Tag Archives: Europe

Dutch political websites hit by cyber attacks as EU voting starts

Post Syndicated from João Tomé original https://blog.cloudflare.com/dutch-political-websites-hit-by-cyber-attacks-as-eu-voting-starts

The 2024 European Parliament election started in the Netherlands today, June 6, 2024, and will continue through June 9 in the other 26 countries that are part of the European Union. Cloudflare observed DDoS attacks targeting multiple election or politically-related Internet properties on election day in the Netherlands, as well as the preceding day.

These elections are highly anticipated. It’s also the first European election without the UK after Brexit.

According to news reports, several websites of political parties in the Netherlands suffered cyberattacks on Thursday, with a pro-Russian hacker group called HackNeT claiming responsibility.

On June 5 and 6, 2024, Cloudflare systems automatically detected and mitigated DDoS attacks that targeted at least three politically-related Dutch websites. Significant attack activity targeted two of them, and is described below.

A DDoS attack, short for Distributed Denial of Service attack, is a type of cyber attack that aims to take down or disrupt Internet services such as websites or mobile apps and make them unavailable for users. DDoS attacks are usually done by flooding the victim’s server with more traffic than it can handle. To learn more about DDoS attacks and other types of attacks, visit our Learning Center.

Attackers typically use DDoS attacks but also exploit other vulnerabilities and types of attacks simultaneously.

Daily DDoS mitigations on June 5 reached over 1 billion HTTP requests in the Netherlands, most of which targeted two election or political party websites. The attack continued on June 6. Attacks on one website peaked on June 5 at 14:00 UTC (16:00 local time) with 115 million requests per hour, with the attack lasting around four hours. Attacks on another politically-related website peaked at the same time at 65 million requests per hour.

On June 6, the first politically-related site with the highest peak on June 5 referenced above was attacked again for several hours. The main attack peak occurred at 11:00 UTC (13:00 local time), with 44 million requests per hour.

The main June 5 DDoS attack on one of the websites peaked at 14:13 UTC (16:13 local time), reaching 73,000 requests per second (rps) in an attack that lasted for a few hours. This attack is illustrated by the blue line in the graph below, which shows that it ramped slowly over the first half of the day, and then appeared to abruptly stop at 18:06. And on June 6, the main attack on the second website peaked at 11:01 UTC (13:01 local time) with 52,000 rps.

Geopolitical motivations

Elections, geopolitical changes, and disputes also impact the online world and cyberattacks. Our DDoS threat report for Q1 2024 gives a few recent examples. One notable case was the 466% surge in DDoS attacks on Sweden after its acceptance into the NATO alliance, mirroring the pattern observed during Finland’s NATO accession in 2023.

As we’ve seen in recent years, real-world conflicts, disputed and highly anticipated elections, and wars are always accompanied by cyberattacks. We reported (1, 2) on an increase in cyberattacks following the start of the Israel-Hamas war on October 7, 2023. We’ve put together a list of recommendations to optimize your defenses against DDoS attacks, and you can also follow our step-by-step wizards to secure your applications and prevent DDoS attacks.

If you want to follow more trends and insights about the Internet and elections in particular, you can check Cloudflare Radar, and more specifically our new 2024 Elections Insights report, that we’re keeping up to date as national elections take place throughout the year.

European Union elections 2024: securing democratic processes in light of new threats

Post Syndicated from Petra Arts original https://blog.cloudflare.com/eu-elections-2024

Between June 6-9 2024, hundreds of millions of European Union (EU) citizens will be voting to elect their members of the European Parliament (MEPs). The European elections, held every five years, are one of the biggest democratic exercises in the world. Voters in each of the 27 EU countries will elect a different number of MEPs according to population size and based on a proportional system, and the 720 newly elected MEPs will take their seats in July. All EU member states have different election processes, institutions, and methods, and the security risks are significant, both in terms of cyber attacks but also with regard to influencing voters through disinformation. This makes the task of securing the European elections a particularly complex one, which requires collaboration between many different institutions and stakeholders, including the private sector. Cloudflare is well positioned to support governments and political campaigns in managing large-scale cyber attacks. We have also helped election entities around the world by providing tools and expertise to protect them from attack. Moreover, through the Athenian Project, Cloudflare works with state and local governments in the United States, as well as governments around the world through international nonprofit partners, to provide Cloudflare’s highest level of protection for free to ensure that constituents have access to reliable election information.

Election security in 2024: dealing with new and upcoming threats

Ensuring a free, fair, and open electoral process and securing candidate campaigns is understandably a top priority for the EU institutions, as well as for national governments and cybersecurity agencies across the EU. European authorities have already taken a number of measures to ensure the elections are well-protected. Efforts to coordinate election security measures amongst the EU countries are led by the NIS Cooperation Group, with the support of the EU Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA), the European Commission, and the European External Action Service (the EU’s foreign service).

The NIS Cooperation Group recently issued an updated Compendium on safeguarding the elections amidst cybersecurity challenges, noting that “since the last EU elections in 2019, the elections threat landscape has evolved significantly”. Governments note in particular the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI), including deep fakes, but also the increased sophistication of threat actors and the trend of “hacktivists-for-hire” as new risks that need to be taken into account. European institutions also highlight today’s geopolitical context, with conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East impacting cyber threats and foreign influence campaigns in Europe. The European External Action Service analyzed cases of FIMI (Foreign Information Manipulation and Interference) during recent national elections in Spain and Poland, and put together suggested plans for governments on how to respond to the various stages of those FIMI campaigns originating from foreign (e.g. non-EU) actors. EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell said in a recent blog post that protecting the election process and more broadly European public debate from malign foreign actors “is a security challenge, which we need to tackle seriously”.

Some national governments have also warned against the risks of so-called hybrid threats, whereby foreign governments deploy various methods to exert influence on other states, including disinformation campaigns, cyberattacks and espionage. Germany’s Federal Ministry of the Interior notes that “elections are often a catalyst for increased levels of illegitimate activity by foreign governments, because stoking fear and spreading hate can contribute to the polarization of society, influencing voting habits. (…) We must make a determined effort to counter these threats.”

EU readiness for election season

As part of national and EU-level coordination amongst governments and agencies to prepare to mitigate threats and risks to the European elections, ENISA supports national governments’ measures to ensure the elections will be secure, including by organizing a cybersecurity exercise to test the various crisis plans and responses to potential attacks by national and EU level agencies and governments. ENISA has also put together a checklist for authorities in order to raise awareness on specific risks and threats to the election process.

The European Union has also prepared for other phenomena endangering the security and integrity of the election process, including the spread of disinformation via online platforms. For example, the European Commission recently issued strict guidelines for “Very Large Online Platforms” (VLOPs) and “Very Large Search Engines” (VLOSEs) under the EU Digital Services Act on measures to mitigate systemic risks online that may impact the integrity of elections. These large companies will be required to have dedicated staff to monitor for disinformation threats in the 23 official EU languages across the 27 member states, collaborating closely with European cybersecurity authorities. In addition, in line with upcoming EU legislation on transparency of political advertising, political ads on large social media platforms should be clearly labeled as such.

In its 11th EU Threat Landscape report, published in 2023, ENISA also warned about the risks associated with the rise of AI-enabled information manipulation, including the disruptive impacts of AI chatbots. The European Commission, in its efforts to fight the proliferation of deep fakes and sophisticated voter manipulation tactics through advanced generative AI systems, recently launched inquiries into major AI developers and promoted industry pledges in the context of the EU AI Pact.

The view from Cloudflare: increases in cyber attacks around elections

It is likely that the EU is going to see a trend similar to many other jurisdictions where there have been increases in cyber threats targeting election entities. In the period between November 2022 and August 2023, Cloudflare mitigated 213.78 million threats to government election websites in the United States. That amounts to 703,223 threats mitigated per day on average. There is indeed already evidence that European institutions are subject to increasing attacks.

In November 2023, the European Parliament website was subject to a large cyber attack. And in March 2024, French government websites faced attacks of “unprecedented intensity,” according to a spokesperson. A few days before the attacks, on February 25, 2024, Cloudflare blocked a significant DDoS attack on a French government website. It reached as much as 420 million requests per hour and lasted for over three hours.

The UK government warned last year that there were “sustained” cyberattacks against civil society organizations, journalists and public sector groups, as well as phishing attempts directed at British politicians. Most recently, the IT infrastructure of German political party CDU was hit by a “serious cyberattack” according to the German Interior Ministry.

We have also seen that the magnitude of cyber attacks overall is growing every year. As outlined in Cloudflare’s latest DDoS threat report, published in Q1 2024, Cloudflare’s defense systems automatically mitigated 4.5 million DDoS attacks during that first quarter, representing a 50% year-over-year (YoY) increase. EU governments noted in their 2024 Compendium on safeguarding the elections that DDoS attacks “can still be very effective in undermining the public’s trust in the electoral process, especially if affecting its most critical and visible phases – that is the transmission, aggregation and display of voting results”.

