Helpful Advice for First-Time AWS Users

Amazon Web Services have the largest service offering on the cloud market, ranging from basic web hosting to databases. It’s designed for large enterprises to build their business on, so it isn’t relatively easy to get started with it.

However, once you begin to understand the concepts, you’ll be able to leverage its full power. In this simple guide, we’re offering helpful advice for first-time AWS users to help you accelerate your start and avoid some common drawbacks.

Learn All About IAM

Identity and Access Management (IAM) service authenticates and authorizes the interactions with AWS. You can integrate IAM with many AWS services.

It allows you to grant other people access to use, administer AWS resources, set granular permissions, secure access to help, and more. Generally, IAM is a vital part of security in the cloud, which allows you to restrict access to AWS services.

Create an NACL

A Network ACL, also known as an NACL, is a set of inbound and outbound rules that controls traffic to and from a subnet. This is an optional security layer for your VPC that acts as a firewall to control traffic entering and exiting the subnets.

AWS automatically creates a default NACL, and each subset can be associated with only one NACL. You can then add or remove rules or set up NACLs with rules similar to your security groups, but you can’t delete the NACL itself.

Create AWS Budgets

girl using laptop

AWS Budgets is a great way to plan your usage costs and track whether they exceed your budgeting amount. The feature integrates with Cost Explorer to provide you with an easy way to see your usage and estimated charges from AWS, as well as see how much your predicted usage amasses in charges by the end of the month.

Also, AWS Budgets enable you to compare estimated charges and see how much of the budget has been used.

Set a Billing Alarm

AWS uses a pay-per-use model, which means you’ll be billed for the services per hour or per every gigabyte of data stored. But, if you forget to terminate the unused services or accidentally create a highly-priced database service, you might incur unwanted billing.

To avoid this, set a billing alarm through Amazon CloudWatch, and you’ll receive emails or SMS if the monthly costs surpass your limit.

Enable MFA for Root User

The root user grants access to all parts of your account, including other users and all services running across them. Enabling Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for your root user protects your account.

It minimizes the risk of attacks by asking everyone who wants to log in as a root user to provide the key ID and secret access key. Make sure to lock away the root user credentials and use them to perform only a few account and service management tasks.

Enable CloudTrail

AWS CoudTrail allows you to track every call to the AWS API. It provides a history of calls for your account, and allows you to log, monitor, and retain events related to API calls across your AWS infrastructure.

As a result, you’ll simplify security analysis, troubleshooting, and resource change tracing. Consider routing a copy of CloudTrail logs to a different AWS account for enhanced security.

Install the CLI

The AWS CLI (Command Line Interface) is the simplest way to interact with AWS services. It allows you to access and manage the AWS services from your command line and automate them through scripts. Besides API-equivalent commands, you’ll also have access to AWS services that provide higher-level customizations.

Enhance the Password


You should use unique and strong passwords for all users in your organization. Make sure to set up long passwords that contain letters, numbers, and special characters. It’s also a good idea to have everyone in your organization change their passwords every few months to minimize the chance of hackers getting into your AWS account.

Moreover, setting up good security questions can help if your account gets hacked, as AWS support will likely use them to confirm your identity.

In Conclusion

Once you get the hang of it, AWS is easy to use. It’s flexible, affordable, offers reliable encryption and security, and has a diverse set of tools. AWS can be very beneficial in scaling your business exponentially, and, hopefully, we helped you get started properly and make the most out of it.