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.

Strategies for Achieving Carbon Neutrality and Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions on AWS

Amazon’s commitment to sustainability and carbon neutrality has helped ensure Amazon Web Services (AWS) is one of the world’s most sustainable cloud service providers.

Moving to AWS is one of the most efficient ways to ensure your business can reduce its carbon footprint. Discover the most efficient carbon neutrality strategies on AWS and how to implement them.

Workload Efficiency Optimisation
Numerous AWS services and features are designed to help you optimise your business’s resource utilisation, such as AWS EC2 Auto Scaling. You can also opt for serverless cloud computing solutions like AWS Lambda, reducing costs and resource usage by only paying for the code compute time.

Businesses using resource scaling, optimisation, and serverless computing can reduce their environmental impact. These solutions can lower your organisation’s carbon and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, reduce overall energy consumption, and boost cost-effectiveness.

Selecting a Carbon-Free Region
AWS cloud services is divided into various geographic regions. While many other factors can affect your region choices, such as regulatory compliance, latency, and costs, choosing an AWS region that meets your sustainability goals is possible.

AWS offers multiple carbon-free regions, where data centres receive at least 95% of their power from renewable energy sources. Examples of highly sustainable AWS regions include the following:

● U.S. East: Northern Virginia and Ohio
● U.S. West: Northern California and Oregon
● GovCloud: US-East and US-West
● Canada (Central)
● Europe: Ireland, Frankfurt, London, Milan, Paris, Stockholm

Remember to check the AWS region you selected has the services and features you need to run your workloads. You can use the complete AWS Regional Services Lists to help you make the right choice.

Building Sustainable, Energy-Efficient Applications
Although simply migrating to AWS can help your business become more energy efficient, Amazon recommends following all aspects of the Sustainability pillar of its Well-Architected Framework for the best results.

One of the essential design principles of sustainability is “Understand your impact”. Tools such as the AWS Custom Carbon Footprint Tool are designed to let you track, measure, review, and predict your AWS usage’s carbon footprint. This tool’s information is invaluable to help you build more sustainable and energy-efficient applications.

Using Amazon instance types with the lowest environmental impact can also help reduce your applications’ carbon footprint. For example, consider transitioning away from x86-based EC2 instances in favour of AWS Graviton equivalents. These instances are powered using the energy-efficient Graviton2 and Graviton3 processors, designed to minimise energy consumption for the same or better performance.

Improve Your Company’s Sustainability Goals with WOLK
WOLK Technology offers tailored IT solutions to help your business meet your operational goals sustainably. We are a certified AWS Well-Architected Program partner with the resources to help you become compliant with the AWS Sustainability pillar. 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.

Best Practices for Securing Remote Work and Enabling Collaboration with AWS

Amazon Web Services (AWS) lets businesses and organisations access their data safely from any location. Whether you run a small or medium business or a larger organisation, AWS offers remote work services to boost productivity without compromising security.

Following these best practices is essential to maintaining security and collaborating with team members efficiently.

Follow the Best Practices of AWS Cloud Security
Many businesses rely on incomplete security solutions that leave their business data vulnerable to the challenges of remote work and cloud collaboration tools, such as data breaches, unauthorised access, and insecure endpoints. The first step for your business is implementing a comprehensive cloud security strategy with AWS.

Consider enabling and configuring AWS security controls through relevant AWS services, such as Amazon GuardDuty, AWS Config, and AWS CloudFormation. These tools are designed to let you build a security strategy tailored to your business’s cloud environment and protect data integrity, availability, and confidentiality. Some security controls to enhance your cloud security include multi-factor authentication (MFA), sensitive data encryption, and real-time audits of account activity.

Create a Remote Work Policy
While AWS cloud services are designed with remote work in mind, each organisation has different security needs. Set clear, easy-to-understand rules regarding remote data access and management and ensure employees follow your policy as closely as possible.

Common examples of remote work policy items include:

● Whether employees must use company-issued devices or are allowed to use personal devices for remote work
● Which types of data employees access when using personal devices
● What types of non-work applications, programs, and software employees may install on the devices they use for remote work

If an employee or team member finds evidence of a possible data breach, provide them with a way to contact the IT team or send reports quickly and efficiently.

Adopt the Zero Trust Security Model
Amazon’s Zero Trust security model makes remote work and collaboration safer. With AWS Zero Trust, all users and systems must individually prove their identity and credentials with advanced authentication rules.

This system ensures the same level of security regardless of the access point. Whether a person from inside or outside the company network wants access to your business data, the Zero Trust model keeps it safe from unauthorised users.

Additional best practices supporting the Zero Trust model include:

● Encrypting the most sensitive data using AWS Key Management Service (KMS)
● Implementing AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) to specify who can access which data, services, and resources
● Using AWS Verified Access to provide employees and team members with secure remote access even without a VPN

Why You Can Trust WOLK
WOLK Technology is a leading services provider and an expert in the AWS Well-Architected Framework. Contact us today to learn how we can help make your work environment safer and more flexible.

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.

Importance of Reliability for Cloud Services

For any business using cloud computing to operate, reliability is crucial. Malfunctioning or poorly built apps, programs, and other software can lead to a loss of productivity. This can have a knock-on effect, resulting in reduced profits and a diminished reputation among consumers.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) uses a five-pillar Well-Architected framework to help businesses develop cloud-based workloads.

The Third Pillar: Reliability
The reliability pillar uses its five design principles to help businesses create workloads that can perform optimally and consistently throughout their entire lifecycle. These design principles lay the foundations for reliable cloud services.

Automatically Recover from Failure
Every company should set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to monitor the effectiveness of each system. If kept in line with the goals of the business, KPIs can quickly determine if there is a problem with a particular workload.

You can put AWS systems in place to engage automatic recovery processes if failures occur. While the reliability of software is important, reliable recovery systems are vital.

Test Recovery Procedures
In many scenarios, businesses don’t use testing for recovery strategies. With AWS, you can test areas of failure within a workload before deciding on the best recovery procedures to adopt. By realising potential problems, you can test and resolve them before a genuine failure scenario happens.

Scale Horizontally to Increase Aggregate Workload Availability
Horizontal scaling involves replacing a large singular resource with several smaller ones. This makes individual workload failures less impactful. With no common point of failure, each system is more reliable.

Stop Guessing Capacity
Over demanding from workloads is a frequent cause of failure. Through AWS systems, businesses can closely monitor the correlation between workload demands and the optimal utilisation of resources. This limits over or under capacitation, resulting in more reliable workloads.

Manage Change in Automation
Automated processes can be tracked, monitored, and reviewed, increasing their reliability. Adjustments are quicker and easier to make than with manual-based systems.

Best Practice Areas for Reliability
In the AWS framework, there are four best practice areas for reliability. From establishing reliable foundations through installing adequate network bandwidth to implementing fast and effective failure management and recovery systems, best practices are essential for reliable cloud services.

The four best practice areas are:

● Foundations
● Workload Architecture
● Change Management
● Failure Management

Increase the Reliability of Your Cloud Services With AWS
At WOLK, we can help you engage with the AWS reliability pillar design principles and best practices to create reliable systems and workloads. Our expert team is a certified AWS Well-Architected Framework review provider so we can guide you through the process from start to finish.

Contact WOLK today to arrange a review.

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 Best 6 Ways to Secure Your Business Information

AWS’s Well-Architected Framework offers comprehensive cloud computing services to businesses through its five pillars.

The second pillar, Security, contains methods for protecting company data, operational systems, and assets through cloud technologies. By utilising the Security pillar’s design principles and best practices, businesses can effectively secure their information with minimal risk.

Security Pillar Design Principles

AWS developed seven design principles to help shape the framework:

1. Create a clear identity foundation
2. Enable traceability across all systems
3. Apply security measures at all system layers (e.g. on all systems, applications, codes etc.)
4. Automate security where possible
5. Protect data in storage and during transfers
6. Eliminate the human role in processing data where possible
7. Prepare for security incidents

Ways to Secure Business Information Through AWS

1. Employ the Best in Practice Security Services

Use AWS services to ensure all aspects of your business information are protected as much as possible. Staying up to date with the latest technologies and recommendations helps keep your intelligence threat level low. Automation, testing, and evaluation provide opportunities to scale.

2. Identity and Access Management

Identity and access management are critical in securing important business information. It makes sure that only authenticated employees can gain access to certain data. This can be managed through an AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) service.

3. Detection Technology

AWS detection technology, such as CloudTrail logs, allows for processing and auditing various systems, meaning you can detect security breaches or information security threats early.

Log management is key in maintaining a Well-Architected workload, particularly if a security incident occurs. Logs can be analysed and acted on in such scenarios.

4. Infrastructure Protection

Infrastructure protection refers to information security on the cloud and on-premises. It involves AWS native or AWS integrated services that protect, monitor, and log information from points of ingress and egress linked to sensitive business information.

5. Data Protection

Before you can develop any architectural system, fundamental data protection measures should be in place. AWS services can then be used to make data encryption easier, adding further protection.

6. Incident Response

No matter how comprehensive your security systems may be, you should always have an incident response plan in place in case of a security issue. Your company can implement AWS systems to create a fast and effective incident response function.

Tools such as AWS CloudFormation allow you to write or change AWS resources in a safe environment, keeping your information safe.

Act Early to Protect Your Information

As a partner of the AWS Well-Architected Review Program, WOLK can help your business to implement a strong security plan. As a credited reviewer, we can advise you on best practices and services to suit your specific business. Contact us today to arrange a review.

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.