How to use AWS Secrets Manager to securely store and rotate SSH key pairs

AWS

AWS Secrets Manager provides full lifecycle management for secrets within your environment. In this post, Maitreya and I will show you how to use Secrets Manager to store, deliver, and rotate SSH keypairs used for communication within compute clusters. Rotation of these keypairs is a security best practice, and sometimes a regulatory requirement. Traditionally, these keypairs have been associated with a number of tough challenges. For example, synchronizing key rotation across all compute nodes, enable detailed logging and auditing, and manage access to users in order to modify secrets.

However, rotating the keypair on all compute clusters’ nodes must be done in a tightly coordinated fashion, and failures generally result in availability risks. Moreover, the keypairs themselves are highly sensitive security credentials which must be carefully controlled with fine-grain access controls, detailed monitoring, and audit logging. These are precisely the types of tough challenges that AWS Secrets Manger solves for you.

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