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AWS Snowball
User Guide

This guide is for the Snowball (50TB or 80TB of storage space). If you are looking for documentation for the Snowball Edge, see the AWS Snowball Edge Developer Guide.

Security in AWS Snowball

Following, you can find information on security considerations for working with AWS Snowball. Security is a significant concern when transporting information of any level of classification, and Snowball has been designed with this concern in mind.

Encryption in AWS Snowball

When you're using a standard Snowball to import data into S3, all data transferred to a Snowball has two layers of encryption:

  1. A layer of encryption is applied in the memory of your local workstation. This layer is applied whether you're using the Amazon S3 Adapter for Snowball or the Snowball client. This encryption uses AES GCM 256 bit keys, and the keys are cycled for every 60 GB of data transferred.

  2. SSL encryption is a second layer of encryption for all data going onto or off of a standard Snowball.

AWS Snowball uses server side-encryption (SSE) to protect data at rest.

Server-Side Encryption in AWS Snowball

AWS Snowball supports server-side encryption with Amazon S3–managed encryption keys (SSE-S3). Server-side encryption is about protecting data at rest, and SSE-S3 has strong, multifactor encryption to protect your data at rest in Amazon S3. For more information on SSE-S3, see Protecting Data Using Server-Side Encryption with Amazon S3-Managed Encryption Keys (SSE-S3) in the Amazon Simple Storage Service Developer Guide.

Currently, Snowball doesn't support server-side encryption with AWS KMS–managed keys (SSE-KMS) or server-side encryption with customer-provided keys (SSE-C). However, if you want to use either of these SSE types to protect data that has been imported, or if you already use one of those two SSE types and you want to export, keep the following in mind:

  • Import – If you want to use SSE-KMS or SSE-C to encrypt the objects that you've imported into S3, you'll need to copy those objects into another bucket that has SSE-KMS encryption established as a part of that bucket's bucket policy.

  • Export – If you want to export objects that are encrypted with SSE-KMS or SSE-C, you'll first need to copy those objects to another bucket that either has no server-side encryption, or has SSE-S3 specified in that bucket's bucket policy.