AWS Secrets Manager – A Simplified Secret Access Mechanism

The modern era of API and Cloud-platform brought a critical challenge of managing application secrets, encryption, and access to any resource in the Cloud. Securing and rotating secrets regularly and properly, both in the Cloud and on-premise, can have a significant challenge.

The AWS Secrets Manager makes it effortless for customers to store and retrieve secrets using an API or the AWS Command Line Interface (CLI). This could solve one of the biggest security problems in the cloud platform. AWS Secrets Manager is a new tool and service Amazon is providing for security and compliance. It simplifies the management of database credentials, passwords, or API Keys.

The AWS Secrets Manager allows developers to add the credentials in the applications without writing them in the source code or setting them as environment variables. Additionally, customers can rotate their credentials with the built-in schedule feature or custom Lambda functions. The AWS Secrets Manager enables users to centralize the management of secrets of distributed services and applications.

What are the challenges faced?

  • Too many humans with unnecessary access to secrets

  • Unreliable rotation processes

  • Existing solutions are complex to operate or too expensive

What needs to be done?

  • Connect with databases, API’s and other means using the secrets that existing resources require

  • Rotate secrets frequently without breaking anything

  • Maintain control and visibility over where, how and by whom the secrets are used

Users can access to secrets with a set of policies, control the lifecycle of secrets, and secure and audit secrets centrally. Moreover, this a managed service, a pay-as-you-go model which is available in most regions.

All secrets added to Secrets Manager are encrypted with a user-selected key and access to secrets can be controlled using IAM policies.

Key features of Secrets Manager

  • Rotate secrets safely

  • Built-in integrations, extensible with Lambda

  • On-demand or automatic rotation with versioning

  • Fine-grained access policies

  • Encrypted storage

  • Monitor and audit easily

Secret Rotation

AWS Secrets Manager can rotate your secrets frequently. For instance, you can change your database password every 10 days keeping things very secure.

Secret rotation is handled through Lambda functions. AWS is providing built-in Lambda functions for rotating Amazon RDS passwords. But since the secret rotation is handled by Lambda functions, then any secret can be rotated as long as a Lambda function can be written to do it.

There are 2 types of secret rotation:
  • Self-rotation

  • Master/user rotation

Self-rotation changes the secret by itself. However, using this method, there will be a short period of time when the password used by the application is no longer valid.

Store Any Kind of Secret with AWS Secret Manager

The AWS Secrets Manager is a fantastic service which lets you manage access to secrets using fine-grained access policies. To secure and audit secrets centrally, choose Royal Cyber as your partner in providing AWS services & solutions, email us at [email protected] or visit

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