The modern connected workplace should be secure, flexible, and accessible. To meet these demands, Amazon Web Services (AWS) built its cloud services on the principles of the Well-Architected Framework, allowing organisations to benefit from the best data security and protection frameworks. Follow these tips and best practices to make the most of your migration to AWS and take advantage of its security features and options.

Pre-Migration Planning

Migrating to a secure cloud-based service requires proper planning and preparation. Creating a pre-migration plan can help you identify your needs and select the correct services.

  • Assess security needs. Identify the most sensitive data your organisation handles and determine what data must comply with regulatory standards like GDPR, HIPAA, or PCI DSS.
  • Evaluate current policies. Check your organisation’s existing security policies and identify any gaps or vulnerabilities the AWS environment can address, such as inadequate real-time monitoring, poor data encryption, or lack of multi-factor identification.
  • Choose the right AWS services. Review the list of available AWS services and select the ones that best meet your needs. For instance, Amazon WorkSpaces is a common choice for distributed workforces who need a secure desktop-as-a-service solution. Consider AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) to control access to your business data with a profiles and permissions system for your organisation members.

Migration Strategy

Once you have established a migration plan, develop a strategy to ensure your migration to a cloud-based workplace is as efficient as possible.

  • Establish a timeline. Create a detailed timeline for your migration process. Define clear, achievable milestones so you can measure and track your migration process in detail.
  • Prioritise your migration tasks. Visualise your current infrastructure and applications to determine what assets need to be moved to the cloud and in what order.
  • Security-first approach. Define and assign clear roles and responsibilities for your team members. Use these definitions to adopt a security-first approach and determine data access controls with tools like AWS IAM. Then, transfer data using secure protocols, such as AWS Direct Connect and AES-256 encryption algorithms.

Execution of Migration

During the migration process, the first step is to configure your AWS environment and set it up according to your business needs. Configure basic AWS resources, such as EC2 instances, S3 buckets, VPC settings, and the IAM roles and policies established in the migration plan. 

Then, use secure transfer methods to move your data over to the AWS servers, such as AWS Direct Connect, ensuring it is not exposed to the public internet during your data migration phase.

Secure Your Future in the AWS Cloud

Partnering with an AWS specialist such as WOLK can help ensure your business data migration goes as planned. Our services range from pre-migration planning and execution to post-migration security audits, employee training, and continuous monitoring to ensure maximum data safety.

Cloud computing and software-as-a-service (SaaS) allow your business to access the latest technologies instantly, so you only pay for the services you use. Cloud service providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS) implement the latest security features to ensure your company benefits from these cloud services with the lowest possible risk. 

Here’s how migrating to AWS helps to modernise your work environment while keeping it secure from the latest threats.

Key Benefits of Migrating to AWS

Whether you operate a small-to-midsize or a larger business, migrating to AWS provides your company with a comprehensive suite of tools to enhance security, including:

  • Enhanced Security Across the Board

Migration to AWS means benefitting from Amazon’s comprehensive security features. Security methods include firewalls, data-at-rest and data-in-transit encryption, and high-strength cryptographic algorithms to protect your data from theft and intrusion.

Amazon AWS approaches security from a multi-layered principle as part of its Well-Architected Security pillar. All elements of the cloud stack, from the physical data centres to the software running the network, have their own security systems.

  • Decentralisation of Endpoint Device Relevance

Migrating your business data to AWS means that the endpoints (your local devices) no longer need to host critical data and business resources. Everything that matters to your organisation is on the cloud, stored in AWS data centres remotely, reducing the risks associated with device theft or damage. 

The primary benefit of this approach is to reduce the need to invest in security hardware and software locally. Other advantages include mitigating the risks of local IT failures and making it possible to securely access your data from any device, helping support remote, hybrid, and distributed workforces.

