Reducing the cost of SSE-KMS with Amazon S3 Bucket Keys - Amazon Simple Storage Service
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Reducing the cost of SSE-KMS with Amazon S3 Bucket Keys

Amazon S3 Bucket Keys reduce the cost of Amazon S3 server-side encryption using Amazon Key Management Service (SSE-KMS). This new bucket-level key for SSE can reduce Amazon KMS request costs by up to 99 percent by decreasing the request traffic from Amazon S3 to Amazon KMS. With a few clicks in the Amazon Web Services Management Console, and without any changes to your client applications, you can configure your bucket to use an S3 Bucket Key for Amazon KMS-based encryption on new objects.

S3 Bucket Keys for SSE-KMS

Workloads that access millions or billions of objects encrypted with SSE-KMS can generate large volumes of requests to Amazon KMS. When you use SSE-KMS to protect your data without an S3 Bucket Key, Amazon S3 uses an individual Amazon KMS data key for every object. It makes a call to Amazon KMS every time a request is made against a KMS-encrypted object. For information about how SSE-KMS works, see Using server-side encryption with Amazon Key Management Service (SSE-KMS).

When you configure your bucket to use an S3 Bucket Key for SSE-KMS, Amazon KMS generates a bucket-level key that is used to create unique data keys for new objects that you add to the bucket. This S3 Bucket Key is used for a time-limited period within Amazon S3, reducing the need for Amazon S3 to make requests to Amazon KMS to complete encryption operations. This reduces traffic from S3 to Amazon KMS, allowing you to access Amazon KMS-encrypted objects in S3 at a fraction of the previous cost.

When you configure an S3 Bucket Key, objects that are already in the bucket do not use the S3 Bucket Key. To configure an S3 Bucket Key for existing objects, you can use a COPY operation. For more information, see Configuring an S3 Bucket Key at the object level using Batch Operations, REST API, Amazon SDKs, or Amazon CLI.

Amazon S3 will only share an S3 Bucket Key for objects encrypted by the same Amazon KMS key.


        Diagram showing Amazon KMS generating a bucket key that creates data keys for objects
          in a bucket in S3.

Configuring S3 Bucket Keys

You can configure your bucket to use an S3 Bucket Key for SSE-KMS on new objects through the Amazon S3 console, Amazon SDKs, Amazon CLI, or REST API. You can also override the S3 Bucket Key configuration for specific objects in a bucket with an individual per-object KMS key using the REST API, Amazon SDK, or Amazon CLI. You can also view S3 Bucket Key settings.

Before you configure your bucket to use an S3 Bucket Key, review Changes to note before enabling an S3 Bucket Key.

Configuring an S3 Bucket Key using the Amazon S3 console

When you create a new bucket, you can configure your bucket to use an S3 Bucket Key for SSE-KMS on new objects. You can also configure an existing bucket to use an S3 Bucket Key for SSE-KMS on new objects by updating your bucket properties. 

For more information, see Configuring your bucket to use an S3 Bucket Key with SSE-KMS for new objects.

REST API, Amazon CLI, and Amazon SDK support for S3 Bucket Keys

You can use the REST API, Amazon CLI, or Amazon SDK to configure your bucket to use an S3 Bucket Key for SSE-KMS on new objects. You can also enable an S3 Bucket Key at the object level.

For more information, see the following: 

The following APIs support S3 Bucket Keys for SSE-KMS:

Working with Amazon CloudFormation

In Amazon CloudFormation, the AWS::S3::Bucket resource includes an encryption property called BucketKeyEnabled that you can use to enable or disable an S3 Bucket Key.

For more information, see Using Amazon CloudFormation.

Changes to note before enabling an S3 Bucket Key

Before you enable an S3 Bucket Key, please note the following related changes:

IAM or KMS key policies

If your existing IAM policies or Amazon KMS key policies use your object Amazon Resource Name (ARN) as the encryption context to refine or limit access to your KMS key, these policies won’t work with an S3 Bucket Key. S3 Bucket Keys use the bucket ARN as encryption context. Before you enable an S3 Bucket Key, update your IAM policies or Amazon KMS key policies to use your bucket ARN as encryption context.

For more information about encryption context and S3 Bucket Keys, see Encryption context.

Amazon KMS CloudTrail events

After you enable an S3 Bucket Key, your Amazon KMS CloudTrail events log your bucket ARN instead of your object ARN. Additionally, you see fewer KMS CloudTrail events for SSE-KMS objects in your logs. Because key material is time-limited in Amazon S3, fewer requests are made to Amazon KMS. 

Using an S3 Bucket Key with replication

You can use S3 Bucket Keys with Same-Region Replication (SRR) and Cross-Region Replication (CRR).

When Amazon S3 replicates an encrypted object, it generally preserves the encryption settings of the replica object in the destination bucket. However, if the source object is not encrypted and your destination bucket uses default encryption or an S3 Bucket Key, Amazon S3 encrypts the object with the destination bucket’s configuration.

The following examples illustrate how an S3 Bucket Key works with replication. For more information, see Replicating objects created with server-side encryption (SSE-C, SSE-S3, SSE-KMS)

Example 1 – Source object uses S3 Bucket Keys, destination bucket uses default encryption

If your source object uses an S3 Bucket Key but your destination bucket uses default encryption with SSE-KMS, the replica object maintains its S3 Bucket Key encryption settings in the destination bucket. The destination bucket still uses default encryption with SSE-KMS.

Example 2 – Source object is not encrypted, destination bucket uses an S3 Bucket Key with SSE-KMS

If your source object is not encrypted and the destination bucket uses an S3 Bucket Key with SSE-KMS, the source object is encrypted with an S3 Bucket Key using SSE-KMS in the destination bucket. This results in the ETag of the source object being different from the ETag of the replica object. You must update applications that use the ETag to accommodate for this difference.

Working with S3 Bucket Keys

For more information about enabling and working with S3 Bucket Keys, see the following sections: