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Best practices for managing AWS account

With the growing use of cloud technologies like Amazon Web Services (AWS), security and proper management of the primary account are critical for organizations. The AWS primary account is the central point for managing all resources, policies, and access across the cloud infrastructure. For this reason, implementing security and management best practices is critical to preventing potential security incidents and maintaining data integrity and security.

This chapter is going to look at some of the best practices and strategies that organizations can implement to optimally manage and secure their cloud resources. By using the appropriate methods and tools, organizations can create a secure and efficient cloud infrastructure that meets security and regulatory compliance requirements:

1. Create a separate primary account

Separating the primary account from the other AWS accounts is a key step in ensuring the security and effective management of cloud infrastructure. This ensures that administrative tasks are only performed in a specifically defined context that is different from the production or development context. This reduces the risk of unintentional errors and unauthorized access to important resources.

2. Enabling multi-factor authentication (MFA)

Enabling MFA is an important step to improve the security of your Amazon Web Services (AWS) accounts. This addition to the login process requires additional confirmation of your identity beyond entering a password.

3. View and evaluate access rights

Regularly reviewing and evaluating user and role access permissions in AWS helps ensure that they are consistent with least privilege access. This process includes reviewing current IAM policies and roles, excluding unnecessary permissions, and assigning the minimum required permissions for each task or role.

4. Tracking and analyzing activities in the primary account

Use AWS CloudTrail and AWS Config to monitor user and role activities in AWS. This includes tracking the activity of creating, editing, and deleting passwords and access keys. Setting up alarms and notifications for unusual activity related to passwords and keys can help quickly detect and respond to potential incidents.

5. Update passwords and keys regularly

Changing passwords and keys at regular intervals helps prevent unauthorized access to resources in AWS. This practice reduces the risk of data compromise and security breaches. Many security standards and regulations require regular updating of passwords and keys to access sensitive data and systems. For programmatic access to resources in AWS, use IAM keys instead of static passwords. Regularly update and rotate these keys to enhance security.

6. Enable security safeguards

AWS GuardDuty is a service for monitoring and detecting anomalies and threats in your AWS infrastructure. It uses machine self-learning and data analytics to detect malicious activities and threats. GuardDuty can be integrated with other AWS services such as AWS CloudWatch Events and AWS Lambda to perform automated responses and real-time actions when threats are detected. This allows organizations to create automated response scenarios for security events.

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