Prepare For Creating a Trail For Your Organization - AWS CloudTrail

Prepare For Creating a Trail For Your Organization

Before you create a trail for your organization, be sure that both your organization and your master account are set up correctly for trail creation.

  • Your organization must have all features enabled before you can create a trail for it. For more information, see Enabling All Features in Your Organization.

  • The master account must have the AWSServiceRoleForOrganizations role. This role is created automatically by Organizations when you create your organization, and is required for CloudTrail to log events for an organization. For more information, see Organizations and Service-Linked Roles.

  • The IAM user or role that will be used to create the organization trail in the master account must have sufficient permissions to create an organization trail. At a minimum, to create an organization trail, you must have the AWSCloudTrailFullAccess policy or equivalent permissions applied. You must also have sufficient permissions in IAM and Organizations to create the service-linked role and enable trusted access. The following example policy shows the minimum required permissions.


    The AWSCloudTrailFullAccess policy is not intended to be shared broadly across your AWS account. Instead, it should be restricted to AWS account administrators due to the highly sensitive information collected by CloudTrail. Users with this role have the ability to disable or reconfigure the most sensitive and important auditing functions in their AWS accounts. For this reason, access to this policy should be closely controlled and monitored.

    { "Version": "2012-10-17", "Statement": [ { "Effect": "Allow", "Action": [ "iam:GetRole", "organizations:EnableAWSServiceAccess", "organizations:ListAccounts", "iam:CreateServiceLinkedRole", "organizations:DisableAWSServiceAccess", "organizations:DescribeOrganization", "organizations:ListAWSServiceAccessForOrganization" ], "Resource": "*" } ] }
  • To use the AWS CLI or the CloudTrail APIs to create an organization trail, you must enable trusted access for CloudTrail in Organizations, and you must manually create an Amazon S3 bucket with a policy that allows logging for an organization trail. For more information, see Creating a Trail for an Organization with the AWS Command Line Interface.

  • To use an existing IAM role to add monitoring of an organization trail to Amazon CloudWatch Logs, you must manually modify the IAM role to allow delivery of CloudWatch Logs for member accounts to the CloudWatch Logs group in the master account, as shown in the following example.

    { "Version": "2012-10-17", "Statement": [ { "Sid": "AWSCloudTrailCreateLogStream20141101", "Effect": "Allow", "Action": [ "logs:CreateLogStream" ], "Resource": [ "arn:aws:logs:us-east-2:111111111111:log-group:CloudTrail/DefaultLogGroupTest:log-stream:111111111111_CloudTrail_us-east-2*", "arn:aws:logs:us-east-2:111111111111:log-group:CloudTrail/DefaultLogGroupTest:log-stream:o-exampleorgid_*" ] }, { "Sid": "AWSCloudTrailPutLogEvents20141101", "Effect": "Allow", "Action": [ "logs:PutLogEvents" ], "Resource": [ "arn:aws:logs:us-east-2:111111111111:log-group:CloudTrail/DefaultLogGroupTest:log-stream:111111111111_CloudTrail_us-east-2*", "arn:aws:logs:us-east-2:111111111111:log-group:CloudTrail/DefaultLogGroupTest:log-stream:o-exampleorgid_*" ] } ] }

    You can learn more about CloudTrail and Amazon CloudWatch Logs in Monitoring CloudTrail Log Files with Amazon CloudWatch Logs. In addition, consider the limits on CloudWatch Logs and the pricing considerations for the service before deciding to enable the experience for an organization trail. For more information, see CloudWatch Logs Limits and Amazon CloudWatch Pricing.

  • To log data events in your organization trail for specific Amazon S3 buckets or AWS Lambda functions in member accounts, gather a list of Amazon Resource Names (ARNs) for each of those resources. Member account resources are not displayed in the CloudTrail console when creating a trail; only Amazon S3 and Lambda functions in the master account can be displayed. Similarly, if you want to add specific member resources when creating or updating an organization trail at the command line, you will need the ARNs for those resources.


    Additional charges apply for logging data events. For CloudTrail pricing, see AWS CloudTrail Pricing.

You should also consider reviewing how many trails already exist in the master account and in the member accounts before creating an organization trail. CloudTrail limits the number of trails that can be created in each region. You cannot exceed this limit in the region where you create the organization trail in the master account. However, the trail will be created in the member accounts even if member accounts have reached the limit of trails in a region. While the first trail in any region is free, charges apply to additional trails. To reduce the potential cost of an organization trail, consider deleting any unneeded trails in the master and member accounts. For more information about CloudTrail pricing, see AWS CloudTrail Pricing.