How an AWS Architecture Diagram Helps Ensure Cloud Security and Compliance


May 26, 2022

In today’s modern business environment, cloud adoption is no longer a nice-to-have. Moving workloads to the cloud enables organizations to achieve scalability, flexibility, business continuity, and cost savings that on-premises deployments can’t provide, making cloud adoption a business imperative.

As of April 2021, one-third of organizations surveyed reported that they’re running over half of their workloads in the cloud. By the end of 2022, that number will increase to 48% of companies, and 20% plan to migrate all of their applications to the cloud. According to Grandview Research, cloud technology adoption is growing at a CAGR of 19.1% between 2021 and 2028, and could reach over $1.25 billion.

AWS is the leading cloud provider, with 32% of the market share, and has become a major player in AI, database, machine learning, and serverless deployments. And with so many work workloads and resources running on AWS, a strong cloud security posture is essential.

A number of regulations exist to ensure security measures and best practices are consistently followed when setting up and maintaining a cloud infrastructure. The process of compiling with these standards is essential for maintaining a secure and optimized AWS environment, but it isn’t easy. The more complex the environment, the harder it is to ensure compliance.

Is AWS Built-In Compliance Enough?

AWS supports more security and compliance standards than other cloud offerings, including PCI-DSS, HIPAA/HITECH, FedRAMP, GDPR, FIPS 140-2, and NIST 800-171.

By providing built-in support for these standards, Amazon helps simplify global compliance for organizations migrating to the cloud. However, if you lack complete and accurate IT documentation to track your compliance rules and prove they’re being enforced, you could be at risk for failing compliance audits and paying steep non-compliance fines. What’s more, depending on your business and the specifics of your cloud environment, custom rules outside of what AWS has to offer may be necessary.

Typically, cloud architects leverage AWS security tools such as AWS IAM, Amazon GuardDuty, AWS Config, and AWS Cloudtrail to set up and enforce compliance rules that ensure cloud security. These resources provide critical information, but each generates different outputs, which makes it difficult and time-consuming to maintain and analyze the information holistically.

If a company fails to follow compliance rules consistently, vulnerabilities may be introduced, and the company’s cloud environment may be at risk of an attack. This could lead to downtime of key resources and applications, data breaches or data theft, lost productivity and revenue, and even reputational damage.

Ensure Compliance with Cloudockit

Cloudockit is a simple tool that enables you to create a detailed and highly visual AWS architecture diagram. The diagram illustrates the different technical elements in your cloud infrastructure and the configurations and interactions between them, illuminating misconfigurations and other problems that could compromise security.

Using Cloudockit’s compliance module, cloud architects can quickly and easily augment the compliance rules provided by AWS according to their needs. They simply select from a list of compliance rules and security checks which are automatically applied upon the next scan.

When Cloudockit generates the AWS diagram, it automatically flags and highlights points of non-compliance with warning icons, so architects can see instantly what components within the AWS architecture are out of compliance – visual warnings appear in the diagram and Cloudockit reports.

Architects can simply click on an icon in an AWS architecture diagram to drill down and investigate any issue further, and take action before a security incident occurs. This article walks you through the various parts of a Cloudockit diagram and how to use it.

Beyond the ability to apply standard compliance checks and security rules, Cloudockit empowers cloud architects with the flexibility to create internal standards and custom compliance rules from scratch. This enables them to go beyond AWS’s best practices and build a tailored solution that fits their organization’s unique requirements.

Once the initial scan is complete and compliance rules are applied, teams can use Cloudockit to monitor and compare the current environment with the initial deployment, and easily spot changes over time.

In addition to alerting teams of non-compliance issues, Cloudockit also provides complete and accurate visual documentation of the AWS architecture, eliminating time-consuming manual tasks that drive up costs. A Scheduling and Automation tool ensures teams receive updates to technical documents, so they can quickly react to potential threats.

Know the State of Your AWS Architecture At-a-Glance

Cloudockit provides a quick visual aid to architects, so they can see at-a-glance where non-compliance issues exist across their AWS architecture without having to consult highly technical written documentation. It eliminates time spent chasing down information about cloud assets, configurations, locations, and more, so they can move right into investigating and fixing issues, and contacting the right individuals within the organization to determine the best plan of action.

Instead of having to extract information from disparate resources via complex queries, cloud architects have a single source of truth that’s easy to review and analyze, and can get the answers they need, faster. At the same time, access to visual documentation eliminates confusion and enables teams to quickly troubleshoot problems that may occur in the future.

Is AWS cloud security and compliance a key priority in your organization? Learn more about Cloudockit’s Audit, Compliance and Security Reporting and start a free trial today.