AWS security

Steven Schmidt, Amazon head of Security


We have to look at security from different perspectives to understand it all: CTO, CEO, PR.

Security is Amazon number one priority.

Security covers several aspects:

  • physical
  • network
  • platforms
  • people and procedures

Tom Dodustorm, NASA JPL CTO, says that “AWS is more secure than their own datacenters”

Security is here to provide:

  • more visibility
    • trusted advisor
    • APIs
  • more auditability
    • audits made by 3rd party auditors
    • received many awards and certifications: ISO, PCI DSS…
  • more control
    • fine grained ACLs
    • never depend on one security control

AWS CloudTrail records every API call. This can be logged to analyse, protect (with IAM) and archive.

AWS Staff access: least priviledge principle

  • staff vetting (background check is run on recruitment)
  • no logical access to customer instances
  • very limited access. accesses are controled and monitored
  • different badges to enter data center
  • no HD may leave a data center intact: everything is destroyed


You can define what system has access to other system. For instance, you can prevent the webserver from accessing the database.

Data stays in the region and the availability zone where you put it. No data is moved between regions.

AWS is:

  • 10 regions
  • 26 availability zones
  • 51 edge locations


It can be

  • automated (all is made by AWS)
  • enabled
  • on client side

AWS Cloud HSM (Hardware Security Module): Amazon can’t access to the keys, not event the governments.

Some customers feedback

  • Axway