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Guide: AWS KMS rotate keys

We can create and manage keys for cryptography operations with the help of AWS Key Management Service. It also provides facilities for key generation, management, and storage. It also includes an auditing solution that is useful for digitally signing or encrypting data in our applications. AWS KMS allows us to manage data encryptions across all AWS services.

In cryptography, frequent key reuse is strongly discouraged. In AWS KMS, this problem is solved by generating new KMS keys and altering the applications or aliases to use the new KMS keys. As an alternative, we can automate key rotation for a KMS key that already exists.

AWS KMS generates new cryptographic data annually as part of automatic key rotations for KMS keys. Additionally, it stores earlier iterations of the cryptographic code to aid in data decryption as needed. As long as the KMS key is active, AWS KMS retains rotated key material. We can monitor the KMS key material rotation using AWS CloudTrail and Amazon CloudWatch to make things simpler.

Advantages of rotating AWS KMS keys

  • The key rotation does not affect the properties of the KMS key, such as key ARN, key ID, and so forth.
  • Applications or aliases that use the key ARN or key ID of the KMS key do not need to be modified.
  • It does not negatively affect how any other AWS services use the KMS key.
  • Once the key rotation is enabled, we are no longer required to schedule the update annually. It takes place automatically.

How to activate automatic key rotation for KMS?

  1. Open the AWS KMS console after logging into the AWS management console.
  2. After that, by going to the Region selector option, we can alter the AWS Region.
  3. Next, choose the key ID or alias of a KMS key by going to Customer managed keys in the navigation pane.
  4. Afterward, select the Key Rotation tab and then select the checkbox next to Automatically rotate this KMS key every year.

 Note: We will be unable to automate key rotation if the KMS key is disabled or in the process of being deleted.

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