  • Improved Control and Management

With AWS, you have access to a broad range of tools to control and manage access to your data:

  • Identity Access Management (IAM) lets you create user profiles to control which organisation members have access to what data and resources.
  • AWS CloudTrail monitors user activity for suspicious behaviour and provides the tools to meet compliance requirements with your industry’s regulatory standards, such as SOC, HIPAA, and FedRamp.
  • AWS Config details your AWS resource inventory and helps ensure their configurations comply with your desired security guidelines. It also alerts you if any changes are made, ensuring you can quickly review them and respond accordingly.

Start Your Secure AWS Journey Today

Complete your business’s transition to Amazon Web Services with the cloud experts at WOLK. Contact us today to learn how we can help you build a safe, secure, and efficient work environment with AWS.

Measuring and Reporting on Sustainability Metrics to Track Progress and Drive Continuous Improvement

Amazon Web Services (AWS) customers can use numerous tools to manage and build reports on their organisation’s sustainability metrics. These tools are critical to measuring a company’s carbon footprint, overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and compliance with the Sustainability pillar of the AWS Well-Architected Framework.

Track Carbon Footprint and GHG Emissions with the Amazon Customer Carbon Footprint Tool

One of the most important sustainability tools available to AWS customers is the Amazon Customer Carbon Footprint Tool. This AWS service is a data dashboard informing businesses and organisations of their workflows’ environmental impact.

Use the Carbon Footprint Tool dashboard to view your organisation’s overall carbon emissions and build a path to 100% renewable energy usage. The dashboard can also display emissions breakdowns by geographic region, individual services (e.g., Amazon EC2, Amazon S3), and trends over time.

More Visibility into Sustainability Data with the Contino Dashboard

Enhance your organisation’s understanding of its sustainability goals and current performance with the Contino Sustainability Dashboard

This new open-source tool provides a detailed view of your organisation’s cloud usage carbon footprint. It complements the Amazon Carbon Footprint Tool, giving AWS customers additional instruments to help meet sustainability objectives.

Contino Dashboard was designed for businesses and organisations seeking actionable data and plans to reduce their carbon footprint. It is purpose-built to increase data visibility with a specific focus on sustainability. The dashboard is also more accurate than previous methods, such as using cost optimisation dashboards and correlating cost savings with resource efficiency.

Report Data with Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Solutions

Compliance with Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) frameworks can help an organisation achieve its sustainability objectives. AWS customers can use ESG reporting and disclosure solutions to gather ESG data and meet reporting requirements efficiently. These solutions are designed to integrate into your AWS workflows. Typical ESG reporting tools continuously read and analyse your data to ensure compliance with standardised sustainability objectives.

After analysing your data, they show reports displaying various metrics and indicators to help you measure your company’s adherence to environmental objectives, progress towards sustainability targets and goals, and comparisons with industry peers.

Many ESG reporting solutions employ advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) to improve the accuracy of their data collection, analysis, and validation processes. 

Make Your Organisation More Sustainable with WOLK

At WOLK, part of our role is to ensure your compliance with AWS sustainability principles, regardless of your experience with cloud technology. Whether your organisation is starting its cloud transition or is already familiar with cloud services, our team can provide guidance. Contact WOLK today to learn more.

This solution is ideal for delegating administrative permissions to specific groups within the business or organisation. This includes managing individual user accounts and implementing password policies.

Why Your Organisation Should Use AWS Managed Microsoft AD

AWS Microsoft Active Directory (Microsoft AD) is a set of powerful services allowing businesses to manage all devices and users on their network.

This solution is ideal for delegating administrative permissions to specific groups within the business or organisation. This includes managing individual user accounts and implementing password policies.

Why Your Organisation Should Use AWS Managed Microsoft AD

AWS Managed Microsoft AD is the ideal solution for integrating their existing Microsoft Active Directory with the AWS cloud. It gives employees and team members access to all resources and applications with only a single set of credentials.

Using AWS Managed Microsoft AD lets businesses and organisations simplify user management and boost data security. It also integrates with other common AWS services, such as Amazon RDS or Amazon EC2.

AWS Managed Microsoft AD is also fully scalable. You can deploy Microsoft AD over multiple AWS regions and accounts, letting your organisation access AD-aware applications and other AWS services from anywhere in the world.

