How to Keep Your Amazon S3 Bucket Secure

In the current modern business landscape, there are more and more tools available online to help grow your business, store data, run programs, or look after the information. The way technology has moved forwards means that it’s almost essential to have some of your business operations based online or in the cloud. Without doing so, you would be falling behind in the technical development and success of your business.

The cloud has become especially important for those running large or multi-site teams, particularly now that many of your staff are working remotely since the Covid-19 pandemic forced millions of people worldwide to work from home. Cloud-based computing allows access to objects or data online that can prove incredibly useful as a shared resource across locations or devices. Amazon Web Services (AWS) offer various cloud storage devices, one of which is the S3 bucket. In this article, you will find advice on how to keep your Amazon S3 Bucket secure.

What is an S3 Bucket?

An Amazon S3 bucket is similar to many other online data storage offerings in that it can store large files, logs, metadata, and other crucial objects for running any business. These buckets are much larger than many other company’s offerings when it comes to data storage, as they can hold files of up to 5TB, making Amazon’s S3 a very attractive prospect to businesses working with large-scale data or objects. Each bucket can contain various types of data.

Each Amazon AWS account can have up to 100 buckets, though the more you use, the more you will have to pay for it. Once set up, an AWS user can define who can access various data types, access the whole bucket, or generate a whole other host of rules and settings for their buckets – more on this shortly. Bucket objects can also be directly shared by using their uniquely generated URL.

Online Data Threats

The only issue with using cloud-based storage such as Amazon’s S3 bucket offering is that of cybercrime and data attacks. If your information is stored on any computer or cloud server, you run the risk of hackers, scammers, or viruses attacking or even stealing your data.

It is a risk that many companies take due to the ease of use of computers and cloud-based systems. As mentioned at the top, not using such systems would put your business at a huge disadvantage when it comes to business development and success. But, with over 2,200 cyberattacks per day, what can you do to protect your S3 bucket?

Scan For Attacks

One of the best and easiest things you can do is use a 3rd party app to constantly scan your bucket for attacks or threats. If you search for an s3 bucket scanner online, you will find plenty of these tools, designed solely for use with Amazon S3 buckets. This way, you know that these tools are perfectly designed for use with your bucket.

How to Keep Your Amazon S3 Bucket Secure

These apps or tools are quite like a firewall or virus scanner for your own computer. They will be constantly monitoring and scanning every upload and download from your S3 bucket, while also alerting you if any suspicious activity has taken place. For example, if a computer without a license to access your bucket happened to get in, your bucket scanner would immediately alert you of the potential security threat. Equally, if some data was lost or removed and it appears to be in a suspicious manner, you will also be alerted. This gives you extra peace of mind when dealing with large, precious pieces of data being stored online.

Encryption is Key

One of the most important tools – by far – for keeping data safe online is encryption. Amazon buckets offer encryption through the server, however, you need to ensure this is manually turned on yourself. When encrypted, the data will be unreadable without a password or other login information.

When accessing an S3 bucket, or any online service for that matter, it’s always best to use the HTTPS protocol. This is the encrypted version, meaning any data you upload or download from your bucket is also encrypted during this ‘transport’ phase. Failure to do this could result in huge amounts of data being exposed – almost as if you were giving it away!

Define Access Roles

Alongside encryption, you can also define roles for various members of your team when it comes to accessing and using your S3 buckets. Of course, you may want certain objects kept within your bucket to be accessible to your entire team, without manually having to set each of them up with their own permissions and rules. However, for more important pieces of data or for overall bucket use, you may want to define some access roles.

For example, you can define roles where only certain people can up or download items from your S3 bucket. You can define each team’s various roles so that they can only access data pertinent to their jobs; sales access sales data, design access design data, and so on. This simply helps avoid data moving onto the wrong computers or into the wrong hands, even within your own team.

Multi-Factor Authentication

Finally, a type of authentication you may already use on your smartphone or home computer; multi-factor authentication (MFA). Simply put, MFA means that no one can access your bucket – or chosen items within it – without authenticating themselves on multiple devices. So, they first need their encryption password, then they also need to have access to a security key, mobile device, or another individual authentication device to access the bucket. This means that even if someone manages to hack your encryption password, they still cannot access the bucket without having their hands on a secondary password-generating device or app. Online security at its finest!

Using these simple methods, you can help to keep your Amazon S3 bucket secure from cybercrime or even from simple mistakes by your team. Doing everything you can to protect your company’s data should be of the utmost importance to any business owner, as cyber-attacks can cost a huge amount of money to solve.

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