Shared Responsibility in the Context of Cloud Services like AWS
May 25, 2023
The below bullets summarize this post on shared responsibility.
Cloud computing has transformed the way businesses operate by providing an opportunity for companies to offload IT responsibilities to external service providers. Amazon Web Services (AWS), the leading player in the industry, provides a broad set of cloud services ranging from computing power to storage and databases. Understanding the shared responsibility model becomes crucial as companies migrate their data and applications to the cloud. This model defines who is responsible for what in the complex world of cloud security and compliance.
Shared Responsibility Model:
In the context of AWS, the shared responsibility model is an approach to security and compliance that is shared between AWS and the customer. It clarifies the responsibilities of AWS and the customers to ensure a secure environment.
Under this model, AWS is responsible for the security "of" the cloud, while customers are responsible for the security "in" the cloud.
AWS is responsible for protecting the infrastructure that runs all of the services offered in the AWS cloud. This includes hardware, software, networking, and facilities that run AWS Cloud services.
AWS's responsibilities include:
On the other hand, the customer's responsibility will be determined by the AWS cloud services that a customer selects. This determines the amount of configuration work the customer must perform as part of their security responsibilities.
For services such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) or Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), for example, AWS operates the infrastructure layer, the operating system, and platforms, and customers are responsible for the security configuration of their guest operating systems, databases, and applications.
The customer's responsibilities include:
The shared responsibility model has a profound effect on risk management in the cloud. It clarifies who is responsible for what and helps prevent gaps in security coverage that could be exploited.
While AWS manages the security of the cloud, security in the cloud is the responsibility of the customer. This shared model can reduce a customer's operational burden in many ways and might reduce risk, but it's crucial to understand that this doesn't remove the need to maintain a robust security system.
The shared responsibility model allows startups to focus on their core competencies, such as developing and scaling applications and gathering insights from data, instead of managing data centers. However, customers must always be aware of their role in this model and should take appropriate measures to protect their data and applications. Understanding shared responsibility in AWS's context enables customers to maintain a secure and compliant cloud environment.
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