Use Cases of AWS Managed Microsoft AD
AWS Managed Microsoft AD lets businesses and organisations share an AD directory for multiple use cases. Examples include:

  • Signing in to AWS applications and services using your Microsoft AD credentials, such as AWS Client VPN, AWS Management Console, Amazon Connect, Amazon FSx, Amazon WorkMail, and many more.
  • Managing your Amazon EC2 instances for Windows or Linux
  • Running traditional Microsoft AD-aware workloads in the AWS Cloud, such as Remote Desktop Licensing Manager or Microsoft SharePoint
  • Providing Single Sign-On (SSO) to your cloud applications and access Microsoft Office 365 with AD credentials
  • If you already have an on-premises Active Directory infrastructure, you can use AWS Managed Microsoft AD to extend it to the AWS cloud. This solution lets your team members sign on to AWS Management Console or Amazon WorkSpaces using their existing AD credentials.
  • Sharing your Active Directory across multiple AWS accounts to manage AWS services like Amazon EC2 seamlessly, eliminating the need to operate different directories for each account and virtual private cloud (VPC).

Work with WOLK, a Trustworthy AWS Partner

The WOLK Team is a certified AWS Well-Architected Program partner. We can help your business implement workplace integration and improve operational efficiency through Amazon Web Services. Contact us today to schedule a review.

AWS’s Approach to Achieving and Maintaining ISO 27001 and SOC Compliance

Two of the world’s most widely used data security standards are ISO 27001 and SOC Compliance Framework. They are two of the many global standards and frameworks Amazon has adopted as part of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Compliance Programs.

Amazon’s processes achieve and maintain compliance with these standards to ensure AWS customers benefit from strong data security practices and regulatory adherence.

How Amazon Complies with ISO/IEC 27001 Standards
ISO/IEC 27001 is among the world’s most widely-used information security management system (ISMS) standards. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is certified for compliance with ISO/IEC 27001:2013, the 2013 version of the standard.

Amazon’s internal processes for ensuring compliance consist of three elements:

1. Regular evaluations of current information security risks, threats, and vulnerabilities
2. Designing and implementing risk management procedures and other risk controls in accordance with ISO 27001 standards
3. Application of an overall risk management process to ensure current security controls meet Amazon’s needs

Independent third-party auditors conduct AWS’s ISO/IEC 27001:2013 audits to ensure an impartial certification process.

Controls and Measures Ensuring Amazon’s SOC Compliance
System and Organisation Controls (SOC) is a data security auditing standard created by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Service providers must adhere to the five Trust Service Criteria (TSC) to be SOC compliant: Security, Availability, Processing Integrity, Confidentiality, and Privacy.

As a cloud service provider, Amazon’s systems store large quantities of potentially sensitive data. Amazon certifies AWS is fully SOC compliant to ensure data safety, privacy, and protection for all AWS customers.

As with ISO/IEC 27001 standards, AWS receives periodic audits from independent third-party organisations to verify the firm’s adherence to SOC 2 standards. AWS customers can read SOC 1 and SOC 2 reports on AWS Artifact. SOC 3 reports are available publicly in whitepaper format.

Which AWS Regions are Covered by ISO 27001 and SOC Compliances?
AWS regions covered by ISO 27001 certification include 29 data centres worldwide and over 100 AWS Edge locations, ensuring AWS customers have access to an extensive range of ISO 27001-compliant regions.

The SOC 3 report details the list of SOC-compliant AWS regions. SOC-compliant data centres are available in over 20 countries and 140 Amazon Edge locations.

Learn More with an Experienced AWS Well-Architected Partner
Scheduling an AWS Well-Architected Review with experienced AWS partner WOLK Technology is the best solution to ensure the performance of your workflows. Contact us today to learn more.

Understanding the ISO 27001 and SOC Compliance Standards and Their Importance for AWS Customers

Organisations using Amazon Web Services (AWS) as a cloud provider must adhere to the latest data and information security standards. Two standards cover data safety and information security on AWS: ISO 27001 and the SOC Compliance Framework.

Understanding these standards is necessary for AWS customers to build a secure workplace environment.

