AWS Snowball
Developer Guide

This guide is for the Snowball Edge. If you are looking for documentation for the Snowball, see the AWS Snowball User Guide.

Security for AWS Snowball Edge

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

Encryption for AWS Snowball Edge

When you're using a Snowball Edge to import data into S3, all data transferred to a device is protected by SSL encryption over the network. To protect data at rest, AWS Snowball uses server side-encryption (SSE).

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, AWS 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, you might want to use either of these SSE types to protect data that has been imported. Or you might already use one of those two SSE types and want to export. In these cases, 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, 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, first copy those objects to another bucket that either has no server-side encryption, or has SSE-S3 specified in that bucket's bucket policy.

Enabling SSE-S3 for Data Imported into Amazon S3 from a Snowball Edge

Use the following procedure in the Amazon S3 Management Console to enable SSE-S3 for data being imported into Amazon S3. No configuration is necessary in the AWS Snowball Management Console or on the Snowball device itself.

To enable SSE-S3 encryption for the data that you're importing into Amazon S3, simply set the bucket policies for all the buckets that you're importing data into. You update the policies to deny upload object (s3:PutObject) permission if the upload request doesn't include the x-amz-server-side-encryption header.

To enable SSE-S3 for data imported into Amazon S3

  1. Sign in to the AWS Management Console and open the Amazon S3 console at

  2. Choose the bucket that you're importing data into from the list of buckets.

  3. Choose Permissions.

  4. Choose Bucket Policy.

  5. In the Bucket policy editor, enter the following policy. Replace all the instances of YourBucket in this policy with the actual name of your bucket.

    { "Version": "2012-10-17", "Id": "PutObjPolicy", "Statement": [ { "Sid": "DenyIncorrectEncryptionHeader", "Effect": "Deny", "Principal": "*", "Action": "s3:PutObject", "Resource": "arn:aws:s3:::YourBucket/*", "Condition": { "StringNotEquals": { "s3:x-amz-server-side-encryption": "AES256" } } }, { "Sid": "DenyUnEncryptedObjectUploads", "Effect": "Deny", "Principal": "*", "Action": "s3:PutObject", "Resource": "arn:aws:s3:::YourBucket/*", "Condition": { "Null": { "s3:x-amz-server-side-encryption": "true" } } } ] }
  6. Choose Save

You've finished configuring your Amazon S3 bucket. When your data is imported into this bucket, it is protected by SSE-S3. Repeat this procedure for any other buckets, as necessary.