However, it is not only an increase in the size of attacks on websites that is keeping election officials up at night. There are often multiple attack vectors that need to be taken into account, and ensuring election processes and public institutions remain secure is a very complicated task. For example, in the three months leading up to the 2022 U.S. midterm elections, Cloudflare prevented around 150,000 phishing emails targeting campaign officials. ENISA’s latest EU Threat Landscape report, when discussing phishing campaigns, pointed to the risks of AI applied to social engineering (e.g. used for crafting more convincing phishing messages), which can make phishing less costly, easier to scale-up, and more effective. These developments all show how securing voter registration systems, ensuring the integrity of election-related information, and planning effective incident response are necessary as online threats grow more and more sophisticated.

Securing the democratic process in the digital age requires partnerships between governments, civil society, and the private sector. Cloudflare has helped election entities around the world by providing tools and expertise to protect themselves from cyberattack. For example, in 2020, we partnered with the International Foundation for Electoral Systems to provide Enterprise-level services to six election management bodies, including the Central Election Commission of Kosovo, State Election Commission of North Macedonia, and many local election bodies in Canada.

Impact on Internet traffic

Cloudflare’s global network, which spans more than 120 countries and protects around 20% of all websites, allows us a unique view of the trends and patterns seen in Internet traffic. Some of those trends, including traffic, connection quality, and Internet outages, can be seen in our Internet insights platform, Cloudflare Radar.

Several of these trends are especially important to watch during election season. Upon deeper analysis, we observed spikes in traffic to websites related to elections, and to news websites, during this time. From data obtained in 2023 through an analysis of US state and local government websites protected under the Athenian Project, as well as US nonprofit organizations that work in voting rights and promoting democracy under Project Galileo, and political campaigns and parties under Cloudflare for Campaigns, Cloudflare observed an increase in traffic to US election and non-profit websites during the run-up to elections, and then a significant spike on election day as seen in the graphs below.

Cloudflare observed similar patterns for election information websites and news media during the first day of the 2022 French Presidential elections and during the Presidential elections in Brazil that same year.

DNS traffic to election domains observed through Cloudflare’s resolver in April 2022, during the first round of the French Presidential elections

Coordinated efforts are key

The protection of election entities and related organizations and institutions is a huge and complex task. As noted, this requires partnerships and collaboration between different actors, both public and private, with specific expertise. The work done by EU governments and agencies to prepare, be ready and collaborate on election security precautions as outlined above is both welcome and necessary in order to ensure free, fair and above all secure elections. This can only ever be a coordinated effort, with both governments and industry working together to ensure a robust response to any threats to the democratic process. For its part, Cloudflare is protecting a number of governmental and political campaign websites across the EU.

We want to ensure that all groups working to promote democracy around the world have the tools they need to stay secure online. If you work in the election space and need our help, please get in touch. If you are an organization looking for protection under Project Galileo, please visit our website at cloudflare.com/galileo.

More information about the European Union elections can be found here. And if you are based in the EU, do not forget to vote!

AWS plans to invest €7.8B into the AWS European Sovereign Cloud, set to launch by the end of 2025

Post Syndicated from Max Peterson original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/security/aws-plans-to-invest-e7-8b-into-the-aws-european-sovereign-cloud-set-to-launch-by-the-end-of-2025/

English | German

Amazon Web Services (AWS) continues to believe it’s essential that our customers have control over their data and choices for how they secure and manage that data in the cloud. AWS gives customers the flexibility to choose how and where they want to run their workloads, including a proven track record of innovation to support specialized workloads around the world. While many customers are able to meet their stringent security, sovereignty, and privacy requirements using our existing sovereign-by-design AWS Regions, we know there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. AWS continues to innovate based on the criteria we know are most important to our customers to give them more choice and more control. Last year we announced the AWS European Sovereign Cloud, a new independent cloud for Europe, designed to give public sector organizations and customers in highly regulated industries further choice to meet their unique sovereignty needs. Today, we’re excited to share more details about the AWS European Sovereign Cloud roadmap so that customers and partners can start planning. The AWS European Sovereign Cloud is planning to launch its first AWS Region in the State of Brandenburg, Germany by the end of 2025. Available to all AWS customers, this effort is backed by a €7.8B investment in infrastructure, jobs creation, and skills development.

The AWS European Sovereign Cloud will utilize the full power of AWS with the same familiar architecture, expansive service portfolio, and APIs that customers use today. This means that customers using the AWS European Sovereign Cloud will get the benefits of AWS infrastructure including industry-leading security, availability, performance, and resilience. We offer a broad set of services, including a full suite of databases, compute, storage, analytics, machine learning and AI, networking, mobile, developer tools, IoT, security, and enterprise applications. Today, customers can start building applications in any existing Region and simply move them to the AWS European Sovereign Cloud when the first Region launches in 2025. Partners in the AWS Partner Network, which features more than 130,000 partners, already provide a range of offerings in our existing AWS Regions to help customers meet requirements and will now be able to seamlessly deploy applications on the AWS European Sovereign Cloud.

More control, more choice

Like our existing Regions, the AWS European Sovereign Cloud will be powered by the AWS Nitro System. The Nitro System is an unparalleled computing backbone for AWS, with security and performance at its core. Its specialized hardware and associated firmware are designed to enforce restrictions so that nobody, including anyone in AWS, can access customer workloads or data running on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) Nitro based instances. The design of the Nitro System has been validated by the NCC Group, an independent cybersecurity firm. The controls that help prevent operator access are so fundamental to the Nitro System that we’ve added them in our AWS Service Terms to provide an additional contractual assurance to all of our customers.

To date, we have launched 33 Regions around the globe with our secure and sovereign-by-design approach. Customers come to AWS because they want to migrate to and build on a secure cloud foundation. Customers who need to comply with European data residency requirements have the choice to deploy their data to any of our eight existing Regions in Europe (Ireland, Frankfurt, London, Paris, Stockholm, Milan, Zurich, and Spain) to keep their data securely in Europe.

For customers who need to meet additional stringent operational autonomy and data residency requirements within the European Union (EU), the AWS European Sovereign Cloud will be available as another option, with infrastructure wholly located within the EU and operated independently from existing Regions. The AWS European Sovereign Cloud will allow customers to keep all customer data and the metadata they create (such as the roles, permissions, resource labels, and configurations they use to run AWS) in the EU. Customers who need options to address stringent isolation and in-country data residency needs will be able to use AWS Dedicated Local Zones or AWS Outposts to deploy AWS European Sovereign Cloud infrastructure in locations they select. We continue to work with our customers and partners to shape the AWS European Sovereign Cloud, applying learnings from our engagements with European regulators and national cybersecurity authorities.

Continued investment in Europe

Over the last 25 years, we’ve driven economic development through our investment in infrastructure, jobs, and skills in communities and countries across Europe. Since 2010, Amazon has invested more than €150 billion in the EU, and we’re proud to employ more than 150,000 people in permanent roles across the European Single Market.

AWS now plans to invest €7.8 billion in the AWS European Sovereign Cloud by 2040, building on our long-term commitment to Europe and ongoing support of the region’s sovereignty needs. This long-term investment is expected to lead to a ripple effect in the local cloud community through accelerating productivity gains, empowering the digital transformation of businesses, empowering the AWS Partner Network (APN), upskilling the cloud and digital workforce, developing renewable energy projects, and creating a positive impact in the communities where AWS operates. In total, the AWS planned investment is estimated to contribute €17.2 billion to Germany’s total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) through 2040, and support an average 2,800 full-time equivalent jobs in local German businesses each year. These positions, including construction, facility maintenance, engineering, telecommunications, and other jobs within the broader local economy, are part of the AWS data center supply chain.

In addition, AWS is also creating new highly skilled permanent roles to build and operate the AWS European Sovereign Cloud. These jobs will include software engineers, systems developers, and solutions architects. This is part of our commitment that all day-to-day operations of the AWS European Sovereign Cloud will be controlled exclusively by personnel located in the EU, including access to data centers, technical support, and customer service.

In Germany, we also collaborate with local communities on long-term, innovative programs that will have a lasting impact in the areas where our infrastructure is located. This includes developing cloud workforce and education initiatives for learners of all ages, helping to solve for the skills gap and prepare for the tech jobs of the future. For example, last year AWS partnered with Siemens AG to design the first apprenticeship program for AWS data centers in Germany, launched the first national cloud computing certification with the German Chamber of Commerce (DIHK), and established the AWS Skills to Jobs Tech Alliance in Germany. We will work closely with local partners to roll out these skills programs and make sure they are tailored to regional needs.

“High performing, reliable, and secure infrastructure is the most important prerequisite for an increasingly digitalized economy and society. Brandenburg is making progress here. In recent years, we have set on a course to invest in modern and sustainable data center infrastructure in our state, strengthening Brandenburg as a business location. State-of-the-art data centers for secure cloud computing are the basis for a strong digital economy. I am pleased Amazon Web Services (AWS) has chosen Brandenburg for a long-term investment in its cloud computing infrastructure for the AWS European Sovereign Cloud.”