The ISO 27001 Standard Explained
ISO/IEC 27001 is an international information security management systems (ISMS) standard. It is the world’s best-known ISMS standard and one of the most widely used. Conformity with the ISO/IEC 27001 standard is considered one of the most efficient methods to build an organisation’s resilience against cyber threats of all types.

ISO/IEC 27001 provides organisations with internationally recognised methods to build, implement, maintain, and improve an ISMS. It provides a comprehensive, systematic approach to protecting organisational data and information assets, ensuring safety, integrity, and confidentiality without compromising availability.

Amazon Web Services is certified for compliance with ISO/IEC 27001:2013, the 2013 version of the standard. Most Amazon services, including EC2, S3, Lambda, and Macie, are compliant with ISO/IEC 27001:2013.

What is the SOC Compliance Framework?
The System and Organisation Controls (SOC) Compliance Framework was developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

It is a data security framework designed to protect organisations’ customer data from vulnerabilities, theft, unauthorised access, and other security incidents. The framework assesses an organisation’s data management based on five criteria: security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy.

Most AWS services are SOC-compliant, including Amazon Redshift, GuardDuty, FSx, and WorkSpaces.

Why ISO 27001 and SOC Compliance Matter to AWS Customers
Compliance with these standards helps AWS customers build and maintain data security within their workflow and AWS ecosystems. Besides strong data security and effective risk management, adherence to these standards provides multiple additional benefits:

● Many industries impose specific data security and privacy requirements. Ensuring your AWS workflows comply with ISO 27001 and SOC can give you the peace of mind you meet these requirements and remain in line with your industry’s regulations.
● AWS customers complying with ISO 27001 and SOC standards can provide security reassurances to their partners and stakeholders. Adopting these internationally recognised standards demonstrates your dedication to data security.
● ISO 27001 and SOC compliance can give AWS customers a competitive edge. It showcases your commitment to protecting data, which can help privacy-minded customers choose your offerings or entrust their data to you.

Boost Organisational Data Security with WOLK
Security is at the forefront of all successful organisations. As an AWS Well-Architected Program Partner, WOLK has the resources to help you comply with data security standards and frameworks for your AWS environment. Contact WOLK today for a free review.

Using AWS Security Services to Enhance Workplace Security | Amazon GuardDuty and Amazon Inspector

While workplace security is critical for organisations of all sizes, the widespread adoption of remote work has introduced new security challenges. This means your business must implement security measures fully adapted to modern cybersecurity needs.

Three critical AWS security services can help protect your data and your company:
Amazon GuardDuty, Amazon Inspector and AWS Macie.

1. How Amazon GuardDuty Keeps Business Data Safe

Amazon’s GuardDuty service is an intelligent threat detection system that provides your business network with continuous security monitoring.

The primary purpose of Amazon GuardDuty is to protect your AWS accounts, workloads, and data stored on Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) servers. It monitors and analyses activity, detects unusual or malicious behaviour, and ranks them by threat severity levels.

When Amazon GuardDuty detects an actionable threat, it mitigates it as early as possible with automated responses. The service also provides detailed reports called GuardDuty findings, allowing you to tailor GuardDuty to your needs and focus on specific threats.

2. Scan for Vulnerabilities with Amazon Inspector

Amazon Inspector is a Vulnerability Management Service (VMS). Although it may seem similar to Amazon GuardDuty due to its continuous monitoring service, Amazon Inspector primarily focuses on software and network vulnerability.

Amazon Inspector keeps your network safe by automatically and regularly scanning your Amazon EC2 instances, AWS Lambda functions, and other eligible resources. Inspector also checks for unintended network exposure and software vulnerabilities, which could put your data at risk.

Amazon Inspector will automatically re-scan your organisation’s networks when you install a new patch or software package or when a new Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) entry is published.

3. Completing Business Data Security with Amazon Macie

Amazon Macie is an automated data security service powered using Amazon’s machine learning (ML) and pattern-matching technologies. Macie’s role in your organisation’s data security is automatically discovering, tracking, categorising, and protecting your business data.

