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RDS Security

Links: 101 AWS SAA Index


  • At rest encryption is done using AWS KMS.
  • Possibility to encrypt the master and read replicas with AWS KMS - AES 256.
  • In flight encryption is done by SSL certificates to encrypt the data coming to RDS.

    • Amazon RDS creates and installs a SSL certificate on the DB instance when Amazon RDS provisions the instance.
    • You can download the root certificate from AWS and use it when connecting to the database.
    • You cannot use your own self signed certificates.
  • TDE (Transparent Data Encryption) is possible for Oracle and SQL Server. This is for data at rest.

  • We can force SSL connections to out DB instance by

    • Setting rds.force_ssl(parameter groups) to true and then rebooting the DB instance or
    • DB can be configured to allow only SSL connections.
  • Snapshots of unencrypted database are unencrypted. Snapshots of encrypted database are encrypted.

  • We can copy an unencrypted snapshot to an encrypted one. This is useful when you want to encrypt your database.
How to encrypt and unencrypted database?
  • Create a snapshot of the un-encrypted database
  • Copy the snapshot and enable encryption for the snapshot
  • Restore the database from the encrypted snapshot
  • Migrate applications to the new database, and delete the old database
If master is NOT encrypted then NOT possible to encrypt the read replicas.

So if you want to create encrypted read replicas from an unencrypted master database then - Create an encrypted snapshot of the unencrypted master DB - Create a new encrypted master DB from the snapshot - Create an encrypted read replica.

Network Security

  • Deploy RDS instances in a private subnet.
  • RDS also uses security groups and it works in the same way as that of the EC2 instances.
  • IAM policies help us control who can manage the database.

IAM Authentication

  • Generally for logging into the database we need a username and password.
  • We can use IAM authentication for additional security. No need of password.
  • Authentication tokens are used which are valid for 15 mins. Short lived authentication tokens.
  • Authentication token is obtained from IAM and RDS API calls.
  • The major benefit of using IAM authentication is that we can centrally manage users using IAM instead of using the DB.
    • Can leverage IAM Roles and EC2 Instance profiles for easy integration.
  • It is supported by Postgres and MySQL.
  • IAM authentication to RDS is supported, which must be achieved by attaching an IAM role the AWS Lambda function

Last updated: 2022-05-05