Brandenburg’s Minister of Economic Affairs, Prof. Dr. Jörg Steinbach

Build confidently with AWS

For customers that are early in their cloud adoption journey and are considering the AWS European Sovereign Cloud, we provide a wide range of resources to help adopt the cloud effectively. From lifting and shifting workloads to migrating entire data centers, customers get the organizational, operational, and technical capabilities needed for a successful migration to AWS. For example, we offer the AWS Cloud Adoption Framework (AWS CAF) to provide best practices for organizations to develop an efficient and effective plan for cloud adoption, and AWS Migration Hub to help assess migration needs, define migration and modernization strategy, and leverage automation. We frequently host AWS events, webinars, and workshops focused on cloud adoption and migration strategies, where customers can learn from AWS experts and connect with other customers and partners.

We’re committed to giving customers more control and more choice to help meet their unique digital sovereignty needs, without compromising on the full power of AWS. The AWS European Sovereign Cloud is a testament to this. To help customers and partners continue to plan and build, we will share additional updates as we drive towards launch. You can discover more about the AWS European Sovereign Cloud on our European Digital Sovereignty website.

If you have feedback about this post, submit comments in the Comments section below. If you have questions about this post, contact AWS Support.

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German version

AWS European Sovereign Cloud bis Ende 2025: AWS plant Investitionen in Höhe von 7,8 Milliarden Euro

Amazon Web Services (AWS) ist davon überzeugt, dass es für Kunden von essentieller Bedeutung ist, die Kontrolle über ihre Daten und Auswahlmöglichkeiten zu haben, wie sie diese Daten in der Cloud sichern und verwalten. Daher können Kunden flexibel wählen, wie und wo sie ihre Workloads ausführen. Dazu gehört auch eine langjährige Erfolgsbilanz von Innovationen zur Unterstützung spezialisierter Workloads auf der ganzen Welt. Viele Kunden können bereits ihre strengen Sicherheits-, Souveränitäts- und Datenschutzanforderungen mit unseren AWS-Regionen unter dem „sovereign-by-design“-Ansatz erfüllen. Aber wir wissen ebenso: Es gibt keine Einheitslösung für alle. Daher arbeitet AWS kontinuierlich an Innovationen, die auf jenen Kriterien basieren, die für unsere Kunden am wichtigsten sind und ihnen mehr Auswahl sowie Kontrolle bieten. Vor diesem Hintergrund haben wir letztes Jahr die AWS European Sovereign Cloud angekündigt. Mit ihr entsteht eine neue, unabhängige Cloud für Europa. Sie soll Organisationen des öffentlichen Sektors und Kunden in stark regulierten Branchen dabei helfen, die sich wandelnden Anforderungen an die digitale Souveränität zu erfüllen.

Heute freuen wir uns, dass wir weitere Details über die Roadmap der AWS European Sovereign Cloud bekanntgeben können. So können unsere Kunden und Partner mit ihren weiteren Planungen beginnen. Der Start der ersten Region der AWS European Sovereign Cloud ist in Brandenburg bis zum Jahresende 2025 geplant. Dieses Angebot steht allen AWS-Kunden zur Verfügung und wird von einer Investition in Höhe von 7,8 Milliarden Euro in die Infrastruktur, Arbeitsplatzschaffung und Kompetenzentwicklung unterstützt.

Die AWS European Cloud in Brandenburg bietet die volle Leistungsfähigkeit, mit der bekannten Architektur, dem umfangreichen Angebot an Services und denselben APIs, die Millionen von Kunden bereits kennen. Das bedeutet: Kunden der AWS European Sovereign Cloud profitieren somit bei voller Unabhängigkeit von den bekannten Vorteilen der AWS-Infrastruktur, einschließlich der branchenführenden Sicherheit, Verfügbarkeit, Leistung und Resilienz.

AWS-Kunden haben Zugriff auf ein breites Spektrum an Services – darunter ein umfangreiches Angebot bestehend aus Datenbanken, Datenverarbeitung, Datenspeicherung, Analytics, maschinellem Lernen (ML) und künstlicher Intelligenz (KI), Netzwerken, mobilen Applikationen, Entwickler-Tools, Internet of Things (IoT), Sicherheit und Unternehmensanwendungen. Bereits heute können Kunden Anwendungen in jeder bestehenden Region entwickeln und diese einfach in die AWS European Sovereign Cloud auslagern, sobald die erste AWS-Region 2025 startet. Die Partner im AWS-Partnernetzwerks (APN), das mehr als 130.000 Partner umfasst, bietet bereits eine Reihe von Angeboten in den bestehenden AWS-Regionen an. Dadurch unterstützen sie Kunden dabei, ihre Anforderungen zu erfüllen und Anwendungen einfach in der AWS European Sovereign Cloud bereitzustellen.

Mehr Kontrolle, größere Auswahl

Die AWS European Sovereign Cloud nutzt wie auch unsere bestehenden Regionen das AWS Nitro System. Dabei handelt es sich um einen Computing-Backbone für AWS, bei dem Sicherheit und Leistung im Mittelpunkt stehen. Die spezialisierte Hardware und zugehörige Firmware sind so konzipiert, dass strikte Beschränkungen gelten und niemand, auch nicht AWS selbst, auf die Workloads oder Daten von Kunden zugreifen kann, die auf Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) Nitro-basierten Instanzen laufen. Dieses Design wurde von der NCC Group validiert, einem unabhängigen Unternehmen für Cybersicherheit. Die Kontrollen, die den Zugriff durch Betreiber verhindern, sind grundlegend für das Nitro System. Daher haben wir sie in unsere AWS Service Terms aufgenommen, um allen unseren Kunden diese zusätzliche vertragliche Zusicherung zu geben.

Bis heute haben wir 33 Regionen rund um den Globus mit unserem sicheren und „sovereign-by-design“-Ansatz gestartet. Unsere Kunden nutzen AWS, weil sie auf einer sicheren Cloud-Umgebung migrieren und aufbauen möchten. Für Kunden, die europäische Anforderungen an den Ort der Datenverarbeitung erfüllen müssen, bietet AWS die Möglichkeit, ihre Daten in einer unserer acht bestehenden Regionen in Europa zu verarbeiten: Irland, Frankfurt, London, Paris, Stockholm, Mailand, Zürich und Spanien. So können sie ihre Daten sicher innerhalb Europas halten.

Müssen Kunden zusätzliche Anforderungen an die betriebliche Autonomie und den Ort der Datenverarbeitung innerhalb der Europäischen Union erfüllen, steht die AWS European Sovereign Cloud als weitere Option zur Verfügung. Die Infrastruktur hierfür ist vollständig in der EU angesiedelt und wird unabhängig von den bestehenden Regionen betrieben. Sie ermöglicht es AWS-Kunden, ihre Kundeninhalte und von ihnen erstellten Metadaten in der EU zu behalten – etwa Rollen, Berechtigungen, Ressourcenbezeichnungen und Konfigurationen für den Betrieb von AWS.

Sollten Kunden weitere Optionen benötigen, um eine Isolierung zu ermöglichen und strenge Anforderungen an den Ort der Datenverarbeitung in einem bestimmten Land zu erfüllen, können sie auf AWS Dedicated Local Zones oder AWS Outposts zurückgreifen. Auf diese Weise können sie die Infrastruktur der AWS European Sovereign Cloud am Ort ihrer Wahl einsetzen. Wir arbeiten mit unseren Kunden und Partnern kontinuierlich daran, die AWS European Sovereign Cloud so zu gestalten, dass sie den benötigten Anforderungen entspricht. Dabei nutzen wir auch Feedback aus unseren Gesprächen mit europäischen Regulierungsbehörden und nationalen Cybersicherheitsbehörden.

„Eine funktionierende, verlässliche und sichere Infrastruktur ist die wichtigste Vorrausetzung für eine zunehmend digitalisierte Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft. Brandenburg schreitet hier voran. Wir haben in den vergangenen Jahren entscheidende Weichen gestellt, um Investitionen in eine moderne und nachhaltige Rechenzentruminfrastruktur in unserem Land auszubauen und so den Wirtschaftsstandort Brandenburg zu stärken. Hochmoderne Rechenzentren für sicheres Cloud-Computing sind die Basis für eine digitale Wirtschaft. Für unsere digitale Souveränität ist es wichtig, dass Rechenleistungen vor Ort in Deutschland erbracht werden. Ich freue mich, dass Amazon Web Services Brandenburg für ein langfristiges Investment in ihre Cloud-Computing-Infrastruktur für die AWS European Sovereign Cloud ausgewählt hat.“

sagt Brandenburgs Wirtschaftsminister Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jörg Steinbach

Kontinuierliche Investitionen in Europa

Im Laufe der vergangenen 25 Jahre haben wir die wirtschaftliche Entwicklung in europäischen Ländern und Gemeinden vorangetrieben und in Infrastruktur, Arbeitsplätze sowie den Ausbau von Kompetenzen investiert. Seit 2010 hat Amazon über 150 Milliarden Euro in der Europäischen Union investiert und wir sind stolz darauf, im gesamten europäischen Binnenmarkt mehr als 150.000 Menschen in Festanstellung zu beschäftigen.

