What is Application Security?
Application security describes application-level security measures designed to prevent theft of data and code within an application, or compromise of the application and its host environment. It includes security considerations that arise during application development and design, as well as systems and methods for securing applications after deployment.
Application security can include hardware, software, and procedures to identify or minimize security gaps. Application-level security measures are most commonly delivered via software solutions. For example, web application firewalls clearly define allowed and forbidden activities for application traffic. Security procedures can include things like application security routines, including periodic security testing.
The Need For Cloud Application Security
Cloud application security is a system of policies, processes, and controls that enable enterprises to protect applications and data in collaborative cloud environments.
Modern enterprise workloads are distributed across a variety of cloud platforms, from SaaS suites to custom cloud-native applications running on multiple hyperscale cloud service providers.
As a result, network perimeters are more dynamic than ever, and critical data and workloads face threats that did not exist 10 years ago. Businesses need to protect their workloads wherever they run. Cloud computing can also introduce new challenges to data sovereignty and data governance and complicate compliance.
Application Security in the AWS Cloud
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the world's leading cloud provider. It provides a range of tools and services that provide control over the AWS environment. These services help network and application security teams meet specific protection and compliance requirements in the Amazon cloud, providing protection at the host, network, and application level.
AWS Security Hub
AWS Security Hub provides a comprehensive view of your AWS security posture and compliance with security standards and best practices. AWS Security Hub centralizes and prioritizes security findings from AWS accounts, services, and supported third-party partners, analyzes security trends, and identifies top-priority security issues.
Amazon CodeGuru is a developer tool that provides intelligent recommendations to improve code quality and identify lines of code in your application that result in high costs or performance issues. Amazon CodeGuru Reviewer includes an extensive set of security detectors to help you find and fix potential security issues in your code. These detectors use artificial intelligence techniques to identify security vulnerabilities using logic-based reasoning in the code.
Identity and access management (IAM) provides fine-grained access control across AWS. IAM allows you to control access to services and resources under specific conditions. Employee and system permissions are managed using IAM policies to ensure least privilege.
IAM provides authentication and authorization for all AWS services. The service evaluates whether to allow or deny the AWS request --- access is denied by default and allowed only when policy explicitly permits it. You can control access across AWS by attaching policies to roles and resources.
AWS Secrets Manager
AWS Secrets Manager is a service offered by AWS that enables users to store, manage, and rotate secrets such as database passwords, API keys, and other sensitive information. It provides a secure way to store and manage secrets, and can also automatically rotate secrets on a schedule to reduce the risk of them being compromised.
AWS Secrets Manager can be used to store a wide range of secrets, including those used by applications, services, and infrastructure on the AWS cloud platform. It supports a variety of secrets types, including plaintext, binary data, and JSON documents.
AWS Secrets Manager provides a simple, easy-to-use interface for managing secrets. Users can create, store, and retrieve secrets through the AWS Management Console or the AWS Secrets Manager API. It also integrates with other AWS tools and services, such as AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) and AWS Key Management Service (KMS), to provide a secure and seamless secrets management experience.
Amazon GuardDuty is a threat detection service offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS). It uses machine learning to analyze network traffic and identify potential threats to applications and infrastructure on the AWS cloud platform. It is designed to help organizations protect against a wide range of threats, including unauthorized access attempts, malware, and network anomalies.
Amazon GuardDuty integrates with other AWS security tools and services, such as AWS WAF and Amazon Inspector, to provide a comprehensive security solution. It also supports custom threat intelligence feeds, allowing organizations to tailor their threat detection to their specific needs.
Overall, Amazon GuardDuty is a powerful tool for helping organizations identify and protect against potential security threats on the AWS cloud platform. By using Amazon GuardDuty, organizations can better protect their applications and infrastructure, and reduce the risk of data breaches and other types of cyber attacks.
Amazon Inspector is an automated security assessment service offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS). It analyzes applications for vulnerabilities and compliance with best practices, and provides recommendations for how to address any issues that are identified.
Amazon Inspector can be used to scan applications running on the AWS cloud platform, including applications deployed in Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS), Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), and Amazon EC2. It supports a variety of programming languages and frameworks, including Java, .NET, and Node.js.
Amazon Inspector uses a combination of static code analysis and runtime analysis to identify potential vulnerabilities in applications. It can identify issues such as insecure configurations, missing patches, and vulnerable libraries, and provide recommendations for how to fix them. It can also check applications for compliance with best practices and industry standards, such as the Center for Internet Security (CIS) AWS Foundations Benchmark.
Overall, Amazon Inspector is a useful tool for helping organizations identify and address potential security vulnerabilities in their applications running on the AWS cloud platform. By using Amazon Inspector, organizations can improve the security of their applications and reduce the risk of data breaches and other types of cyber attacks.
AWS Shield is a distributed denial of service (DDoS) protection service offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS). It helps protect applications from DDoS attacks, which are designed to disrupt the availability of an application by overwhelming it with traffic.
AWS Shield offers two levels of protection: AWS Shield Standard and AWS Shield Advanced. AWS Shield Standard is automatically enabled for all AWS customers and provides protection against common DDoS attacks at no additional cost. AWS Shield Advanced is a paid service that provides additional protection against more sophisticated DDoS attacks.
AWS Shield integrates with other AWS security tools and services, such as Amazon CloudFront and Amazon Route 53, to provide a comprehensive DDoS protection solution. It also provides alerts and notifications when an attack is detected, enabling users to take action to mitigate the attack.
Overall, AWS Shield is a powerful tool for helping organizations protect their applications from DDoS attacks. By using AWS Shield, organizations can improve the availability of their applications and reduce the risk of disruptions caused by DDoS attacks.
In conclusion, application security is a critical concern for organizations using the AWS cloud platform. To address this concern, AWS offers a range of security tools and services that can help protect applications and data from threats and vulnerabilities. Some of the key tools and services available on the AWS cloud platform for application security include:
- AWS Security Hub
- Amazon CodeGuru
- AWS IAM
- AWS Secrets Manager
- Amazon GuardDuty
- Amazon Inspector
- AWS Shield
By using these tools and services, organizations can better protect their applications and data in the cloud, and reduce the risk of data breaches and other types of cyber attacks. In addition to these tools and services, it is also important for organizations to follow best practices for application security, such as:
- Implementing input validation and access controls
- Using encryption to protect data in transit and at rest
- Regularly testing applications and systems for vulnerabilities
By taking these steps, organizations can ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of their applications and data on the AWS cloud platform.