In this AWS VPC (Virtual Private Cloud) Security article, we will discuss 17 top AWS VPC Security Best Practices, along with that we will also discuss a few other topics as below:
- Amazon VPC Concept
- What is Amazon VPC (Virtual private cloud)?
- Top 17 AWS VPC Security Best Practices
What is Amazon VPC (Virtual private cloud)?
Amazon virtual private cloud(VPC) is a virtual space to you start the AWS resources into virtual networks that you defined.
This virtual network is a conventional network that you operate in cloud data Research center just like the traditional on-premises setup but here everything will be hosted in AWS which gives the benefits of using the scalable infrastructure of AWS.
Amazon Virtual Private Cloud provides you with more options than you simply will use to extend and monitor the protection of your virtual non-public cloud(VPC). Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) provides you with your own logically isolated area in an AWS.
Employing a virtual non-public cloud will add an extra layer of security where all the resources can be hosted inside which acts as a layer of protection from cyber attackers. For Example, by a process that resources inside your AWS account can work safely and can add safety to access the internet.
Use separated VPC to isolate infrastructure by organization’s entity. A virtual non-public cloud (VPC) is a secure, isolated private cloud within the public cloud. Inside a VPC we have the flexibility of using all the resources of AWS, for example, running a lambda, storing data, running a machine learning algorithm, and many other activities within the VPC.
Amazon VPC Concept
Overall VPC is an isolated placeholder for hosting various applications in the cloud for example Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud(Amazon EC2), Amazon Lambda.
The Key components of VPC are as below:
I. Virtual private cloud (VPC)
II. Subnet- Range of IP address in your virtual private cloud(VPC)
III. Route table- A set of rules is called routes. It is used to define where your network traffic is directed.
IV. VPC endpoints- It is a service that allows securely connecting the VPC to different AWS services without leaving the AWS network. VPC does not need any public IP address to communicate with resources in this service. Using the endpoint makes it secure because the data does not go out of AWS, it completely stays inside the AWS network.
V. CIDR block- CIDR stands for classless inter-domain routing. It is used to allocate an IP address. This range can be used inside the VPC to allocate IP to different services for example EC2.
Different AWS VPC network services
- Subnet creation
- Route tables
- Internet connectivity
- IPv4 and IPv6 address
- Elastic IP address (EIP)
- Network security
Top 17 AWS VPC Security best practices
1. Use Multiple availability
For best security practices, use multiple Availability Zone(AZ), which facilitates high availability. Every AWS region is divided into a partitioned availability zone.
Every availability zone has its own capacity, power, and network connectivity. Customers should always run their workloads in more than one availability zone.
It ensures that customer applications can withstand even a complete availability zone failure.
2. Use security groups
Best practices For AWS VPC security to Use security groups and networks. It restricts and controls the flow of traffic in and out of a VPC. By setting up the inbound and the outbound rules wisely the security of the VPC can be enhanced to many folds.
When we start a service like EC2 in VPC(Virtual Private Cloud), we assign security groups to the instance. A security group is assigned to that particular instance, not to the VPC.
We have the facility to provide a separate security group for each service inside the VPC.
Suppose we launch an instance using the AWS CLI and we do not specify any security group then that instance picks up the default security group in the VPC.
Security group rules
- We have the option to add or remove the inbound and outbound rules of every individual security group. A rule applies to both inbound traffic and outbound traffic.
- You can access a specific security group in your VPC(Virtual private cloud) or in a peer Virtual Private Cloud(VPC).
- The security group rules control the outbound traffic and inbound traffic. Security group rules facilitate blocking or allowing traffic based on protocol and port numbers.
3. Use IAM policies
Best practices for security to use IAM policies. IAM stands for identity and access management. IAM is an administration tool that allows access levels of resources interacting within AWS.
Identity and access management Managing (IAM) directly control who can be authorized to use Amazon VPC resources.