AWS plant bis zum Jahr 2040 7,8 Milliarden Euro in die AWS European Sovereign Cloud zu investieren. Diese Investition ist Teil der langfristigen Bestrebungen von AWS, das europäische Bedürfnis nach digitaler Souveränität zu unterstützen. Mit dieser langfristigen Investition löst AWS einen Multiplikatoreffekt für Cloud-Computing in Europa aus. Sie wird die digitale Transformation der Verwaltung und von Unternehmen vorantreiben, das AWS Partner Network (APN) stärken, die Zahl der Cloud- und Digitalfachkräfte erhöhen, erneuerbare Energieprojekte vorantreiben und eine positive Wirkung in den Gemeinden erzielen, in denen AWS präsent ist. Insgesamt wird die geplante AWS-Investition bis 2040 voraussichtlich 17,2 Milliarden Euro zum deutschen Bruttoinlandsprodukt und zur Schaffung von 2.800 Vollzeitstellen bei regionalen Unternehmen beitragen. Diese Arbeitsplätze in den Bereichen Bau, Instandhaltung, Ingenieurwesen, Telekommunikation und der breiteren regionalen Wirtschaft sind Teil der Lieferkette für AWS-Rechenzentren.

Darüber hinaus wird AWS neue Stellen für hochqualifizierte festangestellte Fachkräfte wie Softwareentwickler, Systemingenieure und Lösungsarchitekten schaffen, um die AWS European Sovereign Cloud aufzubauen und zu betreiben. Die Investition in zusätzliches Personal unterstreicht unser Commitment, dass der gesamte Betrieb dieser souveränen Cloud-Umgebung – angefangen bei der Zugangskontrolle zu den Rechenzentren über den technischen Support bis hin zum Kundendienst – ausnahmslos durch Fachkräfte innerhalb der Europäischen Union kontrolliert und gesteuert wird.

In Deutschland arbeitet AWS mit den Beteiligten vor Ort auch an langfristigen und innovativen Programmen zusammen. Diese sollen einen nachhaltigen positiven Einfluss auf die Gemeinden haben, in denen sich die Infrastruktur des Unternehmens befindet. AWS konzentriert sich auf die Entwicklung von Cloud-Fachkräften und Schulungsinitiativen für Lernende aller Altersgruppen. Diese Maßnahmen tragen dazu bei, den Fachkräftemangel zu beheben und sich auf die technischen Berufe der Zukunft vorzubereiten. Im vergangenen Jahr hat AWS beispielsweise gemeinsam mit der Siemens AG das erste Ausbildungsprogramm für AWS-Rechenzentren in Deutschland entwickelt. Ebenso hat das Unternehmen in Kooperation mit dem Deutschen Industrie und Handelstag (DIHK) den bundeseinheitlichen Zertifikatslehrgang zum „Cloud Business Expert“ entwickelt sowie die AWS Skills to Jobs Tech Alliance in Deutschland ins Leben gerufen. AWS wird gemeinsam mit lokalen Partnern daran arbeiten, Ausbildungsprogramme und Fortbildungen anzubieten, die auf die Bedürfnisse vor Ort zugeschnitten sind.

Vertrauensvoll bauen mit AWS

Für Kunden, die sich noch am Anfang ihrer Cloud-Reise befinden und die AWS European Sovereign Cloud in Betracht ziehen, bieten wir eine Vielzahl von Ressourcen an, um den Wechsel in die Cloud effektiv zu gestalten. Egal ob einzelne Workloads verlagert oder ganze Rechenzentren migriert werden sollen – Kunden erhalten von uns die nötigen organisatorischen, operativen und technischen Fähigkeiten für eine erfolgreiche Migration zu AWS. Beispielsweise bieten wir das AWS Cloud Adoption Framework (AWS CAF) an, das Unternehmen bei der Entwicklung eines effizienten und effektiven Cloud-Adoptionsplans mit Best Practices unterstützt. Auch der AWS Migration Hub hilft bei der Bewertung des Migrationsbedarfs, der Definition der Migrations- und Modernisierungsstrategie und der Nutzung von Automatisierung. Darüber hinaus veranstalten wir regelmäßig AWS-Events, Webinare und Workshops rund um die Themen Cloud-Adoption und Migrationsstrategie. Dabei können Kunden von AWS-Experten lernen und sich mit anderen Kunden und Partnern vernetzen.

Wir sind bestrebt, unseren Kunden mehr Kontrolle und weitere Optionen anzubieten, damit diese ihre ganz individuellen Anforderungen an die digitale Souveränität erfüllen können, ohne dabei auf die volle Leistungsfähigkeit von AWS verzichten zu müssen.

Um Kunden und Partnern bei der weiteren Planung und Entwicklung zu unterstützen, werden wir laufend zusätzliche Updates bereitstellen, während wir auf den Start der AWS European Sovereign Cloud hinarbeiten. Mehr über die AWS European Sovereign Cloud erfahren Sie auf unserer Website zur European Digital Sovereignty.


Max Peterson

Max Peterson

Max is the Vice President of AWS Sovereign Cloud. He leads efforts to ensure that all AWS customers around the world have the most advanced set of sovereignty controls, privacy safeguards, and security features available in the cloud. Before his current role, Max served as the VP of AWS Worldwide Public Sector (WWPS) and created and led the WWPS International Sales division, with a focus on empowering government, education, healthcare, aerospace and satellite, and nonprofit organizations to drive rapid innovation while meeting evolving compliance, security, and policy requirements. Max has over 30 years of public sector experience and served in other technology leadership roles before joining Amazon. Max has earned both a Bachelor of Arts in Finance and Master of Business Administration in Management Information Systems from the University of Maryland.

All you need to know about the Digital Services Act

Post Syndicated from Petra Arts http://blog.cloudflare.com/author/petra/ original https://blog.cloudflare.com/digital-services-act

February 17th, 2024 marked the entry into force of a landmark piece of European Union (EU) legislation, affecting European users who create and disseminate online content as well as tech companies who act as “intermediaries” on the Internet. I am talking of course about the EU Digital Services Act, or DSA for short. The DSA was first proposed in December 2020, and is meant to update a 20-year-old law called the EU e-commerce Directive, which provides important safeguards and legal certainty for all businesses operating online. The principles of that legal framework, most notably the introduction of EU-wide rules on intermediary liability, are still of major importance today. The DSA is a landmark piece of European legislation because it also sets out, for the first time, enhanced regulatory requirements for (large) digital platforms, thus affecting the entire Internet ecosystem.

At Cloudflare, we are supportive of the longstanding legal frameworks both in Europe and other parts of the world that protect Internet companies from liability for the content that is uploaded or sent through their networks by their users, subscribers or customers. These frameworks are indispensable for the growth of online services, and have been essential in the growth of online applications, marketplaces and social networks.

What’s the Digital Services Act all about?

The EU Digital Services Act consists of two main parts: First, the DSA maintains the strong liability protections for intermediary services that have existed in Europe for over 20 years, and modernizes them, including by giving explicit recognition of supporting Internet services. Services which perform important roles in the functioning of the Internet, such as CDNs, reverse proxies and technical services at the DNS level were not explicitly mentioned in the EU e-commerce Directive at the time. The DSA, in recital 28, recognises that those services, along with many others, are part of the fundamental fabric of the Internet and deserve protection against liability for any illegal or infringing content. This marks an important clarification milestone in EU law.

Secondly, the DSA establishes varying degrees of due diligence and transparency obligations for intermediary services that offer services in the EU. The DSA follows a ‘staggered’ or ‘cumulative’ approach to those obligations and the different services it applies to. This ranges from a number of detailed obligations for the largest platforms (so-called “Very Large Online Platforms” or VLOPs, such as the Apple App Store, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube), down to less extensive but still impactful rules for smaller platforms, hosting services and Internet intermediaries. What is really important to note with regard to the different service providers that are impacted is that the DSA clearly distinguishes between (technical) intermediary services, “mere” hosting services, and “online platforms”, with the latter category having a number of additional obligations under the new law. Online platform services are considered as hosting services which store information at the request of the recipients of the service, with the important additional role of also disseminating that information to the public.

This proportionate approach is in line with Cloudflare’s view of the Internet stack and the idea that infrastructure services are distinct from social media and search services that are designed to curate and recommend Internet content. This principle of a targeted, proportionate response to the matter is also embedded in the DSA itself. Recital 27 states that “(…) any requests or orders for [such] involvement should, as a general rule, be directed to the specific provider that has the technical and operational ability to act against specific items of illegal content, so as to prevent and minimise (sic) any possible negative effects on the availability and accessibility of information that is not illegal content”. This is an important provision, as principles of proportionality, freedom of speech, and access to information should be safeguarded at all times when it relates to online content.

