Features of AWS Network Firewall
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2h 45m

This course covers the core learning objective to meet the requirements of the 'Designing secure solutions in AWS - Level 2' skill

Learning Objectives:

  • Analyze the available options to secure credentials using features of AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM)
  • Evaluate the appropriate routing mechanism to securely access AWS service endpoints or internet-based resources from an Amazon VPC
  • Evaluate the appropriate encryption options available for data in transit and when at rest across AWS services
  • Evaluate the most appropriate key management service and options based on business requirements and governance controls



There are a number of features natively supported and available when implementing AWS Network Firewall. The features that are automatically available when deploying AWS Network Firewall include high availability and automated scaling, stateful firewall, web filtering, IPS or intrusion prevention, central management and visibility, alert and flow logs, and rule management and customization, plus a diverse ecosystem of partner integrations. How about we talk about each feature to gain a better understanding of all the capabilities of AWS Network Firewall?

The first feature is that the AWS Network Firewall is fully managed, highly available, and with automated scaling. AWS supports a service level agreement, or SLA, that is committed to an uptime of 99.99%. The next three features allow for more granular enforcement and policy controls, including encryption and detection capabilities.

They are stateful firewall, web filtering, and intrusion prevention. First, stateful means that the session connection is saved or remembers the communication that took place. This allows for more granular policy enforcement, including filtering common protocols without a specific port, not just TCP and UDP traffic. Moving onto web filtering, the AWS Network Firewall supports unencrypted web traffic that is either destined in or outbound. Or, if using encryption, the SNI, or server name indication, is used for specific sites. Typically, you'll use an SNI with a WAF, or in this case, AWS WAF. For more information on AWS WAF, please see our existing course here. The final feature in this set is IPS, or intrusion prevention system, that allows inspection of real-time network traffic at the application layer, including protection against vulnerability, exploits, and brute force attacks. AWS Network Firewall won't be complete without providing a place for central management, visibility, alerts, and flow logs.

The AWS Network Firewall provides the flexibility of a single deployment, or essentially deployed environment, to manage security policies across all of your apps, VPCs, or AWS organization. Grouping rules together, aggregating views of policy compliance, including automated remediation, bringing new accounts, resources, and network components into compliance immediately. What about alerts and flow logs? Alerts are configured for specific rules and provide data on which rule was triggered. And with the flow logs, it provides state information about all the traffic that passes through the Firewall. All this data can be stored in Amazon S3, used with Amazon Kinesis, or configured with CloudWatch alerts. The next feature is rule management and customization.

AWS has started to include more open-source functionality within its services and enables customers to run compatibility rules sourced internally. From in-house development or externally from third party vendors. With a diverse ecosystem of partner immigrations, AWS Network Firewall supports a number of managed threat intelligence feeds for customers who prefer to leverage their existing providers. Additionally, the AWS Network Firewall logs any and all security event information can be sent to third party analytics solutions.


About the Author
Learning Paths

Stuart has been working within the IT industry for two decades covering a huge range of topic areas and technologies, from data center and network infrastructure design, to cloud architecture and implementation.

To date, Stuart has created 150+ courses relating to Cloud reaching over 180,000 students, mostly within the AWS category and with a heavy focus on security and compliance.

Stuart is a member of the AWS Community Builders Program for his contributions towards AWS.

He is AWS certified and accredited in addition to being a published author covering topics across the AWS landscape.

In January 2016 Stuart was awarded ‘Expert of the Year Award 2015’ from Experts Exchange for his knowledge share within cloud services to the community.

Stuart enjoys writing about cloud technologies and you will find many of his articles within our blog pages.