Infrastructure security in Amazon EC2 - Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
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Infrastructure security in Amazon EC2

As a managed service, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud is protected by Amazon global network security. For information about Amazon security services and how Amazon protects infrastructure, see Amazon Cloud Security. To design your Amazon environment using the best practices for infrastructure security, see Infrastructure Protection in Security Pillar Amazon Well‐Architected Framework.

You use Amazon published API calls to access Amazon EC2 through the network. Clients must support the following:

  • Transport Layer Security (TLS). We require TLS 1.2 and recommend TLS 1.3.

  • Cipher suites with perfect forward secrecy (PFS) such as DHE (Ephemeral Diffie-Hellman) or ECDHE (Elliptic Curve Ephemeral Diffie-Hellman). Most modern systems such as Java 7 and later support these modes.

Additionally, requests must be signed by using an access key ID and a secret access key that is associated with an IAM principal. Or you can use the Amazon Security Token Service (Amazon STS) to generate temporary security credentials to sign requests.

For more information, see Infrastructure Protection in the Security Pillar – Amazon Well-Architected Framework.

Network isolation

A virtual private cloud (VPC) is a virtual network in your own logically isolated area in the Amazon Cloud. Use separate VPCs to isolate infrastructure by workload or organizational entity.

A subnet is a range of IP addresses in a VPC. When you launch an instance, you launch it into a subnet in your VPC. Use subnets to isolate the tiers of your application (for example, web, application, and database) within a single VPC. Use private subnets for your instances if they should not be accessed directly from the internet.

To call the Amazon EC2 API from your VPC using private IP addresses, use Amazon PrivateLink. For more information, see Access Amazon EC2 using an interface VPC endpoint.

Isolation on physical hosts

Different EC2 instances on the same physical host are isolated from each other as though they are on separate physical hosts. The hypervisor isolates CPU and memory, and the instances are provided virtualized disks instead of access to the raw disk devices.

When you stop or terminate an instance, the memory allocated to it is scrubbed (set to zero) by the hypervisor before it is allocated to a new instance, and every block of storage is reset. This ensures that your data is not unintentionally exposed to another instance.

Network MAC addresses are dynamically assigned to instances by the Amazon network infrastructure. IP addresses are either dynamically assigned to instances by the Amazon network infrastructure, or assigned by an EC2 administrator through authenticated API requests. The Amazon network allows instances to send traffic only from the MAC and IP addresses assigned to them. Otherwise, the traffic is dropped.

By default, an instance cannot receive traffic that is not specifically addressed to it. If you need to run network address translation (NAT), routing, or firewall services on your instance, you can disable source/destination checking for the network interface.

Controlling network traffic

Consider the following options for controlling network traffic to your EC2 instances:

Amazon VPC supports additional network security controls, such as gateways, proxy servers, and network monitoring options. For more information, see Control network traffic in the Amazon VPC User Guide.