Amazon CloudWatch
User Guide

Using Identity-Based Policies (IAM Policies) for CloudWatch

This topic provides examples of identity-based policies that demonstrate how an account administrator can attach permissions policies to IAM identities (that is, users, groups, and roles) and thereby grant permissions to perform operations on CloudWatch resources.


We recommend that you first review the introductory topics that explain the basic concepts and options available to manage access to your CloudWatch resources. For more information, see Access Control.

The sections in this topic cover the following:

The following shows an example of a permissions policy.

  "Version": "2012-10-17",

This sample policy has one statement that grants permissions to a group for two CloudWatch actions (cloudwatch:GetMetricStatisticsdata, and cloudwatch:ListMetrics), but only if the group uses SSL with the request ("aws:SecureTransport":"true"). For more information about the elements within an IAM policy statement, see Specifying Policy Elements: Actions, Effects, and Principals and IAM Policy Elements Reference in IAM User Guide.

Permissions Required to Use the CloudWatch Console

For a user to work with the CloudWatch console, that user must have a minimum set of permissions that allows the user to describe other AWS resources in their AWS account. The CloudWatch console requires permissions from the following services:

  • Auto Scaling

  • CloudTrail

  • CloudWatch

  • CloudWatch Events

  • CloudWatch Logs

  • Amazon EC2

  • Amazon ES

  • IAM

  • Amazon Kinesis

  • Lambda

  • Amazon S3

  • Amazon SNS

  • Amazon SQS

  • Amazon SWF

If you create an IAM policy that is more restrictive than the minimum required permissions, the console won't function as intended for users with that IAM policy. To ensure that those users can still use the CloudWatch console, also attach the CloudWatchReadOnlyAccess managed policy to the user, as described in AWS Managed (Predefined) Policies for CloudWatch.

You don't need to allow minimum console permissions for users that are making calls only to the AWS CLI or the CloudWatch API.

The full set of permissions required to work with the CloudWatch console are listed below:

  • applicationautoscaling:describeScalingPolicies

  • autoscaling:describeAutoScalingGroups

  • autoscaling:describePolicies

  • cloudtrail:describeTrails

  • cloudwatch:deleteAlarms

  • cloudwatch:describeAlarmHistory

  • cloudwatch:describeAlarms

  • cloudwatch:getMetricData

  • cloudwatch:getMetricDataForAccounts

  • cloudwatch:getMetricStatistics

  • cloudwatch:listMetrics

  • cloudwatch:putMetricAlarm

  • cloudwatch:putMetricData

  • ec2:describeInstances

  • ec2:describeTags

  • ec2:describeVolumes

  • es:describeElasticsearchDomain

  • es:listDomainNames

  • events:deleteRule

  • events:describeRule

  • events:disableRule

  • events:enableRule

  • events:listRules

  • events:putRule

  • iam:attachRolePolicy

  • iam:createRole

  • iam:getPolicy

  • iam:getPolicyVersion

  • iam:getRole

  • iam:listAttachedRolePolicies

  • iam:listRoles

  • kinesis:describeStreams

  • kinesis:listStreams

  • lambda:addPermission

  • lambda:createFunction

  • lambda:getFunctionConfiguration

  • lambda:listAliases

  • lambda:listFunctions

  • lambda:listVersionsByFunction

  • lambda:removePermission

  • logs:cancelExportTask

  • logs:createExportTask

  • logs:createLogGroup

  • logs:createLogStream

  • logs:deleteLogGroup

  • logs:deleteLogStream

  • logs:deleteMetricFilter

  • logs:deleteRetentionPolicy

  • logs:deleteSubscriptionFilter

  • logs:describeExportTasks

  • logs:describeLogGroups

  • logs:describeLogStreams

  • logs:describeMetricFilters

  • logs:describeSubscriptionFilters

  • logs:filterLogEvents

  • logs:getLogEvents

  • logs:putMetricFilter

  • logs:putRetentionPolicy

  • logs:putSubscriptionFilter

  • logs:testMetricFilter

  • s3:createBucket

  • s3:listBuckets

  • sns:createTopic

  • sns:getTopicAttributes

  • sns:listSubscriptions

  • sns:listTopics

  • sns:setTopicAttributes

  • sns:subscribe

  • sns:unsubscribe

  • sqs:getQueueAttributes

  • sqs:getQueueUrl

  • sqs:listQueues

  • sqs:setQueueAttributes

  • swf:createAction

  • swf:describeAction

  • swf:listActionTemplates

  • swf:registerAction

  • swf:registerDomain

  • swf:updateAction

AWS Managed (Predefined) Policies for CloudWatch

AWS addresses many common use cases by providing standalone IAM policies that are created and administered by AWS. These AWS managed policies grant necessary permissions for common use cases so that you can avoid having to investigate what permissions are needed. For more information, see AWS Managed Policies in the IAM User Guide.

The following AWS managed policies, which you can attach to users in your account, are specific to CloudWatch:

  • CloudWatchFullAccess – Grants full access to CloudWatch.

  • CloudWatchReadOnlyAccess – Grants read-only access to CloudWatch.

  • CloudWatchActionsEC2Access – Grants read-only access to CloudWatch alarms and metrics as well as Amazon EC2 metadata. Grants access to the Stop, Terminate, and Reboot API actions for EC2 instances.


You can review these permissions policies by signing in to the IAM console and searching for specific policies there.

You can also create your own custom IAM policies to allow permissions for CloudWatch actions and resources. You can attach these custom policies to the IAM users or groups that require those permissions.

Customer Managed Policy Examples

In this section, you can find example user policies that grant permissions for various CloudWatch actions. These policies work when you are using the CloudWatch API, AWS SDKs, or the AWS CLI.

Example 1: Allow User Full Access to CloudWatch

The following policy allows a user to access all CloudWatch actions, CloudWatch Logs actions, Amazon SNS actions, and read-only access to Auto Scaling.

  "Version": "2012-10-17",
  "Statement": [
      "Action": [
      "Effect": "Allow",
      "Resource": "*"

Example 2: Allow Read-Only Access to CloudWatch

The following policy allows a user read-only access to CloudWatch and view Auto Scaling actions, CloudWatch metrics, CloudWatch Logs data, and alarm-related Amazon SNS data.

  "Version": "2012-10-17",
  "Statement": [
      "Action": [
      "Effect": "Allow",
      "Resource": "*"

Example 3: Stop or Terminate an Amazon EC2 Instance

The following policy allows an CloudWatch alarm action to stop or terminate an EC2 instance. In the sample below, the GetMetricStatistics, ListMetrics, and DescribeAlarms actions are optional. It is recommended that you include these actions to ensure that you have correctly stopped or terminated the instance.

  "Version": "2012-10-17",
  "Statement": [
      "Action": [
      "Sid": "00000000000000",
      "Resource": [
      "Effect": "Allow"
      "Action": [
      "Sid": "00000000000000",
      "Resource": [
      "Effect": "Allow"