What do the new rules mean for Cloudflare?

As a provider of intermediary services, Cloudflare has engaged with European policymakers on the topic of intermediary liability for a number of years. From the start of the legislative process on the proposed DSA in 2020 we have contributed extensively to public consultations, and have shared our views on the proposed DSA with lawmakers in Brussels.

In many ways, the final version of the law reflects our existing practices. We have long taken the position, for example, that our intermediary services should have different rules than our hosting services, as is anticipated under the DSA. We have taken a few additional measures to ensure compliance with DSA requirements. For instance, we’ve announced a new legal representative in the EU and point of contact for the purposes of the DSA.

Cloudflare has strongly believed in transparency reporting for a long time, and we have issued transparency reports twice a year since 2013. We recognize that the DSA includes some new requirements around transparency reporting, some of which match with our current reports and processes, and others that do not. We will be revising our transparency reporting, to reflect the DSA’s requirements, beyond our existing documentation. We have also taken steps to confirm that our limited hosting services comply with DSA requirements.

The EU Digital Services Act, because of its enhanced regulatory requirements for (large) digital platforms, represents a significant change to the Internet ecosystem. Cloudflare feels nonetheless well-prepared to address the different requirements that came into force on February 17, 2024, and we look forward to having positive and constructive conversations with relevant European regulators as they start to work on the enforcement of the new law.

Reflecting on the GDPR to celebrate Privacy Day 2024

Post Syndicated from Emily Hancock http://blog.cloudflare.com/author/emily-hancock/ original https://blog.cloudflare.com/reflecting-on-the-gdpr-to-celebrate-privacy-day-2024

Just in time for Data Privacy Day 2024 on January 28, the EU Commission is calling for evidence to understand how the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been functioning now that we’re nearing the 6th anniversary of the regulation coming into force.

We’re so glad they asked, because we have some thoughts. And what better way to celebrate privacy day than by discussing whether the application of the GDPR has actually done anything to improve people’s privacy?

The answer is, mostly yes, but in a couple of significant ways – no.

Overall, the GDPR is rightly seen as the global gold standard for privacy protection. It has served as a model for what data protection practices should look like globally, it enshrines data subject rights that have been copied across jurisdictions, and when it took effect, it created a standard for the kinds of privacy protections people worldwide should be able to expect and demand from the entities that handle their personal data. On balance, the GDPR has definitely moved the needle in the right direction for giving people more control over their personal data and in protecting their privacy.

In a couple of key areas, however, we believe the way the GDPR has been applied to data flowing across the Internet has done nothing for privacy and in fact may even jeopardize the protection of personal data. The first area where we see this is with respect to cross-border data transfers. Location has become a proxy for privacy in the minds of many EU data protection regulators, and we think that is the wrong result. The second area is an overly broad interpretation of what constitutes “personal data” by some regulators with respect to Internet Protocol or “IP” addresses. We contend that IP addresses should not always count as personal data, especially when the entities handling IP addresses have no ability on their own to tie those IP addresses to individuals. This is important because the ability to implement a number of industry-leading cybersecurity measures relies on the ability to do threat intelligence on Internet traffic metadata, including IP addresses.  

Location should not be a proxy for privacy

Fundamentally, good data security and privacy practices should be able to protect personal data regardless of where that processing or storage occurs. Nevertheless, the GDPR is based on the idea that legal protections should attach to personal data based on the location of the data – where it is generated, processed, or stored. Articles 44 to 49 establish the conditions that must be in place in order for data to be transferred to a jurisdiction outside the EU, with the idea that even if the data is in a different location, the privacy protections established by the GDPR should follow the data. No doubt this approach was influenced by political developments around government surveillance practices, such as the revelations in 2013 of secret documents describing the relationship between the US NSA (and its Five Eyes partners) and large Internet companies, and that intelligence agencies were scooping up data from choke points on the Internet. And once the GDPR took effect, many data regulators in the EU were of the view that as a result of the GDPR’s restrictions on cross-border data transfers, European personal data simply could not be processed in the United States in a way that would be consistent with the GDPR.

This issue came to a head in July 2020, when the European Court of Justice (CJEU), in its “Schrems II” decision1, invalidated the EU-US Privacy Shield adequacy standard and questioned the suitability of the EU standard contractual clauses (a mechanism entities can use to ensure that GDPR protections are applied to EU personal data even if it is processed outside the EU). The ruling in some respects left data protection regulators with little room to maneuver on questions of transatlantic data flows. But while some regulators were able to view the Schrems II ruling in a way that would still allow for EU personal data to be processed in the United States, other data protection regulators saw the decision as an opportunity to double down on their view that EU personal data cannot be processed in the US consistent with the GDPR, therefore promoting the misconception that data localization should be a proxy for data protection.

In fact, we would argue that the opposite is the case. From our own experience and according to recent research2, we know that data localization threatens an organization’s ability to achieve integrated management of cybersecurity risk and limits an entity’s ability to employ state-of-the-art cybersecurity measures that rely on cross-border data transfers to make them as effective as possible. For example, Cloudflare’s Bot Management product only increases in accuracy with continued use on the global network: it detects and blocks traffic coming from likely bots before feeding back learnings to the models backing the product. A diversity of signal and scale of data on a global platform is critical to help us continue to evolve our bot detection tools. If the Internet were fragmented – preventing data from one jurisdiction being used in another – more and more signals would be missed. We wouldn’t be able to apply learnings from bot trends in Asia to bot mitigation efforts in Europe, for example. And if the ability to identify bot traffic is hampered, so is the ability to block those harmful bots from services that process personal data.

The need for industry-leading cybersecurity measures is self-evident, and it is not as if data protection authorities don’t realize this. If you look at any enforcement action brought against an entity that suffered a data breach, you see data protection regulators insisting that the impacted entities implement ever more robust cybersecurity measures in line with the obligation GDPR Article 32 places on data controllers and processors to “develop appropriate technical and organizational measures to ensure a level of security appropriate to the risk”, “taking into account the state of the art”. In addition, data localization undermines information sharing within industry and with government agencies for cybersecurity purposes, which is generally recognized as vital to effective cybersecurity.

In this way, while the GDPR itself lays out a solid framework for securing personal data to ensure its privacy, the application of the GDPR’s cross-border data transfer provisions has twisted and contorted the purpose of the GDPR. It’s a classic example of not being able to see the forest for the trees. If the GDPR is applied in such a way as to elevate the priority of data localization over the priority of keeping data private and secure, then the protection of ordinary people’s data suffers.

Applying data transfer rules to IP addresses could lead to balkanization of the Internet

The other key way in which the application of the GDPR has been detrimental to the actual privacy of personal data is related to the way the term “personal data” has been defined in the Internet context – specifically with respect to Internet Protocol or “IP” addresses. A world where IP addresses are always treated as personal data and therefore subject to the GDPR’s data transfer rules is a world that could come perilously close to requiring a walled-off European Internet. And as noted above, this could have serious consequences for data privacy, not to mention that it likely would cut the EU off from any number of global marketplaces, information exchanges, and social media platforms.

This is a bit of a complicated argument, so let’s break it down. As most of us know, IP addresses are the addressing system for the Internet. When you send a request to a website, send an email, or communicate online in any way, IP addresses connect your request to the destination you’re trying to access. These IP addresses are the key to making sure Internet traffic gets delivered to where it needs to go. As the Internet is a global network, this means it’s entirely possible that Internet traffic – which necessarily contains IP addresses – will cross national borders. Indeed, the destination you are trying to access may well be located in a different jurisdiction altogether. That’s just the way the global Internet works. So far, so good.

But if IP addresses are considered personal data, then they are subject to data transfer restrictions under the GDPR. And with the way those provisions have been applied in recent years, some data regulators were getting perilously close to saying that IP addresses cannot transit jurisdictional boundaries if it meant the data might go to the US. The EU’s recent approval of the EU-US Data Privacy Framework established adequacy for US entities that certify to the framework, so these cross-border data transfers are not currently an issue. But if the Data Privacy Framework were to be invalidated as the EU-US Privacy Shield was in the Schrems II decision, then we could find ourselves in a place where the GDPR is applied to mean that IP addresses ostensibly linked to EU residents can’t be processed in the US, or potentially not even leave the EU.

If this were the case, then providers would have to start developing Europe-only networks to ensure IP addresses never cross jurisdictional boundaries. But how would people in the EU and US communicate if EU IP addresses can’t go to the US? Would EU citizens be restricted from accessing content stored in the US? It’s an application of the GDPR that would lead to the absurd result – one surely not intended by its drafters. And yet, in light of the Schrems II case and the way the GDPR has been applied, here we are.

