Elastic Load Balancing
Network Load Balancers

TLS Listeners for Your Network Load Balancer

You must specify exactly one server certificate per TLS listener. The load balancer uses this certificate to terminate the connection and then to decrypt requests from clients before sending them to the targets.

Elastic Load Balancing uses a TLS negotiation configuration, known as a security policy, to negotiate TLS connections between a client and the load balancer. A security policy is a combination of protocols and ciphers. The protocol establishes a secure connection between a client and a server and ensures that all data passed between the client and your load balancer is private. A cipher is an encryption algorithm that uses encryption keys to create a coded message. Protocols use several ciphers to encrypt data over the internet. During the connection negotiation process, the client and the load balancer present a list of ciphers and protocols that they each support, in order of preference. The first cipher on the server's list that matches any one of the client's ciphers is selected for the secure connection.

Server Certificates

The load balancer uses an X.509 certificate (server certificate). Certificates are a digital form of identification issued by a certificate authority (CA). A certificate contains identification information, a validity period, a public key, a serial number, and the digital signature of the issuer.

When you create a certificate for use with your load balancer, you must specify a domain name.

We recommend that you create certificates for your load balancers using AWS Certificate Manager (ACM). ACM integrates with Elastic Load Balancing so that you can deploy the certificate on your load balancer. For more information, see the AWS Certificate Manager User Guide.

Alternatively, you can use TLS tools to create a certificate signing request (CSR), then get the CSR signed by a CA to produce a certificate, then import the certificate into ACM or upload the certificate to AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM). For more information, see Importing Certificates in the AWS Certificate Manager User Guide or Working with Server Certificates in the IAM User Guide.

Important

You cannot install certificates with RSA keys larger than 2048-bit or EC keys on your Network Load Balancer.

Security Policies

You can choose the security policy that is used for front-end connections. The ELBSecurityPolicy-2016-08 security policy is always used for backend connections. Network Load Balancers do not support custom security policies.

Elastic Load Balancing provides the following security policies for Network Load Balancers:

  • ELBSecurityPolicy-2016-08

  • ELBSecurityPolicy-FS-2018-06

  • ELBSecurityPolicy-TLS-1-2-2017-01

  • ELBSecurityPolicy-TLS-1-2-Ext-2018-06

  • ELBSecurityPolicy-TLS-1-1-2017-01

  • ELBSecurityPolicy-2015-05

  • ELBSecurityPolicy-TLS-1-0-2015-04

We recommend the ELBSecurityPolicy-2016-08 policy for general use. You can use the ELBSecurityPolicy-FS-2018-06 policy if you require Forward Secrecy (FS). You can use one of the ELBSecurityPolicy-TLS policies to meet compliance and security standards that require disabling certain TLS protocol versions, or to support legacy clients that require deprecated ciphers. Only a small percentage of internet clients require TLS version 1.0. To view the TLS protocol version for requests to your load balancer, enable access logging for your load balancer and examine the access logs. For more information, see Access Logs.

The following table describes the security policies defined for Network Load Balancers.

Security Policy 2016-08 * FS-2018-06 TLS-1-2 TLS-1-2-Ext TLS-1-1 TLS-1-0 †
TLS Protocols

Protocol-TLSv1

Protocol-TLSv1.1

Protocol-TLSv1.2

TLS Ciphers

ECDHE-ECDSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256

ECDHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256

ECDHE-ECDSA-AES128-SHA256

ECDHE-RSA-AES128-SHA256

ECDHE-ECDSA-AES128-SHA

ECDHE-RSA-AES128-SHA

ECDHE-ECDSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384

ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384

ECDHE-ECDSA-AES256-SHA384

ECDHE-RSA-AES256-SHA384

ECDHE-RSA-AES256-SHA

ECDHE-ECDSA-AES256-SHA

AES128-GCM-SHA256

AES128-SHA256

AES128-SHA

AES256-GCM-SHA384

AES256-SHA256

AES256-SHA

DES-CBC3-SHA

* The ELBSecurityPolicy-2016-08 and ELBSecurityPolicy-2015-05 security policies are identical.

† Do not use this security policy unless you must support a legacy client that requires the DES-CBC3-SHA cipher, which is a weak cipher.

To view the configuration of a security policy for your load balancer using the AWS CLI, use the describe-ssl-policies command.

Update the Security Policy

When you create a TLS listener, you can select the security policy that meets your needs. When a new security policy is added, you can update your TLS listener to use the new security policy. Network Load Balancers do not support custom security policies.

To update the security policy using the console

  1. Open the Amazon EC2 console at https://console.aws.amazon.com/ec2/.

  2. On the navigation pane, under LOAD BALANCING, choose Load Balancers.

  3. Select the load balancer and choose Listeners.

  4. Select the check box for the TLS listener and choose Edit.

  5. For Security policy, choose a security policy.

  6. Choose Update.

To update the security policy using the AWS CLI

Use the modify-listener command.