Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a secure cloud-based service helping businesses to scale and grow by providing compute power, digital storage, content delivery and other functionalities. It was set up by Amazon in 2006. Big brands such as Netflix, Instagram, Airbnb, Vodafone, Expedia, Kelloggs, etc., and Amazon itself uses the service.
It is the largest pure-cloud based vendor; AWS sells more Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) than Google, Microsoft, and IBM – its competitors. It ranked number 1 for 5 years in a row as IaaS provider.
If you are thinking about moving your business or company to the Amazon Web Service (AWS) platform, an AWS Course will spell out for you all you need to know especially on security issues.
Rapid growth in Cloud computing and Cloud-based services has also resulted in an increase in cases of security risks and threats. AWS is not an exception. Generally, key concerns include: Who can access which application and when, how to monitor key file changes and getting a notification when there is a suspicious or malicious activity on the account.
Introducing Amazon GuardDuty: Intelligent Threat Detector
In order to beef up security and in response to security concerns, Amazon in November 2017, at its annual re:Invent conference in Las Vegas announced the debut of Amazon GuardDuty for Cloud Threat Detection and protection. It is an additional service on the AWS service platform.
What you need to know about Amazon GuardDuty
Amazon GuardDuty is an Intelligent, Managed threat detection service. The service helps to protect your AWS accounts as it continuously monitors malicious and unauthorized activities. For instance, it monitors and detects unusual API calls or any unauthorized deployment which could be an indication of possible account compromise.
That’s not all, in fact, it gets better. According to Stephen Schmidt, Amazon’s Chief Information Security officer – “Amazon GuardDuty is designed to be so simple and cost-effective that turning it on would be an easy choice for every AWS customer, regardless of their security expertise or the existing security services they use.”
Truly, with a few clicks, you can enable the Amazon GuardDuty in your AWS Management console. When enabled, GuardDuty begins to analyze billions of events and activities across all your AWS accounts for any sign of risk. GuardDuty uses integrated threat intelligence feeds to identify suspected attackers. It also uses machine learning to detect an abnormality in the account and workload activity.
At the detection of a potential or possible threat, a detailed, actionable security alert is sent to the Amazon GuardDuty console. Users are also provided with recommendations for remediation. According to TechCrunch, findings are rated and presented as low, medium or high-level threats.
Amazon GuardDuty works well with existing AWS services such as CloudTrail, Amazon VPC Flow Logs and Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). Integration of GuardDuty on your AWS infrastructure does not affect, reduce or compromise the reliability of your workload. It is a clean, zero-footprint model that should appeal to your security team.
Features and Benefits of Amazon GuardDuty
As mentioned earlier Amazon GuardDuty works well with existing AWS services such as CloudTrail, Amazon VPC Flow Logs and Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). With this alliance, Amazon GuardDuty provides you intelligent threat detection by collecting, analyzing and correlating billions of feeds, actions, and events from all the services within the AWS platform. According to information posted on Amazon website – “GuardDuty will alert you if it detects remote API calls from a known malicious IP address indicating potentially compromised AWS credentials“. Your AWS environment is also protected because GuardDuty automatically detects any compromised instance such as when an attacker is scanning some or all your account(s) infrastructure.
Rather being a stand-alone security product, AWS GuardDuty is an additional extra layer of protection within the customer’s existing AWS infrastructure. This new layer of security will enhance the ability of Security Professionals to detect account-based threats that would have been difficult to detect ordinarily.
Free 30-day free trial
If you are not willing to commit to the Amazon GuardDuty yet, you can at least take advantage of a free 30-day free trial. Within the period you can learn more about the service and then make a decision. A couple of businesses and partners are already taking advantage of the free offer.
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Other Benefits include Continuous Surveillance – constantly monitoring your accounts; Specific Threat Detection and reporting – it detects and reports threat detected; Effective Threat Prioritization – Indicates threat levels as low-, medium- or high-threats; Easy deployment – just a click is all you need; Dealing with Threats Automatically – it has many tools for automated response.
Amazon GuardDuty – How much does it cost?
How much will GuardDuty services impact on your monthly overhead cost? The answer is not straightforward. It is actually a function of two criteria. It is dependent on the quantity of AWS CloudTrail Events analyzed – charged per 1,000,000 events. The second is the volume VPC Flow Log and DNS Log Data analyzed (per GB). You can enjoy tiered volume discounts on as far as VPC Flow log and DNS analysis are concerned. In lay man’s language – the higher the volume the lower the cost. Amazon GuardDuty services are billed monthly.
It is worthy of note that pricing varies according to regions. Below is an example of how to calculate your monthly cost.
Please always refer to Amazon for updates and current pricing.
Beat the Odds before it beats you
There is a 25% chance of being hit by a data breach. Companies and businesses must understand the possibility of being attacked and the potential threats of such attack to their operations. In an ever-increasing complex digital world, companies must understand that threats are broad-ranged and are adapted to various systems and services.
As a result of growing reliance on cloud services, companies and businesses now have multiple AWS accounts. Having multiple accounts also entails that companies will take proactive security measures (beating the odds), which involves identifying potentially dangerous behavior across several complex accounts. That is like finding a needle in a haystack. Amazon GuardDuty is designed to help you solve this and other similar problems.
Employ a Certified AWS professional
Another proactive measure that companies can take is to employ a certified AWS professional to manage the company’s account. Now, you don’t have to scale up your personnel overhead cost. Your existing Cloud-Security personnel can take an AWS Certification Training to keep abreast with trending security issues, tools, and best practices. A good Certification course is Simplilearn’s AWS course. The AWS certification training is designed to help existing and would-be security personnel gain in-depth understanding of Amazon Web Services (AWS) architectural principles and services. Simplilearn is regularly producing training content and it’s one of the largest providers of professional certification courses, especially in areas of project management, digital marketing, and big data analytics.
The protection of your cloud assets is essentially your responsibility. The best your Cloud Service providers and partners could do is to provide you with required tools. Until you take advantage of the products and services, nothing changes. The proverbial cliché “Prevention is better than cure” is applicable here when you consider the impact of a single large-scale security breach on your business, its brand, and reputation.