Operational Best Practices for ACSC Essential 8 - AWS Config

Operational Best Practices for ACSC Essential 8

Conformance packs provide a general-purpose compliance framework designed to enable you to create security, operational or cost-optimization governance checks using managed or custom AWS Config rules and AWS Config remediation actions. Conformance Packs, as sample templates, are not designed to fully ensure compliance with a specific governance or compliance standard. You are responsible for making your own assessment of whether your use of the Services meets applicable legal and regulatory requirements.

The following provides a sample mapping between the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) Essential Eight Maturity Model and AWS managed Config rules. Each Config rule applies to a specific AWS resource, and relates to one or more ACSC Essential Eight controls. An ACSC Essential Eight control can be related to multiple Config rules. Refer to the table below for more detail and guidance related to these mappings. Some of the mappings to config rules are for the higher order section (eg. Mitigation Strategies to Limit the Extent of Cyber Security Incidents) as opposed to the more prescriptive sections.

This sample conformance pack template contains mappings to controls within the ACSC Essential 8, which was created by the Commonwealth of Australia and can be found at ACSC | Essential Eight. Licensing of the framework under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License and copyright information for the framework (including a disclaimer of warranties) can be found at ACSC | Copyright.

AWS Region: All supported AWS Regions except Asia Pacific (Hong Kong), Middle East (Bahrain), and South America (São Paulo)

Control ID AWS Config Rule Guidance
Application_control

alb-waf-enabled

Ensure AWS WAF is enabled on Elastic Load Balancers (ELB) to help protect web applications. A WAF helps to protect your web applications or APIs against common web exploits. These web exploits may affect availability, compromise security, or consume excessive resources within your environment.
Application_control

api-gw-associated-with-waf

AWS WAF enables you to configure a set of rules (called a web access control list (web ACL)) that allow, block, or count web requests based on customizable web security rules and conditions that you define. Ensure your Amazon API Gateway stage is associated with a WAF Web ACL to protect it from malicious attacks
Application_control

ec2-instance-managed-by-systems-manager

An inventory of the software platforms and applications within the organization is possible by managing Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances with AWS Systems Manager. Use AWS Systems Manager to provide detailed system configurations, operating system patch levels, services name and type, software installations, application name, publisher and version, and other details about your environment.
Application_control

waf-regional-rule-not-empty

Ensure your AWS WAF has a rule that is not empty. A rule with no conditions could result in unintended behavior.
Application_control

waf-regional-rulegroup-not-empty

Ensure your AWS WAF has a rule group that is not empty. A rule group that is empty could result in unintended behavior.
Application_control

waf-regional-webacl-not-empty

A Web ACL attached to an AWS WAF can contain a collection of rules and rule groups to inspect and control web requests. If a Web ACL is empty, the web traffic passes without being detected or acted upon by the WAF.
Application_control

ec2-managedinstance-association-compliance-status-check

Use AWS Systems Manager Associations to help with inventory of software platforms and applications within an organization. AWS Systems Manager assigns a configuration state to your managed instances and allows you to set baselines of operating system patch levels, software installations, application configurations, and other details about your environment.
Patch_applications

ec2-imdsv2-check

Ensure the Instance Metadata Service Version 2 (IMDSv2) method is enabled to help protect access and control of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instance metadata. The IMDSv2 method uses session-based controls. With IMDSv2, controls can be implemented to restrict changes to instance metadata.
Patch_applications

ec2-instance-managed-by-systems-manager

An inventory of the software platforms and applications within the organization is possible by managing Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances with AWS Systems Manager. Use AWS Systems Manager to provide detailed system configurations, operating system patch levels, services name and type, software installations, application name, publisher and version, and other details about your environment.
Patch_applications

ecs-fargate-latest-platform-version

Security updates and patches are deployed automatically for your AWS Fargate tasks. If a security issue is found that affects an AWS Fargate platform version, AWS patches the platform version. To assist in patch management of your Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) tasks running AWS Fargate, update your services standalone tasks to use the most recent platform version.
Patch_applications

