AWS Toolkit for Visual Studio
User Guide

Managing Security Groups from AWS Explorer

The Toolkit for Visual Studio enables you to create and configure security groups to use with Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances and AWS CloudFormation. When you launch Amazon EC2 instances or deploy an application to AWS CloudFormation, you specify a security group to associate with the Amazon EC2 instances. (Deployment to AWS CloudFormation creates Amazon EC2 instances.)

A security group acts like a firewall on incoming network traffic. The security group specifies which types of network traffic are allowed on an Amazon EC2 instance. It can also specify that incoming traffic will be accepted from certain IP addresses only or from specified users or other security groups only.

Creating a Security Group

In this section, we'll create a security group. After it has been created, the security group will not have any permissions configured. Configuring permissions is handled through an additional operation.

To create a security group

  1. In AWS Explorer, under the Amazon EC2 node, open the context (right-click) menu on the Security Groups node, and then choose View.

  2. On the EC2 Security Groups tab, choose Create Security Group.

  3. In the Create Security Group dialog box, type a name and description for the security group, and then choose OK.

Adding Permissions to Security Groups

In this section, we'll add permissions to the security group to allow web traffic through the HTTP and HTTPS protocols. We'll also allow other computers to connect by using Windows Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP).

To add permissions to a security group

  1. On the EC2 Security Groups tab, choose a security group and then choose the Add Permission button.

  2. In the Add IP Permission dialog box, choose the Protocol, Port and Network radio button, and then from the Protocol drop-down list, choose HTTP. The port range automatically adjusts to port 80, the default port for HTTP. The Source CIDR field defaults to, which specifies that HTTP network traffic will be accepted from any external IP address. Choose OK.

    Open port 80 (HTTP) for this security group

  3. Repeat this process for HTTPS and RDP. Your security groups permissions should now look like the following.

You can also set permissions in the security group by specifying a user ID and security group name. In this case, Amazon EC2 instances in this security group will accept all incoming network traffic from Amazon EC2 instances in the specified security group. You must also specify the user ID as a way to disambiguate the security group name; security group names are not required to be unique across all of AWS. For more information about security groups, go to the EC2 documentation.