A possible solution would be to consider that IP addresses are not always “personal data” subject to the GDPR. In 2016 – even before the GDPR took effect – the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) established the view in Breyer v. Bundesrepublik Deutschland that even dynamic IP addresses, which change with every new connection to the Internet, constituted personal data if an entity processing the IP address could link the IP addresses to an individual. While the court’s decision did not say that dynamic IP addresses are always personal data under European data protection law, that’s exactly what EU data regulators took from the decision, without considering whether an entity actually has a way to tie the IP address to a real person3.

The question of when an identifier qualifies as “personal data” is again before the CJEU: In April 2023, the lower EU General Court ruled in SRB v EDPS4 that transmitted data can be considered anonymised and therefore not personal data if the data recipient does not have any additional information reasonably likely to allow it to re-identify the data subjects and has no legal means available to access such information. The appellant – the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) – disagrees. The EDPS, who mainly oversees the privacy compliance of EU institutions and bodies, is appealing the decision and arguing that a unique identifier should qualify as personal data if that identifier could ever be linked to an individual, regardless of whether the entity holding the identifier actually had the means to make such a link.

If the lower court’s common-sense ruling holds, one could argue that IP addresses are not personal data when those IP addresses are processed by entities like Cloudflare, which have no means of connecting an IP address to an individual. If IP addresses are then not always personal data, then IP addresses will not always be subject to the GDPR’s rules on cross-border data transfers.

Although it may seem counterintuitive, having a standard whereby an IP address is not necessarily “personal data” would actually be a positive development for privacy. If IP addresses can flow freely across the Internet, then entities in the EU can use non-EU cybersecurity providers to help them secure their personal data. Advanced Machine Learning/predictive AI techniques that look at IP addresses to protect against DDoS attacks, prevent bots, or otherwise guard against personal data breaches will be able to draw on attack patterns and threat intelligence from around the world to the benefit of EU entities and residents. But none of these benefits can be realized in a world where IP addresses are always personal data under the GDPR and where the GDPR’s data transfer rules are interpreted to mean IP addresses linked to EU residents can never flow to the United States.

Keeping privacy in focus

On this Data Privacy Day, we urge EU policy makers to look closely at how the GDPR is working in practice, and to take note of the instances where the GDPR is applied in ways that place privacy protections above all other considerations – even appropriate security measures mandated by the GDPR’s Article 32 that take into account the state of the art of technology. When this happens, it can actually be detrimental to privacy. If taken to the extreme, this formulaic approach would not only negatively impact cybersecurity and data protection, but even put into question the functioning of the global Internet infrastructure as a whole, which depends on cross-border data flows. So what can be done to avert this?

First, we believe EU policymakers could adopt guidelines (if not legal clarification) for regulators that IP addresses should not be considered personal data when they cannot be linked by an entity to a real person. Second, policymakers should clarify that the GDPR’s application should be considered with the cybersecurity benefits of data processing in mind. Building on the GDPR’s existing recital 49, which rightly recognizes cybersecurity as a legitimate interest for processing, personal data that needs to be processed outside the EU for cybersecurity purposes should be exempted from GDPR restrictions to international data transfers. This would avoid some of the worst effects of the mindset that currently views data localization as a proxy for data privacy. Such a shift would be a truly pro-privacy application of the GDPR.

1 Case C-311/18, Data Protection Commissioner v Facebook Ireland and Maximillian Schrems.
2 Swire, Peter and Kennedy-Mayo, DeBrae and Bagley, Andrew and Modak, Avani and Krasser, Sven and Bausewein, Christoph, Risks to Cybersecurity from Data Localization, Organized by Techniques, Tactics, and Procedures (2023).
3 Different decisions by the European data protection authorities, namely the Austrian DSB (December 2021), the French CNIL (February 2022) and the Italian Garante (June 2022), while analyzing the use of Google Analytics, have rejected the relative approach used by the Breyer case and considered that an IP address should always be considered as personal data. Only the decision issued by the Spanish AEPD (December 2022) followed the same interpretation of the Breyer case. In addition, see paragraphs 109 and 136 in Guidelines by Supervisory Authorities for Tele-Media Providers, DSK (2021).
4 Single Resolution Board v EDPS, Court of Justice of the European Union, April 2023.

AWS named as a Leader in 2023 ISG Provider Lens report for Multi Public Cloud Services – Sovereign Cloud Infrastructure Services (EU)

Post Syndicated from Marta Taggart original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/security/aws-named-as-a-leader-in-2023-isg-provider-lens-report-for-multi-public-cloud-services-sovereign-cloud-infrastructure-services-eu/

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is named as a Leader in the 2023 ISG Provider Lens Quadrant Report for Multi Public Cloud Services – Sovereign Cloud Infrastructure Services (EU), published on January 8, 2024. This first-ever Information Services Group (ISG) report evaluates providers of sovereign cloud infrastructure services in the multi public cloud environment and examines how they address the key challenges that confront enterprise clients in the European Union (EU). ISG defines Leaders as representing innovative strength and competitive stability.

AWS received the highest score among the providers that ISG evaluated on portfolio attractiveness, which was assessed on multiple factors, including:

  • Scope of portfolio – breadth and depth of offering
  • Portfolio quality – technology and skills, customer satisfaction, and security
  • Strategy and vision – product roadmap, thought leadership, and investments
  • Local characteristics – product support and infrastructure

According to ISG, “AWS’ network of data centers across the EU provides sovereign cloud services that are highly scalable. The AWS Nitro System, the foundation of AWS’ cloud services, ensures data residency, privacy, and sovereignty.”

Read the report to:

  • Gain perspective on the factors that ISG believes will influence the sovereign cloud market in the EU.
  • Discover some of the considerations that enterprises in the EU should consider when evaluating sovereign cloud infrastructure services.
  • Learn how the AWS Cloud is sovereign-by-design and how we continue to innovate without compromising on the full power of AWS.

The recognition of AWS as a Leader in this report highlights the work that we have undertaken to help address the complexity that European customers are facing in the evolving sovereignty landscape. AWS continues to deliver on the AWS Digital Sovereignty Pledge by investing in a comprehensive and ambitious roadmap of capabilities of data residency, granular access restriction, encryption, and resilience to provide customers with more choice in meeting their unique needs. Our recent innovations to help customers address their local regulatory requirements and sovereignty needs include AWS Dedicated Local Zones and the announcement of plans to launch the AWS European Sovereign Cloud. Download the full 2023 ISG Provider Lens Quadrant Report for Multi Public Cloud Services – Sovereign Cloud Infrastructure Services (EU) from AWS.

If you have feedback about this post, submit comments in the Comments section below.


Marta Taggart

Marta is a Seattle-native and Principal Product Marketing Manager in AWS Security Product Marketing, where she focuses on data protection services and digital sovereignty. Outside of work, you’ll find her trying to convince Jack, her rescue dog, not to chase squirrels (with limited success).

AWS achieves TISAX certification (Information with Very High Protection Needs (AL3)

Post Syndicated from Janice Leung original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/security/aws-achieves-tisax-certification-information-with-very-high-protection-needs-al3/

We’re excited to announce the completion of the Trusted Information Security Assessment Exchange (TISAX) certification on June 30, 2022 for 19 AWS Regions. These Regions achieved the Information with Very High Protection Needs (AL3) label for the control domains Information Handling and Data Protection. This alignment with TISAX requirements demonstrates our continued commitment to adhere to the heightened expectations for cloud service providers. AWS automotive customers can run their applications in the AWS Cloud certified Regions in confidence.

The following 19 Regions are currently TISAX certified:

  • US East (Ohio)
  • US East (Northern Virginia)
  • US West (Oregon)
  • Africa (Cape Town)
  • Asia Pacific (Hong Kong)
  • Asia Pacific (Mumbai)
  • Asia Pacific (Osaka)
  • Asia Pacific (Korea)
  • Asia Pacific (Singapore)
  • Asia Pacific (Sydney)
  • Asia Pacific (Tokyo)
  • Canada (Central)
  • Europe (Frankfurt)
  • Europe (Ireland)
  • Europe (London)
  • Europe (Milan)
  • Europe (Paris)
  • Europe (Stockholm)
  • South America (Sao Paulo)

TISAX is a European automotive industry-standard information security assessment (ISA) catalog based on key aspects of information security, such as data protection and connection to third parties.

AWS was evaluated and certified by independent third-party auditors on June 30, 2022. The Certificate of Compliance demonstrating the AWS compliance status is available on the European Network Exchange (ENX) Portal (the scope ID and assessment ID are SM22TH and AYA2D4-1, respectively) and through AWS Artifact. AWS Artifact is a self-service portal for on-demand access to AWS compliance reports. Sign in to AWS Artifact in the AWS Management Console, or learn more at Getting Started with AWS Artifact.

For up-to-date information, including when additional Regions are added, see the AWS Compliance Program, and choose TISAX.

AWS strives to continuously bring services into scope of its compliance programs to help you meet your architectural and regulatory needs. Please reach out to your AWS account team if you have questions or feedback about TISAX compliance.

