We’re happy to share an update on the service documentation initiative that we first told you about on the AWS Security Blog in June, 2019. We’re excited to announce that over 150 services now have dedicated security chapters available in the AWS security documentation.

In case you aren’t familiar with the security chapters, they were developed to provide easy-to-find, easy-to-consume security content in existing service documentation, so you don’t have to refer to multiple sources when reviewing the security capabilities of an AWS service. The chapters align with the Security Epics of the AWS Cloud Adoption Framework (CAF), including information about the security ‘of’ the cloud and security ‘in’ the cloud, as outlined in the AWS Shared Responsibility Model. The chapters cover the following security topics from the CAF, as applicable for each AWS service:

  • Data protection
  • Identity and access management
  • Logging and monitoring
  • Compliance validation
  • Resilience
  • Infrastructure security
  • Configuration and vulnerability analysis
  • Security best practices

These topics also align with the control domains of many industry-recognized standards that customers use to meet their compliance needs when using cloud services. This enables customers to evaluate the services against the frameworks they are already using.

We thought it might be helpful to share some of the ways that we’ve seen our customers and partners use the security chapters as a resource to both assess services and configure them securely. We’ve seen customers develop formal service-by-service assessment processes that include key considerations, such as achieving compliance, data protection, isolation of compute environments, automating audits with APIs, and operational access and security, when determining how cloud services can help them address their regulatory obligations.

To support their cloud journey and digital transformation, Fidelity Investments established a Cloud Center of Excellence (CCOE) to assist and enable Fidelity business units to safely and securely adopt cloud services at scale. The CCOE security team created a collaborative approach, inviting business units to partner with them to identify use cases and perform service testing in a safe environment. This ongoing process enables Fidelity business units to gain service proficiency while working directly with the security team so that risks are properly assessed, minimized, and evidenced well before use in a production environment.

Steve MacIntyre, Cloud Security Lead at Fidelity Investments, explains how the availability of the chapters assists them in this process: “As a diversified financial services organization, it is critical to have a deep understanding of the security, data protection, and compliance features for each AWS offering. The AWS security “chapters” allow us to make informed decisions about the safety of our data and the proper configuration of services within the AWS environment.”

Information found in the security chapters has also been used by customers as key inputs in refining their cloud governance, and helping customers to balance agility and innovation, while remaining secure as they adopt new services. Outlining customer responsibilities that are laid out under the AWS Shared Responsibility Model, the chapters have influenced the refinement of service assessment processes by a number of AWS customers, enabling customization to meet specific control objectives based on known use cases.

For example, when AWS Partner Network (APN) Partner Deloitte works on cloud strategies with organizations, they advise on topics that range from enterprise-wide cloud adoption to controls needed for specific AWS services.

Devendra Awasthi, Cloud Risk & Compliance Leader at Deloitte & Touche LLP, explained that, “When working with companies to help develop a secure cloud adoption framework, we don’t want them to make assumptions about shared responsibility that lead to a false sense of security. We advise clients to use the AWS service security chapters to identify their responsibilities under the AWS Shared Responsibility Model; the chapters can be key to informing their decision-making process for specific service use.”

Partners and customers, including Deloitte and Fidelity, have been helpful by providing feedback on both the content and structure of the security chapters. Service teams will continue to update the security chapters as new features are released, and in the meantime, we would appreciate your input to help us continue to expand the content. You can give us your feedback by selecting the Feedback button in the lower right corner of any documentation page. We look forward to learning how you use the security chapters within your organization.

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Author

Marta Taggart

Marta is a Seattle-native and Senior Program Manager in AWS Security, where she focuses on privacy, content development, and educational programs. Her interest in education stems from two years she spent in the education sector while serving in the Peace Corps in Romania. In her free time, she’s on a global hunt for the perfect cup of coffee.

Author

Kristen Haught

Kristen is a Security and Compliance Business Development Manager focused on strategic initiatives that enable financial services customers to adopt Amazon Web Services for regulated workloads. She cares about sharing strategies that help customers adopt a culture of innovation, while also strengthening their security posture and minimizing risk in the cloud.