Understand AWS Secrets Manager to Create & Manage Secrets

20 Jan 2022
Understand AWS Secrets Manager to Create & Manage Secrets
20 Jan 2022

Secrets refer to digital authentication credentials, which include passwords, APIs, tokens, and keys used in services, applications and other sensitive parts of IT ecosystem. Managing these secrets is a must-do to ensure security, but it came with its own challenges especially as the IT ecosystem grows more complex. 

Traditionally, there bounds to be a lot of security gaps when managing secrets. Team members can manage their passwords and other secrets individually non-supervised, causing possible security gaps. If there are access to third parties, it is possible that it is not managed adequately. There may be hardcoded secrets in scripts or files which jeopardizes security for the automation process. When doing regular credentials rotation, one invests too much time to create new credentials, update the applications with the new shared credentials, then re-distribute the new credentials. There are various risks and challenges on making sure that these secrets are securely managed. 

With Amazon Web Service’s Secrets Manager, these challenges are easily addressed. 

What is AWS Secrets Manager? 


AWS Secrets Manager is the robust solution from AWS to help you store and retrieve secrets in an effortlessly secure way using API and Command Line Interface. 


It replaces hardcoded credentials with an API call to Secrets Manager to retrieve the secrets programmatically. As the secrets are no longer in the code, this ensures secrets can’t be compromised. 

Features of AWS Secrets Manager 


  1. Secure secrets storage 
    AWS Secrets Manager encrypts secrets using encryption keys which are stored in AWS Key Management Service (KMS). Access to the secrets is controlled using AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) policies and resource-based policies. 

  2. Automatic secrets rotation 
    AWS Secrets Manager rotates secrets on a schedule or on demand by using the Secrets Manager console. The secrets are retrieved by replacing hardcoded secrets with a call to APIs so it won’t interrupt any running applications. 

  3. Automatic secrets replication 
    AWS Secrets Manager replicates secrets automatically to multiple AWS regions to meet cross-regional requirements. Secrets Manager will keep the replicas in sync with the primary secret. 

  4. Programmatic retrieval of secrets 
    AWS Secrets Manager allow users to store and retrieve secrets by replacing the plaintext secrets in applications with code to pull secrets programmatically using Secrets Manager APIs. 

  5. Audit and monitor secrets usage 
    AWS Secrets Manager enables auditing and monitoring of the secrets through integration with AWS logging, monitoring, and notification services, including notifications when secrets are unused or rotated. 

  6. Compliance 
    AWS Secrets Manager allows compliance with various compliance program and report. 

Xtremax has expertise in leveraging AWS Secrets Manager in its projects to store and manage secrets, including credentials and accesses securely. Get started on your AWS journey with Xtremax today. 


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