Monitoring Amazon Web Services (AWS) - AWS CloudTrail

Collect, manage, and analyze audit logs of events that could help detect, understand, or recover from an attack.” (https://www.cisecurity.org/controls/maintenance-monitoring-and-analysis-of-audit-logs/)

CIS Control 6: Maintenance, Monitoring, and Analysis of Audit Logs

"Deficiencies in security logging and analysis allow attackers to hide their location, malicious software, and activities on victim machines. Even if the victims know that their systems have been compromised, without protected and complete logging records they are blind to the details of the attack and to subsequent actions taken by the attackers. Without solid audit logs, an attack may go unnoticed indefinitely and the particular damages done may be irreversible." (https://www.cisecurity.org/controls/maintenance-monitoring-and-analysis-of-audit-logs/)

"Sometimes logging records are the only evidence of a successful attack. Many organizations keep audit records for compliance purposes, but attackers rely on the fact that such organizations rarely look at the audit logs, and they do not know that their systems have been compromised. Because of poor or nonexistent log analysis processes, attackers sometimes control victim machines for months or years without anyone in the target organization knowing, even though the evidence of the attack has been recorded in unexamined log files." (https://www.cisecurity.org/controls/maintenance-monitoring-and-analysis-of-audit-logs/)


“AWS CloudTrail is a service that enables governance, compliance, operational auditing, and risk auditing of your AWS account. With CloudTrail, you can log, continuously monitor, and retain account activity related to actions across your AWS infrastructure. CloudTrail provides event history of your AWS account activity, including actions taken through the AWS Management Console, AWS SDKs, command line tools, and other AWS services. This event history simplifies security analysis, resource change tracking, and troubleshooting.” (https://aws.amazon.com/cloudtrail/)


Creating a trail for all AWS regions, storing the logs in AWS Simple Storage Service (S3) and encrypting the logs using AWS Key Management Service (KMS).


  • An AWS Account
  • An AWS user, preferably not the Root User, with access to AWS CloudTrail, S3, KMS, etc.


Creating a Trail - https://docs.aws.amazon.com/awscloudtrail/latest/userguide/cloudtrail-create-a-trail-using-the-console-first-time.html