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Configuring Shield


Key Management Service (KMS)
What is KMS?
Components of KMS
AWS Web Application Firewall
AWS Shield

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5h 2m

This course looks at the key Security services within AWS relevant to the SysOps Administrator - Associate exam. The core to security is Identity & Access Management, commonly referred to as IAM. This service manages identities and their permissions that are able to access your AWS resources and so understanding how this service works and what you can do with it will help you to maintain a secure AWS environment.  In addition to IAM, this course covers a range of other security services covering encryption and access control

Learning Objectives

  • Learn about identity and access management on AWS including users, groups & roles, IAM policies, MFA, 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
  • Learn how to manage data protection through encryption services such as the Key Management Service (KMS) and CloudHSM
  • Learn how to secure your AWS accounts using AWS Organizations
  • Understand how to configure and monitor AWS WAF, Firewall Manager, and Shield
  • Learn the fundamentals of access control via federation using AWS Cognito and AWS SSO

Hello and welcome to this lecture where I want to cover how to configure and set up AWS Shield Advanced. There are a number of different steps involved if you want to make use of the benefits and features discussed in the previous lecture. Let's take a look at them. Firstly, we need to activate AWS Shield advanced, which can be done via the Management Console using the WAF and Shield Service. When you go into the service, you are presented with the dashboard, you can simply select Summary from the AWS Shield menu on the left-hand side of the dashboard. This will then present you with a screen which we also saw in the previous lecture as shown. At the bottom of the screen, you can see in blue, a button that says Activate AWS Shield Advanced. It's worth noting that AWS Shield is AWS account specific, so you will need to perform this step on each AWS account that you want to use it within. You must then accept a number of terms and conditions before you commit to activating the service. Once you have activated AWS Shield with your AWS account, you are then ready to define which resources you want to protect with the service. This is a manual process and is not done automatically. You may think Shield self-discovers resources, however, you need to manually select the resources needing protection. You can select the resources using ARNs providing the resource is within the same account, so simply select all supported resources from a dropdown list. If one of your resource is an EC2 instance, then you must first associate an EIP, an Elastic IP Address, to that instance for it to be protected as AWS Shield protects whatever resource is associated to that EIP. Once your resources are defined and selected, you must then add rate-based rules. Having these configured, it can be a primary indicator that a DDoS attack is in progress. 

You may remember from a previous lecture in this course that a rate-based rule counts the number of requests that are being received from a particular IP address over a time period of five minutes. If there is a surge in requests from a particular IP address out of the ordinary, then these rate-based rules can alert you of this behavior. These rate-based rules are only associated with CloudFront distributions and application load balancers and so are not required or available for other resource types, such as EC2 instances. For each supported resource in the list, it is recommend you associate a Web ACL with a rate-based rule. If you have any resources already in the list being protected by a Web ACL, then you can't change that Web ACL for that resource. If you want it, you must first remove it from the Web ACL within WAF before associating it to a new one. Following your rate-based rule configuration of your resources you then have the opportunity to pre-authorize the AWS DDoS Response team, the DRT, to have the ability to review, update and modify your Web ACLs and Shield configurations during an attack to help you resolve your issues quickly and effectively. If you are not happy to authorize the DRT team to access your resources, then you can select the option of Do not grant the DRT access to my account. If you decide you do want the assistance of the DRT team, you must be subscribed to either the business or enterprise support plans. The authorization process is governed by an IAM role where you can either create a new or select an existing role. 

Creating a new role will set up all the relevant permissions automatically. If you wish to select an existing role, you must ensure that it has the AWSShieldDRTAccessPolicy managed policy attached and that you trust the service principal of drt.shield.amazonaws.com to use that role. If you need more information relating to IAM policies and permissions, please see our existing course here. It's also possible to allow the DRT team to access flow log information stored in an S3 bucket, you just need to supply the name of the bucket and the DRT team will be given permissions of GetBucketLocation, GetObject, and ListBucket to review the flow log information. Following this step, it's recommended that you set up some CloudWatch alarms and use the SNS service to notify you about your resources. AWS Shield will configure the SNS topic for each region specified and it will also configure CloudWatch metrics to notify you of any potential DDoS activity. It's also possible to configure a CloudWatch Dashboard of the data collected by Shield Advanced. To learn more about CloudWatch and Dashboards, please see our existing course here. Once this is done, then your configuration of AWS Shield Advanced is then complete. However, it's also worth noting and viewing the Global Threat Environment Dashboard which can help provide an overview of the top attacks, and the number of attacks across the AWS landscape.

About the Author
Stuart Scott
AWS Content Director
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 90+ courses relating to Cloud reaching over 140,000 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.