elastic-beanstalk-managed-updates-enabled

Enabling managed platform updates for an Amazon Elastic Beanstalk environment ensures that the latest available platform fixes, updates, and features for the environment are installed. Keeping up to date with patch installation is a best practice in securing systems.
Patch_applications

rds-automatic-minor-version-upgrade-enabled

Enable automatic minor version upgrades on your Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) instances to ensure the latest minor version updates to the Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) are installed, which may include security patches and bug fixes.
Patch_applications

ec2-managedinstance-association-compliance-status-check

Use AWS Systems Manager Associations to help with inventory of software platforms and applications within an organization. AWS Systems Manager assigns a configuration state to your managed instances and allows you to set baselines of operating system patch levels, software installations, application configurations, and other details about your environment.
Patch_applications

redshift-cluster-maintenancesettings-check

This rule ensures that Amazon Redshift clusters have the preferred settings for your organization. Specifically, that they have preferred maintenance windows and automated snapshot retention periods for the database. This rule requires you to set the allowVersionUpgrade. The default is true. It also lets you optionally set the preferredMaintenanceWindow (the default is sat:16:00-sat:16:30), and the automatedSnapshotRetentionPeriod (the default is 1). The actual values should reflect your organization's policies.
Restrict_administrative_privileges

iam-no-inline-policy-check

Ensure an AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) user, IAM role or IAM group does not have an inline policy to control access to systems and assets. AWS recommends to use managed policies instead of inline policies. The managed policies allow reusability, versioning and rolling back, and delegating permissions management.
Restrict_administrative_privileges

iam-policy-no-statements-with-admin-access

AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) can help you incorporate the principles of least privilege and separation of duties with access permissions and authorizations, restricting policies from containing "Effect": "Allow" with "Action": "*" over "Resource": "*". Allowing users to have more privileges than needed to complete a task may violate the principle of least privilege and separation of duties.
Restrict_administrative_privileges

iam-root-access-key-check

Access to systems and assets can be controlled by checking that the root user does not have access keys attached to their AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) role. Ensure that the root access keys are deleted. Instead, create and use role-based AWS accounts to help to incorporate the principle of least functionality.
Restrict_administrative_privileges

codebuild-project-environment-privileged-check

To assist with implementing the principle of least privilege, ensure your Amazon CodeBuild project environment does not have privileged mode enabled. This setting should be disabled to prevent unintended access to Docker APIs as well as the container’s underlying hardware.
Restrict_administrative_privileges

ecs-containers-nonprivileged

To assist with implementing the principle of least privilege, Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS) task definitions should not have elevated privilege enabled. When this parameter is true, the container is given elevated privileges on the host container instance (similar to the root user).
Restrict_administrative_privileges

ecs-containers-readonly-access

Enabling read only access to Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) containers can assist in adhering to the principal of least privilege. This option can reduces attack vectors as the container instance’s filesystem cannot be modified unless it has explicit read-write permissions.
Restrict_administrative_privileges

ecs-task-definition-nonroot-user

To assist with implementing the principle of least privilege, ensure that a non-root user is designated for access to your Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS) task definitions.
Restrict_administrative_privileges

efs-access-point-enforce-user-identity

To assist with implementing the principle of least privilege, ensure user enforcement is enabled for your Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS) .When enabled, Amazon EFS replaces the NFS client's user and group IDs with the identity configured on the access point for all file system operations and only grants access to this enforced user identity.
Restrict_administrative_privileges

iam-user-group-membership-check

AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) can help you restrict access permissions and authorizations, by ensuring IAM users are members of at least one group. Allowing users more privileges than needed to complete a task may violate the principle of least privilege and separation of duties.
Restrict_administrative_privileges

iam-user-unused-credentials-check

AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) can help you with access permissions and authorizations by checking for IAM passwords and access keys that are not used for a specified time period. If these unused credentials are identified, you should disable and/or remove the credentials, as this may violate the principle of least privilege. This rule requires you to set a value to the maxCredentialUsageAge (Config Default: 90). The actual value should reflect your organization's policies.
Restrict_administrative_privileges

