Features of AWS Network Firewall
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4h 50m

This section of the AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional learning path introduces the key identity management, security, and encryption services within AWS relevant to the AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional exam. Core to security is AWS Identity & Access Management commonly referred to as IAM. This service manages identities and their permissions that can access your AWS resources, so understanding how this service works and what you can do with it will help you to maintain a secure AWS environment. IAM is an important service in ensuring your resources are secure.

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Learning Objectives

  • Learn about identity and access management on AWS, including users, groups & roles, IAM policies, MFA, identity federation, and cross-account access
  • Learn the fundamentals of AWS Web Application Firewall (WAF), including what it is, when to use it, how it works, and why use it
  • Understand how to configure and monitor AWS WAF
  • Learn about AWS Firewall Manager and its components
  • Learn how to configure AWS Shield
  • Learn the fundamentals of AWS Cognito

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

Danny has over 20 years of IT experience as a software developer, cloud engineer, and technical trainer. After attending a conference on cloud computing in 2009, he knew he wanted to build his career around what was still a very new, emerging technology at the time — and share this transformational knowledge with others. He has spoken to IT professional audiences at local, regional, and national user groups and conferences. He has delivered in-person classroom and virtual training, interactive webinars, and authored video training courses covering many different technologies, including Amazon Web Services. He currently has six active AWS certifications, including certifications at the Professional and Specialty level.