logs.

Access Control

Amazon ES enables the approach to multiple ways of data access control. It offers organizations with security at the document, index, and field level along with multi-tenancy and role-based access control. The security has three layers, namely, network, domain access policy, and access control. Organizations are also enabled to create roles for access control using the security operations in REST APIs.

Compliance Validation of Amazon Elasticsearch

There are third-party auditors for assessing the security and compliance of Amazon Elasticsearch, which include HIPAA, PCI, SOC. The compliance responsibilities of organizations with Amazon ES depends on the sensitivity of their data, compliance objectives, and regulations that apply. 

Different organizations have different requirements for regulatory or compliance, and have different levels of threats. Varying degrees of utilizing Amazon Elasticsearch may sometimes result in some non-alignment of security recommendations with business requirements. This implies that every organization must leverage Amazon ES in a way that fits best for their requirements.

To Conclude

With AWS stepping up for an optimum open source Amazon Elasticsearch, organizations can look forward to the ability of responding to changes in real-time by rapidly building solutions. This will further help them concentrate on the radical concepts of security for building efficient and stable systems.

Talk to our AWS experts. Book a free consultation here.

We are now live on AWS Marketplace.
The integrated view of your cloud infrastructure is now easier than ever!