To learn more about our compliance and security programs, see AWS Compliance Programs. As always, we value your feedback and questions; reach out to the AWS Compliance team through the Contact Us page.

If you have feedback about this post, submit comments in the Comments section below.

Want more AWS Security how-to content, news, and feature announcements? Follow us on Twitter.


Janice Leung

Janice is a security audit program manager at AWS, based in New York. She leads security audits across Europe and has previously worked in security assurance and technology risk management in the financial industry for 10 years.

Introducing the Customer Metadata Boundary

Post Syndicated from Jon Levine original https://blog.cloudflare.com/introducing-the-customer-metadata-boundary/

Introducing the Customer Metadata Boundary

Introducing the Customer Metadata Boundary

Data localisation has gotten a lot of attention in recent years because a number of countries see it as a way of controlling or protecting their citizens’ data. Countries such as Australia, China, India, Brazil, and South Korea have or are currently considering regulations that assert legal sovereignty over their citizens’ personal data in some fashion — health care data must be stored locally; public institutions may only contract with local service providers, etc.

In the EU, the recent “Schrems II” decision resulted in additional requirements for companies that transfer personal data outside the EU. And a number of highly regulated industries require that specific types of personal data stay within the EU’s borders.

Cloudflare is committed to helping our customers keep personal data in the EU. Last year, we introduced the Data Localisation Suite, which gives customers control over where their data is inspected and stored.

Today, we’re excited to introduce the Customer Metadata Boundary, which expands the Data Localisation Suite to ensure that a customer’s end user traffic metadata stays in the EU.

Metadata: a primer

“Metadata” can be a scary term, but it’s a simple concept — it just means “data about data.” In other words, it’s a description of activity that happened on our network. Every service on the Internet collects metadata in some form, and it’s vital to user safety and network availability.

At Cloudflare, we collect metadata about the usage of our products for several purposes:

  • Serving analytics via our dashboards and APIs
  • Sharing logs with customers
  • Stopping security threats such as bot or DDoS attacks
  • Improving the performance of our network
  • Maintaining the reliability and resiliency of our network

What does that collection look like in practice at Cloudflare? Our network consists of dozens of services: our Firewall, Cache, DNS Resolver, DDoS protection systems, Workers runtime, and more. Each service emits structured log messages, which contain fields like timestamps, URLs, usage of Cloudflare features, and the identifier of the customer’s account and zone.

These messages do not contain the contents of customer traffic, and so they do not contain things like usernames, passwords, personal information, and other private details of customers’ end users. However, these logs may contain end-user IP addresses, which is considered personal data in the EU.

Data Localisation in the EU

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, is one of the world’s most comprehensive (and well known) data privacy laws. The GDPR does not, however, insist that personal data must stay in Europe. Instead, it provides a number of legal mechanisms to ensure that GDPR-level protections are available for EU personal data if it is transferred outside the EU to a third country like the United States. Data transfers from the EU to the US were, until recently, permitted under an agreement called the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework.

Shortly after the GDPR went into effect, a privacy activist named Max Schrems filed suit against Facebook for their data collection practices. In July 2020, the Court of Justice of the EU issued the “Schrems II” ruling — which, among other things, invalidated the Privacy Shield framework. However, the court upheld other valid transfer mechanisms that ensure EU personal data won’t be accessed by U.S. government authorities in a way that violates the GDPR.

Since the Schrems II decision, many customers have asked us how we’re protecting EU citizens’ data. Fortunately, Cloudflare has had data protection safeguards in place since well before the Schrems II case, such as our industry-leading commitments on government data requests. In response to Schrems II in particular, we updated our customer Data Processing Addendum (DPA). We incorporated the latest Standard Contractual Clauses, which are legal agreements approved by the EU Commission that enable data transfer. We also added additional safeguards as outlined in the EDPB’s June 2021 Recommendations on Supplementary Measures. Finally, Cloudflare’s services are certified under the ISO 27701 standard, which maps to the GDPR’s requirements.

In light of these measures, we believe that our EU customers can use Cloudflare’s services in a manner consistent with GDPR and the Schrems II decision. Still, we recognize that many of our customers want their EU personal data to stay in the EU. For example, some of our customers in industries like healthcare, law, and finance may have additional requirements.  For that reason, we have developed an optional suite of services to address those requirements. We call this our Data Localisation Suite.

How the Data Localisation Suite helps today

Data Localisation is challenging for customers because of the volume and variety of data they handle. When it comes to their Cloudflare traffic, we’ve found that customers are primarily concerned about three areas:

  1. How do I ensure my encryption keys stay in the EU?
  2. How can I ensure that services like caching and WAF only run in the EU?
  3. How can ensure that metadata is never transferred outside the EU?

To address the first concern, Cloudflare has long offered Keyless SSL and Geo Key Manager, which ensure that private SSL/TLS key material never leaves the EU. Keyless SSL ensures that Cloudflare never has possession of the private key material at all; Geo Key Manager uses Keyless SSL under the hood to ensure the keys never leave the specified region.

Last year we addressed the second concern with Regional Services, which ensures that Cloudflare will only be able to decrypt and inspect the content of HTTP traffic inside the EU. In other words, SSL connections will only be terminated in Europe, and all of our layer 7 security and performance services will only run in our EU data centers.

Today, we’re enabling customers to address the third and final concern, and keep metadata local as well.

How the Metadata Boundary Works

The Customer Metadata Boundary ensures, simply, that end user traffic metadata that can identify a customer stays in the EU. This includes all the logs and analytics that a customer sees.

How are we able to do this? All the metadata that can identify a customer flows through a single service at our edge, before being forwarded to one of our core data centers.

When the Metadata Boundary is enabled for a customer, our edge ensures that any log message that identifies that customer (that is, contains that customer’s Account ID) is not sent outside the EU. It will only be sent to our core data center in the EU, and not our core data center in the US.

Introducing the Customer Metadata Boundary

What’s next

Today our Data Localisation Suite is focused on helping our customers in the EU localise data for their inbound HTTP traffic. This includes our Cache, Firewall, DDoS protection, and Bot Management products.

We’ve heard from customers that they want data localisation for more products and more regions. This means making all of our Data Localisation Products, including Geo Key Manager and Regional Services, work globally. We’re also working on expanding the Metadata Boundary to include our Zero Trust products like Cloudflare for Teams. Stay tuned!

New Standard Contractual Clauses now part of the AWS GDPR Data Processing Addendum for customers

Post Syndicated from Stéphane Ducable original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/security/new-standard-contractual-clauses-now-part-of-the-aws-gdpr-data-processing-addendum-for-customers/

Today, we’re happy to announce an update to our online AWS GDPR Data Processing Addendum (AWS GDPR DPA) and our online Service Terms to include the new Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) that the European Commission (EC) adopted in June 2021. The EC-approved SCCs give our customers the ability to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) when they transfer personal data subject to GDPR to countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA) that haven’t received an EC adequacy decision (third countries). The new SCCs are now better adapted to how our customers operate their applications or run their workloads in the cloud, because they cover different transfer scenarios, and also provide enhanced safeguards for data transfers.

Achieving compliance with GDPR is critical for hundreds of thousands of AWS customers and AWS. The new SCCs allow all AWS customers that are controllers or processors under GDPR to continue to transfer personal data from their AWS accounts in compliance with GDPR. As part of the online Service Terms, the new SCCs will apply automatically whenever an AWS customer uses AWS services to transfer customer data to third countries.

The updated AWS GDPR DPA incorporating the new SCCs supplements our announcement in February 2021 of strengthened commitments to protect customer data, such as challenging law enforcement requests that conflict with EU law. We have also published the blog post How AWS is helping EU customers navigate the new normal for data protection, and the whitepaper Navigating Compliance with EU Data Transfer Requirements to help AWS customers conduct their data transfer assessments and comply with GDPR, the Schrems II ruling, and the recommendations issued by the European Data Protection Board. AWS is constantly working to ensure that our customers can enjoy the benefits of AWS everywhere they operate, and we welcome the new SCCs because they enable our customers to continue using AWS services in compliance with GDPR. If you have questions or need more information, visit our EU Data Protection page and our GDPR Center.

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Stéphane Ducable

Stéphane is Vice President of Public Policy – EMEA at AWS. He is focused on increasing awareness of the benefits of adopting cloud computing technology across the EMEA region.

AWS IQ expansion: Connect with Experts and Consulting Firms based in the UK and France

Post Syndicated from Alex Casalboni original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/aws-iq-expansion-experts-uk-france/

AWS IQ launched in 2019 and has been helping customers worldwide engage thousands of AWS Certified third-party experts and consulting firms for on-demand project work. Whether you need to learn about AWS, plan your project, setup new services, migrate existing applications, or optimize your spend, AWS IQ connects you with experts and consulting firms who can help. You can share your project objectives with a description, receive responses within the AWS IQ application, approve permissions and budget, and will be charged directly through AWS billing.

