Protecting Sensitive Data with AWS Encryption Services and Key Management Best Practices

Protecting your most sensitive data is a priority for all companies, whether you manage a large or smaller business. No target is too small to be vulnerable to cyber threats, and small-to-mid-sized businesses (SMBs) are at the highest risk of cyber-attacks and data breaches.

Learn how Amazon encryption services like AWS Key Management Services (AWS KMS) can protect your business data and what are the best practices to follow for maximum efficiency. The best part is, you don’t need to sweat the detail. When you’re a client, these services are all managed under WOLK’s Managed Services Agreement.

How AWS Key Management Service (KMS) Protects Sensitive Data
AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS) is a convenient managed service allowing business owners and IT system managers to create and manage cryptographic keys. These keys are used in data encryption, protecting your most sensitive data from unauthorised access.

AWS KMS is easy to use, reducing the process of setting up and managing cryptographic keys to just a few clicks. It is also fully integrated with other critical Amazon services, such as Elastic Block Store (EBS), Amazon S3, and RedShift.

AWS KMS allows you to centralise your cryptographic key management in one easy-to-use point, letting you create, rotate, manage, and delete keys and key permissions.

Data Security at the Source with Amazon S3 Server-Side Encryption
The Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) is an object storage service capable of intelligently retrieving data from any location to any device. Amazon S3 is an essential part of many organisations’ workflows, useful for virtually any application: from websites and data archives to mobile applications and enterprise-grade storage.

Besides its storage capabilities, Amazon S3 has many benefits for workplace security and sensitive data protection.

All businesses using Amazon S3 can benefit from its server-side encryption, protecting your data before it reaches AWS data centres and decrypting it when retrieved. Amazon S3 is designed to integrate with AWS KMS, letting you use the cryptographic keys and encryption standards you configured beforehand.

Additionally, since January 2023, all new objects uploaded to Amazon S3 servers are now automatically encrypted, even if you did not specify a key with AWS KMS.

Best Practices to Follow with AWS KMS
Follow these security best practices to maximise business security and make the most out of AWS KMS.

● Always follow the principle of least privilege. Each employee or team member should only have the permissions they need and no more.
● Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) on API calls to add another layer of security. MFA ensures that even if an attacker can access an employee’s valid credentials, they cannot tamper with business data without access to that employee’s secure device.
● Allow services such as AWS CloudTrail to audit key usage and monitor all key-related activity.

Enhance Business Data Security with WOLK
As a partner of the AWS Well-Architected Program, WOLK’s team can help your business implement a security plan compliant with the AWS Security pillar. Contact us today to arrange a review.

About DSD Assist

“Numeric Computer Systems (NCS), has focused on the needs of Fast-Moving Consumer Goods companies for over 40 years. Over that time, we have stayed abreast of revolutionary changes in the industry, today offering the eighth generation of our solutions. In 2016, we launched the DSD Assist cloud based solution portfolio.  The DSD Assist portfolio includes a new portal application, DSD Connect, plus online-offline mobile solutions for Sales Reps, Van Sales, Delivery drivers and Merchandisers.  Added to this is a mobile-first web ordering solution”

Innovations in the Cloud

DSD Assist has diligently undertaken a series of initiatives aimed at enhancing our software development and operational processes. In collaboration with a proficient AWS Well-Architected partner, we are actively engaged in the rearchitecture of select components within our solutions, with a primary focus on migrating to environmentally sustainable platforms, all while optimizing cost-efficiency.

These efforts have yielded significant benefits in terms of streamlining our development cycle, as they enable us to leverage swifter and more reliable deployment methodologies. This strategic approach not only aligns with our sustainability goals but also enhances the overall agility and efficiency of our software development and delivery operations.

Why Amazon Web Services (AWS)

The strategic decision to utilize AWS represented a natural progression for a company like DSD. AWS’s robust scalability and availability capabilities empower DSD to seamlessly adjust costs and performance in response to evolving customer needs and the company’s sustained growth.

Transitioning to a Software as a Service (SaaS) model significantly expedited DSD’s expansion of its customer base, predominantly owing to the inherent scalability and reliability afforded by AWS. As Greg Mellis aptly expressed, “I cannot overstate our satisfaction with the AWS migration process, and the remarkable improvements in reliability and scalability it has ushered in.”

AWS provides DSD with access to a scalable, reliable, and secure global computing infrastructure. This infrastructure allows DSD the flexibility to dynamically scale computing resources in accordance with business demands and requirements. Given DSD’s expanding client base and diverse operational needs, the organization leverages a comprehensive suite of AWS Products and Services, including but not limited to Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon FSx, Application Load Balancer, Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS), Amazon Workspaces, Route 53, CloudFormation, CloudTrail, CloudWatch, Amazon SES, Secrets Manager, and more, ensuring the robust and secure underpinning of its operations.

The Benefits of Working with AWS and WOLK Technology – an AWS Advanced consulting and leading Well-Architected partner

Collaborating with AWS in conjunction with WOLK Technology, an esteemed AWS Advanced consulting partner and a recognized Well-Architected leader, presents a myriad of compelling advantages for businesses seeking to optimize their cloud infrastructure and digital operations.

First and foremost, the association with AWS provides access to a robust and highly scalable cloud ecosystem, empowering organizations to leverage cutting-edge technologies and innovations for enhanced operational efficiency. As a trusted AWS Advanced consulting partner, WOLK Technology brings a wealth of expertise and experience to the table. They are well-versed in architecting solutions that align seamlessly with AWS best practices and Well-Architected Framework principles. This partnership ensures that businesses can harness the full potential of AWS, benefiting from cost-effective, secure, and high-performance cloud environments tailored to their specific needs.

WOLK Technology’s recognition as a Well-Architected leader underscores their commitment to maintaining the highest standards of operational excellence and reliability. This designation signifies their proficiency in designing cloud solutions that adhere to industry best practices, encompassing areas such as security, reliability, performance efficiency, and cost optimization. By engaging with WOLK Technology, organizations can confidently navigate the complexities of cloud architecture and optimize their AWS infrastructure to maximize their competitive advantage, all while maintaining a steadfast commitment to operational excellence and best-in-class cloud solutions.

A significant advantage for DSD lies in the utilization of Amazon FSx for Windows File Server, which ensures the consolidation of logs and dynamic data storage within FSx. This strategic approach enables multiple servers and services to access critical data.

Leveraging AWS in conjunction with containerization technology represents a compelling choice for modern businesses seeking the highest levels of agility, scalability, and efficiency in their cloud operations. AWS offers a vast and sophisticated ecosystem of cloud services, providing unparalleled flexibility and reliability. By embracing containerization, organizations can encapsulate applications and their dependencies, facilitating seamless deployment, scaling, and management. This dynamic synergy between AWS and containers empowers businesses to efficiently develop, deploy, and orchestrate applications at scale, thereby optimizing resource utilization, reducing operational overhead, and accelerating time-to-market, making it a formidable choice for forward-thinking enterprises.

Best Practices for Building Secure and Compliant Environments on AWS

New cyber threats emerge daily, but building secure environments is the best way to ensure maximum data security and protection against breaches. When working on the cloud with providers such as AWS, complying with the latest data security standards and applying data security best practices is critical to protecting sensitive data.

How Cloud Security Works on AWS
Amazon Web Services (AWS) uses a security and compliance model called AWS Shared Responsibility. Under this model, AWS and customers are jointly responsible for data security and compliance with the latest data protection standards.

AWS is generally responsible for the security of the cloud. Amazon is responsible for data security and regulatory compliance of the AWS global infrastructure, hardware, software, and networking used to run AWS services.

The customer is responsible for security in the cloud. Customers must ensure the safety and compliance of all data, processes, applications, platforms, and operating systems they run using AWS services.

AWS Security Best Practices
While knowing the AWS Shared Responsibility Model is essential, building a secure environment requires following cloud security best practices. Apply the following recommendations to your AWS instances to maximise data safety:

● AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS) to encrypt sensitive data.
● Understand the principle of least privilege and use AWS Identity and Access. Management (IAM) to ensure your team members only have access to the data they need.
● Detect potential threats early with activity monitoring services such as AWS CloudTrail and Amazon CloudWatch.
● Build an incident response and recovery plan to address data breaches, back up your most sensitive data, and recover from other security incidents.
● Create a culture of security awareness within your organisation to encourage good cloud safety habits.

AWS Compliance Best Practices
Regardless of your organisation’s industry, integrating compliance requirements into the design and architecture of your AWS is one of the best ways to meet data security standards. Some compliance best practices to consider include:

● Identify your industry’s regulatory requirements and whether they apply in your region and particular use case. For instance, U.S.-based AWS customers in the medical sector may need to comply with HIPAA or the HITECH Act.
● Use AWS services such as Amazon Macie to identify and protect your data based on its sensitivity. They can ensure your sensitive data receives the protection required by all applicable regulatory standards.
● Visit the AWS compliance resource repository to learn the specific processes and tasks needed to become compliant with your industry’s regulations.

Meet Your Security and Compliance Objectives with WOLK
WOLK Technology is a trusted team of Amazon Web Service experts. We can review your organisation’s cloud security and regulatory needs and help you meet data safety and compliance objectives.

Call us today for more information.