Data Protection Strategies for AWS Cloud in 2022

Data is the new currency, and pandemics had a massive impact on its extrapolation. According to an IDC survey, in 2020, 64.2 Zettabytes of the data was stored or replicated worldwide. Managing high volumes of the data and keeping it safe is a challenge for many organizations. In addition, with the growing data regulations and compliance requirements, enterprises need reliable data protection strategies.

Another key reason why data protection has been on the top of the security checklist for enterprises is increasing data theft. According to the ITRC report, there had been a 23 percent rise in data compromises in 2021. So, there is no denying that data theft has increased. A critical aspect is the push for cloud migrations. Unfortunately, many organizations are moving to the cloud without proper safeguards. Fortunately, cloud service providers like AWS come with pre-built tools to protect data.

Companies need to have the correct data protection strategy to optimize these tools and maximize security. So, here we are with the best strategies that help in optimizing data protection for the AWS cloud.

Data Types and Patterns

Data classification becomes key for organizations that need to address multiple information security concerns. For example, storing users’ sensitive personal information on the cloud requires enhanced strategies and security policies. It allows organizations to better comply with data regulation guidelines. Similarly, some data types are the intellectual property of organizations. So, data classification enables businesses with policy decisions and standard security definitions.

AWS does provide a service called Amazon Macie that uses machine learning to discover, classify and protect sensitive data automatically. It detects data usage patterns and access logs to sound an alert if there are any anomalies. Further, organizations can use Amazon Cloudwatch to enable automation workflows. Another critical aspect is that data classification helps control it for better security.

Data Protection and Control

There are many different types of information control that businesses can use to improve their data security. Information controls are among the most critical data protection strategies, from data encryptions to access control.

Data Encryptions

Encryption is one of the most fundamental security strategies. Cryptographic encryptions protect data from cyber attackers by converting information into an unreadable format that is further readable to users after decryptions. A simple example is an SSL certificate. It is a digital certificate that allows the validation of websites and systems and data security through encryption. Implementing data encryptions on the AWS cloud becomes easy with the certificate manager service. In addition, it provides free SSL certification.

Organizations can even add SSL certificates from an external certificate authority(CA) to the AWS cloud through certificate manager services. It will help you improve your data security through encryption-based strategies.

Data-at-rest vs. data-in-motion

Securing data-in-motion is different from data-at-rest. Data-in-motion is the one you transfer or provide for the user request. On the other hand, data-at-rest is stored on a storage device. Understanding the difference is essential as both have different challenges for security. For example, data-in-motion are prone to Man-in-the-middle(MITM) attacks. At the same time, data-at-rest can be subjective to cyberattacks as they are confined to an organization’s internal networks.

So, if there is a single code injection in the data-at-rest, it can affect the entire network. So, it’s essential to control the data storage and secure them through the right security strategy. One solution that businesses can use is Data Loss Prevention(DLP) solutions. Especially for data at rest, a DLP can apply specific policies to control the transfer and storage of sensitive information. Cloud data protection is not just about securing the transfer or storage. There are many different types of risks that you need to consider. So, it’s vital to assess the data risks.

Risk Assessment Framework

Risk assessment is key to your data protection policies. It allows you to reduce the risk of data loss and improve security on the cloud. However, businesses need a risk assessment framework to deal with risks associated with SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS services.

One way to ensure data protection is to use a cloud access security broker(CASB). Organizations can develop CASB inside the cloud infrastructure to help developers deal with security risks. CASBs are different from conventional firewall protocols. It offers additional features like,

  • Risk assessments
  • Governance of cloud infrastructure
  • Data encryptions
  • Configuration management
  • Malware detection
  • User and Entity Behavior Analytics(UEBA)
  • Data access control
  • Security key management

CASB improves visibility through analytics and provides vital details on app usage. It also allows organizations to improve compliance across data regulations like HIPAA, PCI DSS, and GDPR. Data protection strategies are incomplete without a data recovery strategy.

Data Recovery Strategy

The first part of the data recovery strategy is to define  Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO). RTO is the maximum delay between downtime and restoration of services. Similarly, RPO is the acceptable full-time since the last data recovery point. 

Once data recovery metrics are ready, organizations can leverage AWS Resilience Hub. It allows continuous monitoring and validation of RTO and RPO targets. So, businesses can have better data recovery and improved protection against the loss of information on the AWS cloud.

Scaling Data Security Strategies

Lastly, organizations need to have a strategy for scaling data security across AWS cloud infrastructure. Here one of the most significant aspects is governance and access policies. As businesses scale their data security strategies in the cloud, they need,

  • Enhanced Identity and Access Management(IAM)
  • Security policies specific to data buckets
  • Access control for different security groups and data buckets
  • Monitoring and analytical tools for access logs
  • Data authentication policies to ensure access protection

Conclusion

Data is increasing, and there is no end to the number of information businesses will need for their digital offerings. However, cloud service providers like AWS are not just empowering organizations with excellent infrastructure but tools to secure data. As a result, companies need to have reliable data protection strategies to leverage these tools. Further, they also need cloud intelligence and security solutions that enable reduced risks.

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