Until yesterday, experts had to reside in the United States to offer their hands-on help on AWS IQ. Today, I’m happy to announce that AWS Certified experts and consulting firms based in the UK and France can participate in AWS IQ.

If you are an AWS customer based in the UK or France and need to connect with local AWS experts, now you can reach out to a wider pool of experts and consulting firms during European business hours. When creating a new project, you can now indicate a preferred expert location.

As an AWS Certified expert you can now view the buyer’s preferred expert location to ensure the right fit. AWS IQ simplifies finding relevant opportunities and it helps you access a customer’s AWS environment securely. It also takes care of billing so more time is spent on solving customer problems, instead of administrative tasks. Your payments will be disbursed by AWS Marketplace in USD towards a US bank account. If you don’t already have a US bank account, you may be able to obtain one through third-party services such as Hyperwallet.

AWS IQ User Interface Update
When you create a new project request, you can select a Preferred expert or firm location: Anywhere, France, UK, or US.

Check out Jeff Barr’s launch article to learn more about the full request creation process.

You can also work on the same project with multiple experts from different locations.

When browsing experts and firms, you will find their location under the company name and reviews.

Available Today
AWS IQ is available for customers anywhere in the world (except China) for all sorts of project work, delivered by AWS experts in the United States, the United Kingdom, and France. Get started by creating your project request on iq.aws.amazon.com. Here you can discover featured experts or browse experts for a specific service such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) or DynamoDB.

If you’re interested in getting started as an expert, check out AWS IQ for Experts. Your profile will showcase your AWS Certifications as well as the ratings and reviews from completed projects.

I’m excited about the expansion of AWS IQ for experts based in the UK and France, and I’m looking forward to further expansions in the future.


How AWS is helping EU customers navigate the new normal for data protection

Post Syndicated from Stephen Schmidt original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/security/how-aws-is-helping-eu-customers-navigate-the-new-normal-for-data-protection/

Achieving compliance with the European Union’s data protection regulations is critical for hundreds of thousands of Amazon Web Services (AWS) customers. Many of them are subject to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which ensures individuals’ fundamental right to privacy and the protection of personal data. In February, we announced strengthened commitments to protect customer data, such as challenging law enforcement requests for customer data that conflict with EU law.

Today, we’re excited to announce that we’ve launched two new online resources to help customers more easily complete data transfer assessments and comply with the GDPR, taking into account the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) recommendations. These resources will also assist AWS customers in other countries to understand whether their use of AWS services involves a data transfer.

Using AWS’s new “Privacy Features for AWS Services,” customers can determine whether their use of an individual AWS service involves the transfer of customer data (the personal data they’ve uploaded to their AWS account). Knowing this information enables customers to choose the right action for their applications, such as opting out of the data transfer or creating an appropriate disclosure of the transfer for end user transparency.

We’re also providing additional information on the processing activities and locations of the limited number of sub-processors that AWS engages to provide services that involve the processing of customer data. AWS engages three types of sub-processors:

  • Local AWS entities that provide the AWS infrastructure.
  • AWS entities that process customer data for specific AWS services.
  • Third parties that AWS contracts with to provide processing activities for specific AWS services.

The enhanced information available on our updated Sub-processors page enables customers to assess if a sub-processor is relevant to their use of AWS services and AWS Regions.

These new resources make it easier for AWS customers to conduct their data transfer assessments as set out in the EDPB recommendations and, as a result, comply with GDPR. After completing their data transfer assessments, customers will also be able to determine whether they need to implement supplemental measures in line with the EDPB’s recommendations.

These resources support our ongoing commitment to giving customers control over where their data is stored, how it’s stored, and who has access to it.

Since we opened our first region in the EU in 2007, customers have been able to choose to store customer data with AWS in the EU. Today, customers can store their data in our AWS Regions in France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, and Sweden, and we’re adding Spain in 2022. AWS will never transfer data outside a customer’s selected AWS Region without the customer’s agreement.

AWS customers control how their data is stored, and we have a variety of tools at their disposal to enhance security. For example, AWS CloudHSM and AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS) allow customers to encrypt data in transit and at rest and securely generate and manage encryption keys that they control.

Finally, our customers control who can access their data. We never use customer data for marketing or advertising purposes. We also prohibit, and our systems are designed to prevent, remote access by AWS personnel to customer data for any purpose, including service maintenance, unless requested by a customer, required to prevent fraud and abuse, or to comply with the law.

As previously mentioned, we challenge law enforcement requests for customer data from governmental bodies, whether inside or outside the EU, where the request conflicts with EU law, is overbroad, or we otherwise have any appropriate grounds to do so.

Earning customer trust is the foundation of our business at AWS, and we know protecting customer data is key to achieving this. We also know that helping customers protect their data in a world with constantly changing regulations, technology, and risks takes teamwork. We would never expect our customers to go it alone.

As we continue to enhance the capabilities customers have at their fingertips, they can be confident that choosing AWS will ensure they have the tools necessary to help them meet the most stringent security, privacy, and compliance requirements.

If you have questions or need more information, visit our EU Data Protection page.

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Steve Schmidt

Steve is Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer for AWS. His duties include leading product design, management, and engineering development efforts focused on bringing the competitive, economic, and security benefits of cloud computing to business and government customers. Prior to AWS, he had an extensive career at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, where he served as a senior executive and section chief. He currently holds 11 patents in the field of cloud security architecture. Follow Steve on Twitter.


Donna Dodson

Donna is a Senior Principal Scientist at AWS focusing on security and privacy capabilities including cryptography, risk management, standards, and assessments. Before joining AWS, Donna was the Chief Cybersecurity Advisor at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). She led NIST’s comprehensive cybersecurity research and development to cultivate trust in technology for stakeholders nationally and internationally.

The UEFA EURO 2020 final as seen online by Cloudflare Radar

Post Syndicated from John Graham-Cumming original https://blog.cloudflare.com/the-uefa-euro-2020-final-as-seen-online-by-cloudflare-radar/

The UEFA EURO 2020 final as seen online by Cloudflare Radar

Last night’s Italy-England match was a nail-biter. 1-1 at full time, 1-1 at the end of extra time, and then an amazing penalty shootout with incredible goalkeeping by Pickford and Donnarumma.

Cloudflare has been publishing statistics about all the teams involved in EURO 2020 and traffic to betting websites, sports newspapers, streaming services and sponsors. Here’s a quick look at some specific highlights from England’s and Italy’s EURO 2020.

Two interesting peaks show up in UK visits to sports newspapers: the day after England-Germany and today after England’s defeat. Looks like fans are hungry for analysis and news beyond the goals. You can see all the data on the dedicated England EURO 2020 page on Cloudflare Radar.

The UEFA EURO 2020 final as seen online by Cloudflare Radar

But it was a quiet morning for the websites of the England team’s sponsors.

The UEFA EURO 2020 final as seen online by Cloudflare Radar

Turning to the winners, we can see that Italian readers are even more interested in knowing more about their team’s success.

The UEFA EURO 2020 final as seen online by Cloudflare Radar

And this enthusiasm spills over into visits to the Italian team’s sponsors.

The UEFA EURO 2020 final as seen online by Cloudflare Radar

You can follow along on the dedicated Cloudflare Radar page for Italy in EURO 2020.

Visit Cloudflare Radar for information on global Internet trends, trending domains, attacks and usage statistics.

C5 Type 2 attestation report now available with one new Region and 123 services in scope

Post Syndicated from Mercy Kanengoni original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/security/c5-type-2-attestation-report-available-one-new-region-123-services-in-scope/

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is pleased to announce the issuance of the 2020 Cloud Computing Compliance Controls Catalogue (C5) Type 2 attestation report. We added one new AWS Region (Europe-Milan) and 21 additional services and service features to the scope of the 2020 report.

Germany’s national cybersecurity authority, Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik (BSI), established C5 to define a reference standard for German cloud security requirements. Customers in Germany and other European countries can use AWS’s attestation report to help them meet local security requirements of the C5 framework.

The C5 Type 2 report covers the time period October 1, 2019, through September 30, 2020. It was issued by an independent third-party attestation organization and assesses the design and the operational effectiveness of AWS’s controls against C5’s basic and additional criteria. This attestation demonstrates our commitment to meet the security expectations for cloud service providers set by the BSI in Germany.

We continue to add new Regions and services to the C5 compliance scope so that you have more services to choose from that meet regulatory and compliance requirements. AWS has added the Europe (Milan) Region and the following 21 services and service features to this year’s C5 scope:

You can see a current list of the services in scope for C5 on the AWS Services in Scope by Compliance Program page. The C5 report and Continuing Operations Letter is available to AWS customers through AWS Artifact. For more information, see Cloud Computing Compliance Controls Catalogue (C5).

If you have feedback about this post, submit comments in the Comments section below.

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Mercy Kanengoni

Mercy is a Security Audit Program Manager at AWS. She leads security audits across Europe, and she has previously worked in security assurance and technology risk management.