Day by day, Serverless computing is becoming quite popular as companies go for new methods to deploy their operational applications in the cloud. Having higher levels of abstraction, simpler maintenance focused on high performance, and fleeting workloads, serverless computing systems such as Lambda are developing a permanent place in the cloud infrastructure options.
Nevertheless, as a serverless computing system is becoming more popular, furthermore, serverless computing security is becoming an essential factor to recognize. Specifically, an organization uses serverless computing to influence applications that collaborate with their traditional systems—and they need affirmation that their information and the application code is completely secured in production.
Following are some important factors when considered for the security of serverless
1. Shared responsibility
As it’s quite common with all cloud applications that serverless computing functionally operates on a shared responsibility pattern for security reasons, the cloud provider is quite efficient for the security of resources which they provide in the cloud, and the client is very much responsible for the security of their information and code of the application. To have knowledge and focus on the security efforts you must understand this basic concept. Serverless computing solutions ease security as it simply migrates infrastructure security to the dealer. Moreover, as a client, you have to utilize this for your advantage and be more focused on securing the topmost layers of the stack which are handled by you. This consists of authorization and access to the resources, coordination with other applications and APIs, and determining the performance and the errors.
Let’s have a closer look what does this means in the case of AWS Lambda, which is the outstanding serverless computing solution accessible today. As we have taken example of AWS Lambda here, same can be with other serverless computing tools.
2. API Gateway
API management is the services that handle, validate, and report on all of the API calls in-between two APIs. Whereas, in the case of AWS Lambda, you can utilize API Gateway to coordinate with an external venture application with AWS Lambda and establish the communication in-between the AWS Lambda and legacy app in a continuous manner. This was quite difficult earlier as both the systems are totally different in their function and the way they are built up and making them quite difficult to coordinate. Although API gateway coordinates them in such a way that they focus on the tasks which need to be get completed and not on the differences in-between the various applications.
With serverless computing security, API Gateway authorizes a set of policies to regulate each API call. You can simply set the limit to the endpoint suitable for communication or for the communication, which is governed by a list of Identity and Access Management policies (IAM). This interaction can also work in another way, too, where API gateway authorizes AWS Lambda as a customized OAuthorizer. Instead of building an authorizer from starting as a different application, you can utilize AWS Lambda to accomplish code which authorizes every API call.
3. Amazon Cognito
Amazon Cognito is a user-enabled controlled service from AWS which operates quite well with numerous AWS services, including AWS Lambda. Its essential function is to give login access for clients so that their application information is saved in the AWS cloud and accompany across all the devices which they frequently use, even they go from “trial version” to “paid version.” Amazon Cognito functions as a gatekeeper, which allows only authorized users to access the Lambda application. It presents pre and post-permission controls to accomplish security controls and designing custom user involvement within the app. Amazon Cognito assists you in setting diverse policies to manage various groups of users with its characteristics, which is called identity pools. Amazon Cognito operates all-together with IAM to administer various policies for each pool.
4. AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM)
As this is the core of the security services which manages access to all the AWS resources, IAM is quite important in securing an AWS Lambda application. It allows you to provide different access levels to clients. You can simply provide users read-only access to your AWS Lambda functions, or simply allow them to enforce AWS Lambda functions, or you could provide them full access to enforce functions and handle the specific defined system resources.
5. Logging and monitoring
Once numerous access controls and security policies are in place utilizing the tools which are listed above, you require robust monitoring and logging for AWS Lambda. AWS gives you the essential in the form of CloudTrail and CloudWatch. The former monitors API calls and the latter monitor’s performance metrics. Whereas they are great to begin, you require centralized logging and monitoring for your application, and you can accomplish this by addressing logs to external logging solutions by utilizing agents. You require both logs and metrics to attain deep clarity into the performance of your AWS Lambda application. Whereas metrics could alert you to the issues, while logs provide you the deep clarity to determine the root cause and fix them. By enabling up the custom alerts, you can easily catch the security issues before they grow, and this is ultimately how you should address Lambda security in an enthusiastic way.
For any organization, security is the topmost priority as they influence AWS Lambda for various production workloads. To enforce serverless security solutions, the correct way is that it carries out an understanding of how security system works in the cloud. You require leveraging all accessible security services such as Cognito, IAM, API Gateway and related services from other dealers to appropriately protect your Lambda applications. Furthermore, observing the logs and metrics which are developed during production is important to detect security issues before they grow. AWS Lambda is making it quite simpler than ever to grow up and operating with applications in the cloud. By following these best practices, which are listed here, you can make sure that those Lambda applications are very much secure as much as they are performant.