What is AWS Shared Responsibility Model?


AWS has been one of the most popular words in cybersecurity for a while now. If you’re unfamiliar with it, AWS stands for Amazon Web Services and is a cloud computing platform by Amazon. It is extensive and constantly expanding. It combines IaaS, PaaS, and packaged SaaS products. Your enterprise may be able to benefit from AWS services in terms of resources like computing power, database storage, and content delivery.

AWS Shared Responsibility Model is a popular service of AWS. With AWS maintaining, managing, and controlling every component, this shared approach might lessen the operational load placed on the client, which is your company. Let’s take a more detailed look at this model.

How does the AWS shared responsibility model work?

The AWS shared responsibility model outlines your and AWS’ obligations in terms of security and compliance. Generally speaking, AWS is in charge of cloud security while the client is in charge of security in the cloud. The distinction between these two can be explained better with some visualization.

Basically, the client is in charge of managing the operating system, and other related application software, and setting up the security group firewall that AWS provides. AWS’ responsibility is the security of AWS’ global infrastructure and its fundamental services such as computing, storage, database, and networking. This clear-cut difference is one of the reasons why AWS is so popular, as Amazon dominates the cloud market by more than a third, about twice as much as its nearest rival.

Why is the AWS shared responsibility model important?

Every year, high-profile company cloud breaches make news. Due to inadequate procedures to secure personal data, clients are typically held liable for breaches rather than service providers. Organizations must comprehend their part in maintaining cloud security if they want to lessen the danger of data leaks and cloud security breaches.

AWS offers default settings that define which security protections are turned on in your environment, much like all other cloud providers. They could offer a fundamental degree of security, but they are probably insufficient for your organization’s particular security and compliance needs. In the end, it is your responsibility to make sure the proper security procedures are in place.

Many businesses think that Amazon is ultimately in charge of guaranteeing compliance if they use AWS. However, that is not true and you should make sure you thoroughly understand how certain security precautions apply to your particular context. Sharing the load might be unsettling in some respects, but if you deal with a reputable supplier, it can also significantly reduce your stress levels. 

If you want to learn about the possible vendors that can assist you in this process, you can take a look at how to protect your SaaS applications with NordLayer.

AWS shared responsibility in three approaches for cloud services

SaaS (Software as a service), IaaS (Infrastructure as a service), and PaaS (Platform as a service) are the three main approaches for cloud service delivery. The idea of shared responsibility applies to each of these approaches. However, they each have different security duties and functions.


Almost every company that has an online presence uses SaaS services. SaaS clients are always responsible for protecting data security. The shared responsibility model is based on this: data security is a shared obligation between you and the SaaS provider.

The data in your SaaS applications may disappear or be lost in a variety of ways. Some are serious, including server outages or data breaches. The cloud providers will be responsible for these according to the shared responsibility model functions. However, the responsibility of ensuring the security of internal data falls on you as the client.


When it comes to the AWS shared responsibility model, PaaS is the middle ground. It gives the cloud provides greater control. In this case, the provider protects the infrastructure and general operating systems while IT teams continue to deploy and maintain their apps and related data.


In IaaS, service and storage, which include the fundamental elements of the cloud infrastructure are the responsibility of the cloud provider. The data centers where the provider’s infrastructure is housed must be physically secure – and that responsibility falls on the provider as well. In contrast, IaaS users are often in charge of maintaining the security of their data as well as the operating system and the software needed to execute their applications.

Final words

The security of the data that you have on the cloud is a shared responsibility between AWS and you, the AWS client, when it comes to using the AWS cloud. Since you can’t just rely on AWS or any other cloud provider for the security of your sensitive data, it is important that you learn your responsibilities and follow best practices to make sure your company is secure.


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I am the Co-founder of Kifarunix.com, Linux and the whole FOSS enthusiast, Linux System Admin and a Blue Teamer who loves to share technological tips and hacks with others as a way of sharing knowledge as: "In vain have you acquired knowledge if you have not imparted it to others".

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