Amazon Macie can detect and determine the sensitivity of your business data, from personally identifiable information (PII) and protected health information (PHI) to intellectual property (IP) and critical financial information.

Common examples include:

● Names and addresses
● Credit card information
● AWS secret access keys
● Passport numbers
● Medical identification numbers
● Intellectual property, patent and trademark data

Amazon Macie is an efficient workplace security tool that clarifies the status of your company’s sensitive data. Macie’s tracking and categorisation systems automatically enhance business data visibility and detect potential security risks. It can also learn from user habits, identify potentially risky behaviour, and issue alerts and findings in detailed reports.

Enhance Workplace Security with WOLK
WOLK is committed to assisting your organisation by familiarising you with the AWS security pillar and adopting the best workplace security practices. We are a leading AWS Well-Architected Framework expert with the resources to guide your business and help you make the best security decisions. Contact us today to arrange a review.

Understanding the Benefits of Migrating to a Secure Modern Workplace on AWS

Migrating to a secure modern workplace on AWS (Amazon Web Services) offers many benefits for large and small businesses. With its thorough security measures and comprehensive offerings, AWS provides organisations with the necessary tools and infrastructure to create a safe and efficient work environment.

Leveraging AWS Security Services
Effectively using AWS security services enables organisations to establish a secure modern workplace with comprehensive offerings. AWS provides Identity and Access Management (IAM) for strong identity and authentication, while Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) enables network isolation and segmentation to enhance data protection.

AWS Security Hub and Amazon GuardDuty offer continuous security monitoring and threat detection, proactively identifying and mitigating potential risks. Together, these services contribute to a secure environment for businesses.

Data Protection and Compliance
Data protection and compliance are essential aspects of a secure workplace. AWS offers in-depth data encryption and secure storage solutions, ensuring sensitive data remains protected from unauthorised access.

AWS also adheres to various compliance frameworks and certifications, including GDPR, HIPAA, and SOC2, ensuring businesses meet regulatory requirements and maintain data privacy. This enables organisations to confidently store and handle sensitive data while complying with industry regulations

Enhanced Productivity and Collaboration
Migration to AWS can boost productivity and collaboration by providing employees seamless access to business resources from any location or device. This supports remote or hybrid work and enhances workforce productivity regardless of their physical whereabouts.

Additionally, AWS offers a suite of collaboration tools and features, including Amazon Worklink and Amazon Connect, that facilitate effective communication, teamwork, and streamlined workflows.

Cost Optimisation and Scalability
Migrating to a modern workplace on AWS also brings cost optimisation and scalability benefits. By taking advantage of AWS’s infrastructure, businesses can reduce capital expenditure and optimise operational expenses.

The ability to scale resources according to demand avoids unnecessary infrastructure costs, increases operational efficiency, and enables effective resource allocation to adapt to changing business needs.

Best Practices for Migrating to a Secure Modern Workplace on AWS
Start by thoroughly assessing security requirements and meticulously planning the migration process. Consult with WOLK, experts in AWS Well-Architected Framework, to ensure a smooth transition for secure and effective cloud operations.

Execute comprehensive testing to guarantee a seamless transition and provide thorough training to employees for maximum familiarity with the new environment.

Unlock Security and Productivity with AWS
Discover the potential for enhanced security and productivity by transitioning to AWS for your workplace. Take the first step towards a secure and efficient work environment with WOLK.

Managing Change with AWS

The AWS (Amazon Web Services) Well-Architected Framework encompasses the five pillars, Operational Excellence, Reliability, Performance Efficiency, Cost Optimisation, and Security. By following each pillar’s best practices, you can implement designs that will scale your business.

The AWS Well-Architected Framework helps you mitigate risks, build and deploy architectures faster, and make informed decisions.

AWS Framework and Reliability

The second pillar within the AWS Well-Architected Framework is reliability, which refers to a workload’s ability to perform consistently and correctly. Within the reliability pillar, these are the design principles to keep in mind for best practices:

Automatic failure recovery
Monitoring KPIs (key performance indicators) allows you to be notified immediately if a threshold is crossed or a significant change occurs.

