AWS S3 Security Best Practices
Home » Blog » AWS S3 Security Best Practices

AWS S3 Security Best Practices

Organizations have continued migrating to back-end services, cloud-hosted applications, infrastructure, and microservices worldwide. One of the biggest reasons for this migration is cloud storage, as it offers several benefits like geographic distribution, high availability, potential savings, and scalability. It’s a significant advantage for data applications with high volumes, such as those involved in data mining and machine learning, since they can roll their capacity and performance up and down as they wish.

However, security remains a big concern for many organizations, particularly with the spate of cyberattacks occurring worldwide. Therefore, in this article, we will share the best practices for AWS S3 security, which will help provide you with more insight into preventing breaches and quickly reacting and identifying them. Hence, you have a secure cloud infrastructure.

The Five AWS S3 Security Risk Factors

As cloud storage continues being used by organizations, the potential for security breaches also rises. It could be anything from a simple mistake leaving data out in the open to a social engineering attack. Automated processes in charge of creating and managing cloud storage can also have security holes in them. Therefore, it’s vital to highlight the potential risk factors associated with cloud and AWS S3 Security. These include:

  1. Encryption – encrypting all data
  2. Configuration – setting security configurations for your business
  3. Multiple Layers – using multi-factor authentication
  4. Role-based access – restricting access to only privileged individuals
  5. Logging and Auditing – detecting and following up after an attack


Even if you make the best efforts to secure your data, there may be times when it’s not enough to prevent an attack. Therefore, you should always aim to encrypt your data when possible so that no outsider can gain access to them. You must ensure that all your AWS S3 buckets have been encrypted on your server so that they are completely protected.

It’s not complicated if you only have a few buckets, as creating them dynamically, controlling, and monitoring them may not be a difficult task. All Amazon S3 buckets also support encryption, and that feature must always remain on so that all the data is encrypted. Encryption means that even if anyone gets their hands on the data, they will need a password or key to decrypt it.


You must have all your system configurations set to their basic levels so that they meet all your legal and business needs. Apart from that, Amazon S3 buckets come with fine-grain permissions, which means that anyone who wants access only needs a simple request to gain access to them. You can prevent that by locking down these permissions, but that can be complicated.

That’s where you will need to reset the configuration and monitoring protocols so that only individuals within your business can gain access to them. AWS Configuration is the best place for that, as it will allow you to reset your configurations so that only you can access the data, and you will be sent a notification if something happens out of the ordinary.

You can also use Amazon Macie, another excellent tool that helps with the configuration and monitoring of AWS S3 buckets. It uses machine learning to constantly watch over your Amazon S3 data and monitor patterns to ensure no outsider gains access to them.

Multiple Layers of Security

If one layer of security has failed due to human error, an attack, or a misconfiguration, it can compromise your data. That is why you must always have multiple layers of security for your AWS S3 buckets so that no one can get their hands on the data quickly in a security breach. Multi-factor authentication is the best tool you can use for this purpose, as it requires a secondary password to gain access to the data or the files.

You can use a device like Yubico security key or use a generated code that sends a time-based One-Time password (TOTP), which will expire within a set period. Using multiple layers of security will ensure that no one can quickly gain access to your data, as it adds another layer of protection. It will make someone a significant amount of time to breach both factors of security, which will allow you to respond in time to stop the attack.

Role-Based Access

You can set clearly defined roles within your organization that look after the critical essentials of AWS S3 Security and ensure that no outsider can easily hack into your data. You should only give minimum access to employees so that even if their account is compromised, they would not be able to do significant damage to your AWS S3 buckets.

AWS Security also runs on IAM policies, AWS Identity and Access Management. The main thought behind that is that even if an ID is authenticated, they will not gain complete access to the data because multilayer security and third-party authentication are required. Giving privileged access to only a handful of senior employees secures your AWS S3 bucket and ensures the risk of data breaches is minimized significantly.

Logging and Auditing

Not all security breaches coincide, and most of them happen in stages. Auditing and logging can help identify a security breach before it occurs and can even identify potential future breaches for the organization. There are built-in tools in AWS that can help you with that. The monitoring service Amazon CloudWatch for IT managers and DevOps is an excellent tool.

It gives you complete access to the on-premises servers and all operations in AWS, so you can easily visualize logs, detect problems, notify people, remediate issues, and automate actions. Logging and auditing your AWS systems continuously ensures that even if a potential problem arises and someone tries to gain access to your system, you will be notified immediately.

Conclusion to AWS S3 Security Best Practices

These were the five fundamental steps towards AWS S3 Security best practices, which will ensure that you no longer have to worry about security breaches in the cloud. If you want to learn more about AWS S3 security best practices, contact us today.

Further blogs within this AWS S3 Security Best Practices category.