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AWS Lambda Security and Privacy Hardening Guidelines

We’ve created this guideline to help securely and safely use AWS Lambda. Following these best practices will help protect your organization’s data and infrastructure from potential cybersecurity threats and maintain privacy.

  1. Apply the Principle of Least Privilege:
    Ensure that the IAM roles and policies attached to your Lambda functions follow the principle of least privilege. Limit access to the minimum set of resources and actions necessary for the function to operate.
  2. Encrypt Data at Rest and in Transit:
    Enable AWS Key Management Service (KMS) to encrypt data at rest within your Lambda functions. Use HTTPS or other secure communication protocols to protect data in transit between your Lambda functions and other services.
  3. Monitor and Log Activities:
    Enable AWS CloudTrail and Amazon CloudWatch Logs to record and monitor activity associated with your Lambda functions. Regularly review and analyze logs for suspicious activity or potential security issues.
  4. Implement Security Group and VPC Best Practices:
    Place your Lambda functions within Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) to isolate them from the public internet. Configure security groups and network access control lists (NACLs) to restrict inbound and outbound traffic as needed.
  5. Use Secure Coding Practices:
    Follow secure coding practices when developing your Lambda functions. Regularly perform code reviews and vulnerability scans to identify and address security issues.
  6. Keep Dependencies Updated:
    Regularly update the packages and dependencies used in your Lambda functions. Monitor for security vulnerabilities in these dependencies and apply patches promptly.
  7. Use AWS Secrets Manager or Parameter Store:
    Store sensitive information, such as API keys, passwords, and other secrets, in AWS Secrets Manager or the Systems Manager Parameter Store. Avoid hardcoding secrets directly in your Lambda function code or environment variables.
  8. Enable Function-Level Concurrency Limits:
    Set function-level concurrency limits to protect your Lambda functions from Denial of Service (DoS) attacks and to manage resource consumption.
  9. Implement Input Validation and Sanitization:
    Validate and sanitize input data to your Lambda functions to prevent injection attacks and other forms of malicious input.
  10. Use Lambda Layers for Code Reuse:
    Instead of duplicating code across multiple functions, use Lambda Layers to share common code and libraries. This practice can simplify updates and enhance security by reducing the potential attack surface.
  11. Implement a Secure Deployment Pipeline:
    Use a secure deployment pipeline with tools like AWS CodePipeline and AWS CodeBuild to automate the build, test, and deployment of your Lambda functions. Incorporate security checks and vulnerability scanning in the pipeline to catch potential issues before deployment.
  12. Regularly Review IAM Policies and Permissions:
    Regularly review and update IAM policies and permissions for your Lambda functions to ensure they remain appropriate and secure as your organization’s needs evolve.

Following these guidelines will help ensure the secure and privacy-conscious use of AWS Lambda in our organization. Remember to stay informed about AWS security best practices and updates, as the threat landscape and cloud environment are continuously evolving.

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