Procedures for test recovery
Testing how your workload might fail in the cloud allows you to see your recovery procedures’ effectiveness.

Scale horizontally
Distribute the workload across more small resources to decrease the impact of a single point of failure.

Stop guessing capacity
Accurately monitor demand to avoid over saturating the workload.

Manage change in automation
Change infrastructure using automation.

Change Management
Change management is a critical aspect of maintaining reliability with AWS. Effectively managing change comes down to monitoring, preparing to adapt and implementing the changes.

Monitoring Workload Resources
It’s possible to configure your workload to monitor performance metrics and provide updates if a major event or change occurs. The benefit of accurate performance monitoring is that you can respond quickly when negative changes occur, such as a low-threshold crossing or a system failure.

Monitoring comprises four phases which are generation, aggregation, real-time notification, and storage. In the generation phase, monitoring occurs for all parts of the workload, while aggregation refers to interpreting this data. Real-time processing allows you to have a timely response to changes in data.

The storage phase provides access to past logs for data analysis on a larger scale. Effective monitoring means you can adapt to changes quickly.

Designing Your Workload to Adapt
You can use AWS services to automate the scaling of your workload. A workload must be scalable because this provides flexibility to adapt to changes in function or performance by adding or removing resources.

Implementing Change
Changes that occur in the workload must be intentional. Run tests to ensure you can roll back a deployment at any time without disrupting service to your customers. This includes functional and resiliency testing performed in the pre-production pipeline to determine how changes you implement will impact the system.

Put Trusted IT Infrastructure in Place
AWS cloud-based software offers a scalable IT solution that can grow with your business. WOLK technology is a trusted AWS advanced consulting partner and can advise how best to manage your IT services.

The Top 4 Ways to Use AWS to Improve Performance Efficiency

Amazon Web Services (AWS) employs a five pillar framework to guide and assist businesses in adopting continuous best practices through cloud services. You can use these conceptual pillars to improve the performance efficiency of a business.

The Performance Efficiency pillar is most crucial in developing performance. It involves using computing resources to improve a business’s systems’ efficiency and subsequently to sustain efficiency as the market changes and technologies advance.

At WOLK, we are AWS experts. With many years of experience designing complex network architecture, our team can help you leverage AWS to improve the performance efficiency of your business.

1. Allows Your Team to Focus on Core Competencies

Through the design principles of Performance Efficiency, businesses can use technology as a service rather than assigning members of their IT team to the task of learning, hosting, and running new technological services.

Technologies such as NoSQL, a database that stores and retrieves data, can fulfill complex tasks quickly and efficiently, allowing your team members to focus on your business’s core competencies. NoSQLs are used more in big data and real-time applications as they are faster and more flexible than other types of databases.

2. Lower Costs Through Serverless Architectures

Another product of the design principles of Performance Efficiency is the use of serverless architecture. This eliminates the need to operate using physical servers, which can be a tedious and costly operation.

By managing services via the cloud, businesses can lower their costs, improving performance efficiency.

3. Optimise Architecture Through Service Selection

There are many types of AWS resources, from standard databases to artificial intelligence (AI) and data lakes. Through these systems, you can create and optimise an architecture to best suit your workload.

Organisations can use data analysis software to find the most useful programs for their specific business or industry. AWS Partner Network (APN) suggests architecture selections based on industry knowledge. For example, it may recommend that you use Amazon Elastic Block Store for low-latency block cloud storage.

4. Improve Efficiency Through Innovation

Reviewing and monitoring are two of the best practices of Performance Efficiency. AWS is constantly innovating to meet customer demands. Through new innovative AWS services, regions, edge locations, and other features, you can improve performance efficiency.

Once you have implemented a new workload, you must monitor it and analyse its performance. AWS services like Amazon CloudWatch can monitor a workload and provide information and actionable insights, helping you determine opportunities to improve efficiency.

Get an AWS Well-Architected Review

WOLK is a partner of the AWS Well-Architected Program. With certifications to carry out framework reviews, we can help your business to improve performance efficiency. Contact us today to schedule a review.