Amazon Inspector For Automating Security Assessments & Remediations In AWS

Amazon Inspector For Automating Security Assessments & Remediations In AWS by Tim Layton @ CloudSecurityLaunchPad.com

Amazon Inspector is an automated security assessment service that helps improve the security and compliance of applications deployed on AWS.

It assesses applications for vulnerabilities or deviations from best practices developed by AWS. After performing an assessment, Amazon Inspector produces a detailed list of security findings prioritized by level of severity that can and should be reviewed by qualified information security professionals.

Using Amazon Inspector with AWS Lambda allows you to automate certain security tasks helping take your evolution of security assessments to the next level. By combining Amazon Inspector with AWS Lambda you can build event-driven security automation to help better secure your AWS environment in near real time.

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The diagram below illustrates a solution that automatically remediates findings generated by Amazon Inspector.

1 – Amazon Inspector runs assessment on a group of EC2 instances.
2- Security findings are then sent to an Amazon SNS to notify an admin.
3 – A Lambda function is invoked by those same notifications. It examines the findings from Amazon Inspector.
4 – The Lambda function uses AWS Systems Manager to patch the EC2 instances with the latest updates as a remediation to the findings.

Amazon Inspector security assessments help you check for unintended network accessibility of your Amazon EC2 instances and for vulnerabilities on those EC2 instances. Amazon Inspector assessments are offered to you as pre-defined rules packages mapped to common security best practices and vulnerability definitions.

Examples of built-in rules include checking for access to your EC2 instances from the internet, remote root login being enabled, or vulnerable software versions installed. These rules are regularly updated by AWS security researchers and are a solid choice for understanding your current security posture. These assessments can catch any oversights or misconfigurations that were pushed to production via your CI/CD pipeline too.

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Tim Layton specializes in demystifying the complexities and technical jargon associated with cloud computing security and risk management for business stakeholders across the enterprise. Tim is a cloud security thought leader defining actionable and defensible strategies to help enterprise stakeholders make risk-based decisions and prioritize investments in the new digital frontier.

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COMMON CYBERSECURITY RISK TERMS DEFINED

Threat: Any circumstance or event with the potential to adversely impact organizational operations (including mission, functions, image, or reputation), organizational assets, individuals, other organizations, or the Nation through an information system via unauthorized access, destruction, disclosure, or modification of information, and/or denial of service. (NIST 800–30)

Threat: potential cause of an unwanted incident, which can result in harm to a system or organization. (ISO 27001)

Vulnerability: Weakness in an information system, system security procedures, internal controls, or implementation that could be exploited by a threat source. (NIST 800–30)

Vulnerability: weakness of an asset or control that can be exploited by one or more threats. (ISO 27001)

Likelihood: A weighted factor based on a subjective analysis of the probability that a given threat is capable of exploiting a given vulnerability or a set of vulnerabilities. (NIST 800–30)

Likelihood: chance of something happening. (ISO 27001)

Risk: A measure of the extent to which an entity is threatened by a potential circumstance or event, and typically a function of (i) the adverse impacts that would arise if the circumstance or event occurs; and (ii) the likelihood of occurrence. (NIST 800–30)

Risk: effect of uncertainty on objectives. (ISO 27001)

Security Controls: The management, operational, and technical controls (i.e., safeguards or countermeasures) prescribed for an information system to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the system and its information. (NIST 800–30)

Compensating Security Control: A management, operational, and/or technical control (i.e., safeguard or countermeasure) employed by an organization in lieu of a recommended security control in the low, moderate, or high baselines that provides equivalent or comparable protection for an information system. (NIST 800–30)

Impact Level: The magnitude of harm that can be expected to result from the consequences of unauthorized disclosure of information, unauthorized modification of information, unauthorized destruction of information, or loss of information or information system availability. (NIST 800–30)

Residual Risk: Portion of risk remaining after security measures have been applied. (NIST 800–30)

Security Posture: The security status of an enterprise’s networks, information, and systems based on information assurance resources (e.g., people, hardware, software, policies) and capabilities in place to manage the defense of the enterprise and to react as the situation changes. (NIST 800–30)

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Tim Layton

Tim Layton

Get Tim Layton's Free Cloud Security Journal so you can remain current with the latest cloud security trends and updates. Tim is a cloud security thought leader defining actionable and defensible strategies to help organization's make risk-based decisions and prioritize investments.

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