rds-instance-iam-authentication-enabled

Ensure an AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) authentication is enabled on Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) instances to control access to systems and assets. This enforces network traffic to and from the database to be encrypted using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). You are not required to store user credentials in the database, as authentication is managed externally.
Restrict_administrative_privileges

ec2-instance-profile-attached

EC2 instance profiles pass an IAM role to an EC2 instance. Attaching an instance profile to your instances can assist with least privilege and permissions management.
Restrict_administrative_privileges

ecs-task-definition-user-for-host-mode-check

If a task definition has elevated privileges it is because the customer has specifically opted-in to those configurations. This control checks for unexpected privilege escalation when a task definition has host networking enabled but the customer has not opted-in to elevated privileges.
Restrict_administrative_privileges

iam-customer-policy-blocked-kms-actions

AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) can help you incorporate the principles of least privilege and separation of duties with access permissions and authorizations, restricting policies from containing blocked actions on all AWS Key Management Service keys. Having more privileges than needed to complete a task may violate the principle of least privilege and separation of duties. This rule allows you to set the blockedActionsPatterns parameter. (AWS Foundational Security Best Practices value: kms:Decrypt, kms:ReEncryptFrom). The actual values should reflect your organization's policies
Restrict_administrative_privileges

iam-inline-policy-blocked-kms-actions

Ensure an AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) user, IAM role or IAM group does not have an inline policy to allow blocked actions on all AWS Key Management Service keys. AWS recommends to use managed policies instead of inline policies. The managed policies allow reusability, versioning, rolling back, and delegating permissions management. This rule allows you to set the blockedActionsPatterns parameter. (AWS Foundational Security Best Practices value: kms:Decrypt, kms:ReEncryptFrom). The actual values should reflect your organization's policies.
Restrict_administrative_privileges

iam-policy-no-statements-with-full-access

Ensure IAM Actions are restricted to only those actions that are needed. Allowing users to have more privileges than needed to complete a task may violate the principle of least privilege and separation of duties.
Patch_operating_systems

ec2-managedinstance-patch-compliance-status-check

Enable this rule to help with identification and documentation of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) vulnerabilities. The rule checks if Amazon EC2 instance patch compliance in AWS Systems Manager as required by your organization's policies and procedures.
Multi-factor_authentication

iam-root-access-key-check

Access to systems and assets can be controlled by checking that the root user does not have access keys attached to their AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) role. Ensure that the root access keys are deleted. Instead, create and use role-based AWS accounts to help to incorporate the principle of least functionality.
Multi-factor_authentication

iam-user-mfa-enabled

Enable this rule to restrict access to resources in the AWS Cloud. This rule ensures multi-factor authentication (MFA) is enabled for all IAM users. MFA adds an extra layer of protection on top of a user name and password. Reduce the incidents of compromised accounts by requiring MFA for IAM users.
Multi-factor_authentication

mfa-enabled-for-iam-console-access

Manage access to resources in the AWS Cloud by ensuring that MFA is enabled for all AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) users that have a console password. MFA adds an extra layer of protection on top of a user name and password. By requiring MFA for IAM users, you can reduce incidents of compromised accounts and keep sensitive data from being accessed by unauthorized users.
Multi-factor_authentication

root-account-hardware-mfa-enabled

Manage access to resources in the AWS Cloud by ensuring hardware MFA is enabled for the root user. The root user is the most privileged user in an AWS account. The MFA adds an extra layer of protection for a user name and password. By requiring MFA for the root user, you can reduce the incidents of compromised AWS accounts.
Multi-factor_authentication

root-account-mfa-enabled

Manage access to resources in the AWS Cloud by ensuring MFA is enabled for the root user. The root user is the most privileged user in an AWS account. The MFA adds an extra layer of protection for a user name and password. By requiring MFA for the root user, you can reduce the incidents of compromised AWS accounts.
Regular_backups