Identity and access management controls the access of resources that can be authenticated to use Amazon VPC(Virtual non-public cloud). You can control Access in AWS by using Policies and attaching them to IAM Roles.
These policies are connected with identity, resources define their permissions. When you make a request, AWS assesses the related identity-based policy and resources-based policy.
The access provided in the policy decides the level of access granted to any particular resource inside AWS.
Administrators can use AWS JSON policies to state who has access to what. That means, which principal can perform actions on what resources and under what conditions.
Every IAM entity starts without any permission. In other words, users can do nothing, which means they do not even have the option to change their own passwords. IAM users don’t have permission to create or modify VPC resources.
They also can’t perform tasks using AWS CLI, AWS API, AWS management console. IAM controllers must create IAM policies that grant users permission to perform certain API operations on the specific resources they need.
IAM users and groups
- Access to AWS is provided through an IAM user that is bound by certain permission for a single person or an application.
- An IAM user is provided with a username and a secret access key which can be used to access AWS through CLI. They can also access the AWS console with a username and password.
- When we create the user in IAM the keys have to be safely stored as they cannot be recovered. A new key has to be created for the same user in case its misplaced.
- We keep users in a certain group depending on the level of access, this is called IAM Groups.
4. Use Amazon cloud watch
Best practices for security to use Amazon cloud watch. If we use Amazon virtual private cloud(VPC) to host your AWS resources, you can start up a private connection between your VPC(virtual private cloud) and cloud watch logs.
The logs generated in the VPC called VPC Flow logs can be securely sent to cloud watch logs using the secure connection by which the logs do not leave the AWS network. Cloud Watch collects operational data in the form of logs, metrics, and events.
Usages of VPC Endpoints
- To attach your Virtual private cloud to watch logs, you defined an interface virtual private cloud (VPC) endpoint for cloud watch logs.
- This VPC endpoint is reliable and scalable. The VPC endpoint provides well-founded connectivity to cloud watch logs without using internet gateways.
- VPC endpoints are provides AWS private links, in AWS technology that authorized private communication between AWS services using ENI (Elastic network interface) with a private IP address.
- You can create alarms based on metric value using machine learning algorithms.
Create a VPC endpoint for Cloud watch logs
Before start using Cloud watch logs with your VPC (Virtual private cloud), you create an interface VPC endpoint for Cloud watch Logs. No need to change any type of settings for Cloud Watch Logs.
Cloud watch logs currently supported VPC endpoints for the locations below:
- Asia Pacific (Hong Kong)
- Asia Pacific (Seoul)
- Asia Pacific (Sydney)
- Asia Pacific (Mumbai)
- Asia Pacific (Singapore)
- Asia Pacific (Tokyo)
- Canada (Central)
- Europe (Frankfurt)
5. Use VPC flow logs
For Best practices, you can use VPC flow logs. A flow log is nothing but a collection of logs generated inside a VPC. You can send this log to CloudWatch log.
If you create flow logs for a subnet and VPC, each and every network interface is monitored.
When Flow logs data for a monitored network interface are recorded they are called Flow Log Records. These events flow logs consist of fields that describe the traffic flow in Virtual Private Cloud (VPC).
VPC Flow logs collect all the logs generated within the VPC as well as the traffic going in and out of the VPC including the IP.
Flow log data once collected can be either sent to the cloud watch log or it can also be sent to an Amazon S3 bucket for future reference. Flow log captures all the data based on the selected level of information to be accumulated such as accepted traffic, rejected traffic, or all traffic.
- Elastic Load Balancing
- Amazon RDS
- Amazon Elastic Cache
- Amazon Redshift
- Amazon Workspaces
- NAT gateways
- Transit gateways
6. Select the right VPC configuration
Best practices begin with selecting the right VPC configuration for your organization’s needs. You will have to choose the correct design for your Amazon VPC implementation.
Amazon VPC setup varieties on the market, including:
- Public and Personal Virtual Private Cloud (VPC).
- Amazon Virtual private cloud (VPC)- private subnets and hardware VPN Access.
