AWS, Cloud security

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AWS Vault Lock: Strengthening Data Security in the Cloud


Data security is paramount in the ever-evolving landscape of cloud computing. Organizations worldwide rely on cloud service providers to safeguard their sensitive information. One such security feature Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers is Vault Lock. In this blog post, we will explore the concept of AWS Vault Lock, its benefits, and how it helps organizations strengthen their data security in the cloud.

Understanding AWS Vault Lock: AWS Vault Lock is a data protection mechanism provided by AWS Glacier and AWS Glacier Deep Archive storage services. It allows users to enforce a Write Once, Read Many (WORM) model for their data stored in the Glacier storage vault. Once data is locked using Vault Lock, it becomes immutable and cannot be modified or deleted for a specified duration.

Key Benefits of AWS Vault Lock

  • Immutable Data Protection: Vault Lock ensures the immutability of data stored in Glacier vaults, protecting against accidental or malicious alterations.
  • Compliance and Regulatory Requirements: Many industries and organizations have strict compliance and regulatory requirements for data retention and preservation. Vault Lock helps meet these requirements by enforcing data immutability and preventing unauthorized tampering.
  • Long-Term Data Preservation: Organizations often must preserve data for extended periods, ensuring its integrity and accessibility over time. Vault Lock enables secure long-term data preservation by preventing data modifications or deletions.
  • Data Retention Policies: Vault Lock allows organizations to define specific data retention policies, ensuring that critical data is preserved for the required duration while unauthorized modifications are prevented.

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How AWS Vault Lock Works

  • Locking a Vault: To enable Vault Lock, you must configure a Vault Lock policy for your Glacier vault. This policy specifies the retention period during which the data is locked and cannot be modified or deleted.
  • Applying a Lock: Once the Vault Lock policy is in place, you can apply the lock to the vault. This action activates the WORM feature for the data stored within the vault.
  • Lock Management: AWS provides an API for managing Vault Lock, allowing you to monitor the status of the lock, update the retention period if necessary, and remove the lock when it is no longer needed.
  • Data Retrieval: While the data within a locked vault cannot be modified or deleted, it can still be retrieved for read operations, ensuring accessibility when needed.

Use Cases for AWS Vault Lock

  • Legal and Regulatory Compliance: Organizations operating in industries such as healthcare, finance, or legal, which have stringent compliance requirements, can utilize Vault Lock to ensure data immutability and meet regulatory obligations.
  • Data Archiving: For long-term data archiving purposes, where data integrity and preservation are critical, Vault Lock provides a reliable solution to safeguard information for extended periods.
  • Data Governance and Auditability: Vault Lock enhances data governance and auditability by preventing unauthorized modifications or deletions, allowing organizations to maintain a comprehensive and unaltered data history.

Steps to work on AWS Vault

  1. Login to your AWS account and search for the S3 Glacier vault.
  2. Select Create Vault We recommend that you first create a vault, complete a Vault Lock policy, and then upload your archives to the vault so that the policy is applied on them.

  3. Select the vault you created

  4. Scroll down and select Initiate Vault Lock policy under Vault Lock policy.
  5. Use the below sample policy to deny the delete archive action on My Vault if the archive is less than 365 days old.
  6. If you need, you can add additional restrictions like legal hold.
  7. Click on Save Changes. Copy the vault lock ID and keep it in a safe place.
  8. Once you copy Lock ID, click on Close and select Complete Vault Lock Policy.
  9. Acknowledge and paste the Lock ID. Then select Complete Vault Lock.


Data security is a top priority for organizations, and AWS Vault Lock offers a robust mechanism to protect data stored in Glacier and Glacier Deep Archive vaults. By enforcing data immutability and preventing unauthorized modifications or deletions, Vault Lock helps organizations meet compliance requirements, preserve data integrity, and ensure long-term data accessibility. Leveraging AWS Vault Lock empowers businesses to strengthen their data security strategy and build trust in their cloud-based infrastructure.


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WRITTEN BY Sheeja Narayanan



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