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October 25, 2023

Shared Responsibility Model: Your Role in Ensuring Cloud Security

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The rapid adoption of Cloud Computing has revolutionized the way organizations manage their IT assets, offering unparalleled benefits in scalability, flexibility, and financial management. However, the increased reliance on the cloud also presents new security challenges. Cloud security is a shared responsibility, with both the cloud service provider and the customer playing crucial roles in safeguarding data.Β 

This article aims to educate you about your responsibilities in cloud security and how Ankercloud can assist you in this endeavor.

Understanding the Shared Responsibility Model

In the realm of cloud security, the Shared Responsibility Model is a foundational concept. It defines "who is responsible for what" in the public cloud environment, delineating the areas of responsibility for both the service provider and the customer. While the Shared Responsibility Model is universally adopted by cloud providers, we'll focus on Amazon Web Services (AWS) for a closer look.

AWS Responsibility

From a high-level perspective, AWS is accountable for the "Security of the Cloud." This includes ensuring the security and maintenance of the underlying infrastructure and services, including the hardware, network structure, and physical security of data centers. AWS is also responsible for low-level configurations and operating systems on their servers.

Customer Responsibility

On the other hand, customers are responsible for the "Security in the Cloud," which pertains to configuring and securing the services they use and the data they upload. This encompasses securing their cloud architecture, the setup and utilization of AWS services, and maintaining their own code, operating systems, and containers.

Some key customer responsibilities include securing their EC2 instances, ensuring regular updates to the operating systems and applications, and managing network settings such as Security Groups, Access Control Lists, and Firewall rules.

Shared Controls

Certain controls in the cloud environment fall under both AWS and customer responsibilities, depending on context and perspective. These shared controls include patching, settings and configuration, and awareness and training. Both AWS and customers must ensure that their employees are well-informed and trained on the latest security practices.

Why AWS Can't Access Your Data

One common concern when it comes to cloud adoption is the fear of unauthorized access to sensitive data. However, it's essential to understand how data is handled in the cloud.


AWS structures its global coverage into regions and availability zones, ensuring data redundancy and disaster recovery. Customer data does not leave the specified region without explicit permission.

Data Encryption

‍AWS offers data encryption solutions, and customers are responsible for encrypting their data. AWS services like S3 and DynamoDB use AES-256 encryption by default.


‍Creating backups is crucial for data reliability, and AWS provides services like AWS Glacier for data backup. Customers determine backup frequency and retention policies.

AWS Permissions on User Data

‍ Access to data in the cloud is limited to customers. AWS employees cannot access customer data, and any hardware accessed is thoroughly wiped before use.

Third-Party Validation of AWS

To ensure the security and compliance of cloud services, AWS adheres to various industry standards and programs:

1. Cloud Computing Compliance Controls Catalog (C5)

‍C5 is a set of criteria for assessing cloud service security, issued by the German government. It covers a wide range of security aspects and helps evaluate the security of cloud providers.

2. ISO/IEC 27000:2018

‍This series of standards provides guidelines for information security management systems. AWS offers a pathway to ISO compliance, ensuring adherence to international security standards.


‍The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard sets security guidelines for handling credit card data. AWS helps customers implement PCI DSS-compliant solutions for secure payment processing.

AWS Artifact & Security Hub

AWS provides tools like AWS Artifact and Security Hub to assist customers in achieving and demonstrating compliance with various security and privacy standards. These services help users access compliance and security documents and assess their infrastructure's adherence to standards and best practices.

Laws for Data Protection and Insight

Understanding data protection laws is crucial, especially for organizations dealing with sensitive data. Here are some key regulations:

1. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

GDPR is a European law that governs the processing of personal data. It sets requirements for data collection, user rights, transparency, data security, and more.

2. Bundesdatenschutzgesetz (BDSG)

‍BDSG is an extension of GDPR for Germany, addressing country-specific aspects of data protection.

3. CLOUD Act

‍The CLOUD Act enables U.S. law enforcement to compel technology companies to provide data, even if it is stored on foreign servers. It highlights the importance of data security and privacy.

4. Requests

‍Companies like Amazon receive data requests from governments. Amazon actively challenges inappropriate requests, emphasizing its commitment to user data privacy.

Understanding the Foundations of Cloud Compliance

Before delving into how Ankercloud can assist you, let's explore the fundamental principles of cloud compliance.

1. Privacy by Design

‍Privacy by Design is a proactive approach that emphasizes embedding data protection into every aspect of a system's design and operation. It means anticipating privacy issues before they become problems.

2. Preventive Measures

‍Preventing security breaches and data loss is far more effective than attempting to fix issues after they occur. The cost of data breaches, both in terms of finances and reputation, can be staggering.

3. Key Components of Cloud Compliances

‍Ensuring data security in the cloud involves a combination of measures, including firewalls to thwart external attacks, Identity and Access Management (IAM) to control access and contain incidents, robust encryption to prevent unauthorized access, data backups, and a disaster recovery strategy.

Ankercloud: Your Cloud Compliance Companion

While AWS provides a wealth of tools and resources, navigating the complex landscape of cloud compliance can still be challenging. This is where Ankercloud steps in as an advanced partner, offering comprehensive guidance and technical support to AWS users.

- Analyze your current security posture

- Develop a custom security strategy

- Implement centralized policies

- Manage IAM users

- Apply defensive controls

- Review and maintain your AWS infrastructure

- Design, build, and secure new cloud workloads

- Provide ongoing support for secure infrastructure management

Cloud security is a shared responsibility, with both cloud service providers and customers playing vital roles. Ankercloud can be your trusted partner in achieving and maintaining cloud compliance. By understanding the Shared Responsibility Model, adhering to industry standards, and complying with data protection laws, you can ensure that your data remains secure and compliant in the cloud. Don't wait; take action now to protect your organization's data and reputation.


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