- Software-based VPC ( Amazon Virtual Private Cloud) Access.
7. Select the CIDR Block
Best Practice for security is selecting a CIDR Block foreseeing the future for VPC implementations. You can however modify Amazon Virtual Private Cloud(VPC), still, it’s advisable to select a bigger address range IP Addresses keeping in mind the future growth.
8. Separate Your VPC environments
The best practice is to separate your VPC environments. It is always advisable and a best practice to keep the VPC separate for the Development, QA, Staging, and of course the Production environment.
We would even recommend separating the accounts for all the environments, not just the VPC.
9. Secure your AWS VPC
- Running a machine with critical workloads needs multiple layers of security AWS Virtual non-public cloud(VPC).
- The use of an intrusion detection system and intrusion prevention virtual appliance is always recommended to secure the VPC from cyber attacks or unauthorized access.
- Restrict and check the admin access to the VPC.
- To transfer objects/files into the VPC always use AWS SFTP, this facilitates the use of the VPC endpoint so it’s secure.
10. Making your recovery set up
To secure your VPC to make your recovery set up. For a lot of disaster recovery best practices, the active cloud formation works from cloud academy. In other words, make sure you have a DR setup ready.
11. Management and security system
Allow all traffic to control the proxy tier and get a login. Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) gives you complete control of your virtual networking.
12. Keep your information close
To security keep your information shut. Instance performs two tasks, first normal shut down and stops running, its status changes to stopping and then stopped.
13. VPC Peering
A virtual private cloud peering connection is a networking connection that allows to you route traffic using between VPC with IPv4 addresses and IPv6 addresses. With VPC Peering the information does not go outside of AWS so it’s a kind of secure channel for the VPC to transfer data within each other.
You can create a virtual private cloud(VPC) peering connection with your own VPC to another Virtual non-public cloud in another AWS account.
14. Amazon EIP
Amazon EIP stands for Elastic IP addresses, EIP is a static, public IPv4 address designed for dynamic cloud computing. An elastic IP address is a network interface.
You can use one EIP for multiple instances one at a time. With that, the IP will remain the same even when you change the instance. Elastic IP addresses are not supported for IPv6.
15. Best practices for NAT Instances
Nat is a Network address translation gateway, it’s available to AWS control service that makes it easy to attach the internet from occurrence in AWS virtual private cloud(VPC). Amazon VPC Nat gateways are available in US East, Asia Pacific EU regions.
16. IAM for your AWS Virtual private cloud
IAM is identity and access management, it allows traffic in and out and within the AWS. It is the first level of security that allows users as well as resources within AWS to connect and communicate with each other.
17. ELB on Amazon Virtual private cloud(VPC)
For best security use ELB on Amazon virtual private cloud (VPC). ELB is Elastic load balancing is a load balancing service for AWS. ELB (Elastic load balancing) by default distributes incoming application and network traffic.
ELB applications within AWS VPC (Virtual private cloud) for stronger network security. They allow developers to route traffic through ELB using private IP addresses.
ELB (Elastic load balancing) has two different load balancer features, which helps to scalable cloud computing capacity.
- Vmware AWS Hybrid Cloud?
- Introduction To IAM AWS
- How Secure Is AWS And How Does It Work?
- AWS Cloud Management Tools And Usages
- How To Delete AWS Account
In this article, we have discussed, Best Security Practices and along with that we have also discussed the below topic:
- Amazon VPC Concept
- What is Amazon VPC (Virtual private cloud)?
- Top 17 AWS VPC Security Best Practices
I hope you like this Article 🙂
I am an Amazon Web Services Professional, having more than 11 years of experience in AWS and other technologies. Extensively working in various AWS tools like S3, Lambda, API, Kinesis, Load Balancers, EKS, ECS, and many more. Working as a Solution Architect and Technology Lead for Architecting and implementing the same for different clients. He provides expert solutions around the world and especially in countries like the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, etc. Check out the complete profile on About us.