Security Aspects of Moving to AWS from On-Premise

Many organizations are considering moving their workloads from on-premise data centers to the cloud, especially to Amazon Web Services (AWS), which offers a wide range of services and features for scalability, reliability, and performance. However, moving to the cloud also involves security challenges and risks that need to be addressed carefully. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the security aspects of moving to AWS from on-premise and how to mitigate them.


Shared Responsibility Model


One of the key concepts to understand when moving to AWS is the shared responsibility model, which defines who is responsible for what in terms of security and compliance. According to AWS, "Compliance is a shared responsibility between AWS and the customer" and "Customers can feel confident in operating and building on top of the security controls AWS uses on its infrastructure". This means that AWS is responsible for securing its global infrastructure, including physical facilities, hardware, software, networking, and storage. On the other hand, customers are responsible for securing their data, applications, operating systems, network configurations, identity and access management (IAM), encryption keys, firewalls, patches, updates, backups etc.


Therefore, customers need to understand their role and obligations in ensuring security and compliance when moving to AWS. They also need to leverage the tools and best practices that AWS provides for securing their workloads in the cloud.


Data Protection


One of the main concerns when moving data from on-premise to AWS is data protection. Data protection involves ensuring data confidentiality (preventing unauthorized access), integrity (preventing unauthorized modification), availability (preventing unauthorized deletion or loss), privacy (complying with regulations and policies), and sovereignty (complying with jurisdictional laws). To achieve data protection in AWS³, customers can use various methods such as:


  • Encryption: Customers can encrypt their data at rest (in storage) or in transit (in network) using different encryption algorithms and keys. They can also use AWS Key Management Service (KMS) or CloudHSM for managing encryption keys securely.
  • Access Control: Customers can use IAM policies and roles for granting or denying access to their resources based on users' identities or attributes. They can also use multi-factor authentication (MFA) for adding an extra layer of security.
  • Backup and Recovery: Customers can use services such as Amazon S3 or Amazon Glacier for storing backups of their data in durable storage classes with high availability. They can also use services such as Amazon EBS Snapshot or Amazon RDS Snapshot for creating point-in-time copies of their volumes or databases.
  • Monitoring and Auditing: Customers can use services such as Amazon CloudWatch or Amazon CloudTrail for monitoring their resources' performance metrics or activities logs. They can also use services such as AWS Config or AWS Security Hub for auditing their resources' configuration changes or compliance status.


Network Security


Another important aspect when moving workloads from on-premise to AWS is network security. Network security involves ensuring that the network traffic between on-premise and AWS, as well as within AWS, is secure and reliable. To achieve network security in AWS¹, customers can use various methods such as:


  • Virtual Private Cloud (VPC): Customers can use VPCs to create isolated virtual networks in AWS where they can launch their resources and control their access. They can also use VPC peering or VPN connections to connect their VPCs with their on-premise networks or other VPCs.
  • Security Groups and Network ACLs: Customers can use security groups and network ACLs to control the inbound and outbound traffic to their resources at the instance or subnet level. They can also use service endpoints or private links to access AWS services privately within their VPCs.
  • Load Balancers and Firewalls: Customers can use load balancers to distribute traffic across multiple instances for high availability and performance. They can also use firewalls such as AWS WAF or AWS Shield to protect their web applications from common attacks such as DDoS, SQL injection, cross-site scripting etc.
  • Route 53 and CloudFront: Customers can use Route 53 to manage their domain names and DNS records for their resources in AWS. They can also use CloudFront to deliver their content faster and more securely using a global network of edge locations.




Moving to AWS from on-premise offers many benefits but also requires careful planning and execution for security aspects. Customers need to understand the shared responsibility model, data protection methods, network security methods, and other best practices that AWS provides for securing their workloads in the cloud.


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