db-instance-backup-enabled

The backup feature of Amazon RDS creates backups of your databases and transaction logs. Amazon RDS automatically creates a storage volume snapshot of your DB instance, backing up the entire DB instance. The system allows you to set specific retention periods to meet your resilience requirements.
Regular_backups

dynamodb-in-backup-plan

To help with data back-up processes, ensure your Amazon DynamoDB tables are a part of an AWS Backup plan. AWS Backup is a fully managed backup service with a policy-based backup solution. This solution simplifies your backup management and enables you to meet your business and regulatory backup compliance requirements.
Regular_backups

ebs-in-backup-plan

To help with data back-up processes, ensure your Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) volumes are a part of an AWS Backup plan. AWS Backup is a fully managed backup service with a policy-based backup solution. This solution simplifies your backup management and enables you to meet your business and regulatory backup compliance requirements.
Regular_backups

efs-in-backup-plan

To help with data back-up processes, ensure your Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS) file systems are a part of an AWS Backup plan. AWS Backup is a fully managed backup service with a policy-based backup solution. This solution simplifies your backup management and enables you to meet your business and regulatory backup compliance requirements.
Regular_backups

elasticache-redis-cluster-automatic-backup-check

When automatic backups are enabled, Amazon ElastiCache creates a backup of the cluster on a daily basis. The backup can be retained for a number of days as specified by your organization. Automatic backups can help guard against data loss. If a failure occurs, you can create a new cluster, which restores your data from the most recent backup.
Regular_backups

rds-in-backup-plan

To help with data back-up processes, ensure your Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) instances are a part of an AWS Backup plan. AWS Backup is a fully managed backup service with a policy-based backup solution. This solution simplifies your backup management and enables you to meet your business and regulatory backup compliance requirements.
Regular_backups

s3-bucket-replication-enabled

Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) Cross-Region Replication (CRR) supports maintaining adequate capacity and availability. CRR enables automatic, asynchronous copying of objects across Amazon S3 buckets to help ensure that data availability is maintained.
Regular_backups

s3-bucket-versioning-enabled

Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) bucket versioning helps keep multiple variants of an object in the same Amazon S3 bucket. Use versioning to preserve, retrieve, and restore every version of every object stored in your Amazon S3 bucket. Versioning helps you to easily recover from unintended user actions and application failures.
Regular_backups

aurora-resources-protected-by-backup-plan

To help with data back-up processes, ensure your Amazon Aurora resources are a part of an AWS Backup plan. AWS Backup is a fully managed backup service with a policy-based backup solution. This solution simplifies your backup management and enables you to meet your business and regulatory backup compliance requirements.
Regular_backups

backup-plan-min-frequency-and-min-retention-check

To help with data back-up processes, ensure your AWS Backup plan is set for a minimum frequency and retention. AWS Backup is a fully managed backup service with a policy-based backup solution. This solution simplifies your backup management and enables you to meet your business and regulatory backup compliance requirements. This rule allows you to set the requiredFrequencyValue (Config default: 1), requiredRetentionDays (Config default: 35) and requiredFrequencyUnit (Config default: days) parameters. The actual value should reflect your organizations requirements.
Regular_backups

backup-recovery-point-manual-deletion-disabled

Ensure that your AWS Backup recovery points have an attached resource-based policy which prevents deletion of recovery points. Using a resource-based policy to prevent deletion of recovery points can assist in preventing accidental or intentional deletion.
Regular_backups

ec2-resources-protected-by-backup-plan

To help with data back-up processes, ensure your Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) resources are a part of an AWS Backup plan. AWS Backup is a fully managed backup service with a policy-based backup solution. This solution simplifies your backup management and enables you to meet your business and regulatory backup compliance requirements.
Regular_backups

redshift-backup-enabled

To help with data back-up processes, ensure your Amazon Redshift clusters have automated snapshots. When automated snapshots are enabled for a cluster, Redshift periodically takes snapshots of that cluster. By default, Redshift takes a snapshot every eight hours or every 5 GB per node of data changes, or whichever comes first.

Template

The template is available on GitHub: Operational Best Practices for ACSC Essential 8.