In this blog article, we’ll look at how AWS IoT services, support zero trust by default. Moreover, it believes in leveraging and developing a zero-trust IoT implementation using the NIST 800-207 architecture as a benchmark.
What is zero-trust security, and how does it work?
Zero trust is both a conceptual approach and a collection of tools for implementing security measures. Traditional network controls or network borders aren’t enough to keep these security controls in place. It imposes fine-grained, identity-based rules that regulate access to apps, data, and other assets by requiring your users, devices, and systems to establish their trustworthiness.
Zero-trust principles are meant for an organization’s infrastructure, which encompasses operational technology (OT), information technology (IT), the Internet of Things, and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)—it’s all about securing everything everywhere.
Traditional security methods heavily rely on network segmentation and provide devices with high degrees of trust based on their network presence.
Zero trust, on the other hand, is a comprehensive strategy for authenticating your connected devices independent of network location. It follows the principle of least privilege and depends on intelligence, enhanced detection, and real-time threat response to combat threats.
Because of its basic principles, zero trust offers more security than traditional network-based security, and it’s an area of rising government and industry investigation.
Aligning AWS IoT with the zero-trust concepts of NIST 800-207
By following the seven tenets outlined above, AWS IoT can assist you in implementing a NIST 800-207-based zero-trust architecture (ZTA):
Resources include all data sources and computational services.
We represent your data sources and compute services as resources in AWS, which is essential for access management. To communicate with AWS services, each connected device requires a credential.
Regardless of network location, every communication is safe.
All communications with AWS IoT services are protected by default. This implies that all communications between devices and cloud services remain safe regardless of network location since AWS API requests stay individually authenticated and authorized using TLS.
When a device connects to other devices or cloud services, it must authenticate using principles like X.509 certificates, security tokens, and custom authorizers to establish trust. For older devices, the AWS IoT security architecture offers certificate-based authentication or custom authorizers, IoT policies-based authorization, and TLS 1.2 encryption.
Zero trust needs the least privileged access to govern a device’s activities when it connects to AWS IoT Core, in addition to the strong identity supplied by AWS IoT services. This allows AWS IoT rules to restrict the effect of illegal access in the event of a breach.
AWS delivers device software that enables IoT and IIoT devices to securely connect to other devices and AWS cloud services. AWS IoT Greengrass is an open-source edge runtime and cloud service for the Internet of Things that aids in the development, deployment, and management of device software. For both local and cloud connections, AWS IoT Greengrass authenticates and encrypts device data.
Another example is FreeRTOS, an open-source real-time operating system for microcontrollers that simplifies the management of tiny, low-power edge devices. The AWS Device Client allows you to securely connect your IoT devices to AWS services.