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Infrastructure security (whether in the cloud or not) is tightly bound to accounts, roles and identities.

There are multiple questions to consider when deciding on a cloud account strategy.  Some examples include:

  • Billing - How will resource utilization and consumption be measured and reported. Will there need to be internal chargebacks?

  • Business models -    Will central IT act as an institutional service provider for cloud infrastructure, or will there be multiple accounts across distributed IT and research groups? How will  financial responsibility be distributed across different uses of cloud infrastructure?

  • Governance -   How will resources be allocated, secured, controlled and audited?

  • Operational -   How will operational management, enterprise integration, network integration and AWS service limits be architected and managed?


The following should be considered as some best practices for account strategy and be adapted to meet the organizational needs:

  1. Develop and enforce common tagging practices which meet minimum requirements for billing and chargeback
  2. Implement a consolidated single master account which provides billing consolidation and reporting across all institutional units (sub-accounts)
  3. Define a sub-account creation policy based on specific requirements for isolation or delegation as per governance and security requirements; initially it is recommended to segregate based on operating environment (i.e., production vs. non-production)
  4. Consider additional VPCs as boundaries for workloads that require specialized controls
  5. Leverage a common services model using VPC peering to minimize duplication of resources across accounts

AWS Provisioning and IAM Roles at Penn State

This information has moved here.

Securing Workloads of Differing Sensitivities in AWS at UNC Chapel Hill -

We are just getting started but we are looking at Landing Zone and Control Tower ( as one way to implement auditing and compliance for workloads in AWS for our institution. Specifically, we are looking for a way to manage accounts, monitor the accounts, and set baseline policies for the accounts that are created for researchers or departments. We are also looking into Transit Gateway ( to manage network connections within AWS and back to campus. I expect many of you are already using Organizations ( along with service control and/or AWS Config.


Just as the practice of syslogging events to a separate host is standard in on-premise environment, logging in cloud environments is also a good practice.  In AWS, a technology called CloudTrail enables the ability to log any change to the infrastructure. Coupled with IAM policies, this functionality can ensure that a compromise of the environment can not be hidden. 


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