Cross-account CloudTrail logging - AWS Lake Formation

Cross-account CloudTrail logging

Lake Formation provides a centralized audit trail of all cross-account access to data in your data lake. When a recipient AWS account accesses data in a shared table, Lake Formation copies the CloudTrail event to the owning account's CloudTrail logs. Copied events include queries against the data by integrated services such as Amazon Athena and Amazon Redshift Spectrum, and data accesses by AWS Glue jobs.

CloudTrail events for cross-account operations on Data Catalog resources are similarly copied.

As a resource owner, if you enable object-level logging in Amazon S3, you can run queries that join S3 CloudTrail events with Lake Formation CloudTrail events to determine the accounts that have accessed your S3 buckets.

Including principal identities in cross-account CloudTrail logs

By default, cross-account CloudTrail events added to the shared resource recipient's logs and copied to resource owner's logs contain only the AWS principal ID of the external account principal—not the human-readable Amazon Resource Name (ARN) of the principal (principal ARN). When sharing resources within trusted boundaries, such as within the same organization or team, you can opt in to include the principal ARN in the CloudTrail events. Resource owner accounts can then track the principals in recipient accounts that access their owned resources.


As a shared resource recipient, to see the principal ARN in events in your own CloudTrail logs, you must opt in to share the principal ARN with the owner account.

If the data access occurs through a resource link, two events are logged in the shared resource recipient account: one for the resource link access and one for the target resource access. The event for the resource link access does include the principal ARN. The event for the target resource access does not include the principal ARN without the opt-in. The resource link access event is not copied to the owner account.

The following is an excerpt from a default cross-account CloudTrail event (without opt-in). The account performing the data access is 1111-2222-3333. This is the log that is shown in both the calling account and the resource owner account. Lake Formation populates logs in both accounts in the cross-account case.

{ "eventVersion": "1.05", "userIdentity": { "type": "AWSAccount", "principalId": "AROAQGFTBBBGOBWV2EMZA:GlueJobRunnerSession", "accountId": "111122223333" }, "eventSource": "", "eventName": "GetDataAccess", ... ... "additionalEventData": { "requesterService": "GLUE_JOB", "lakeFormationRoleSessionName": "AWSLF-00-GL-111122223333-G13T0Rmng2" }, ... }

As a shared resource consumer, when you opt in to include the principal ARN, the excerpt becomes the following. The lakeFormationPrincipal field represents the end role or user performing the query through Amazon Athena, Amazon Redshift Spectrum, or AWS Glue jobs.

{ "eventVersion": "1.05", "userIdentity": { "type": "AWSAccount", "principalId": "AROAQGFTBBBGOBWV2EMZA:GlueJobRunnerSession", "accountId": "111122223333" }, "eventSource": "", "eventName": "GetDataAccess", ... ... "additionalEventData": { "requesterService": "GLUE_JOB", "lakeFormationPrincipal": "arn:aws:iam::111122223333:role/ETL-Glue-Role", "lakeFormationRoleSessionName": "AWSLF-00-GL-111122223333-G13T0Rmng2" }, ... }
To opt in to include principal ARNs in cross-account CloudTrail logs
  1. Open the Lake Formation console at

    Sign in as the Administrator user, or a user with the Administrator Access IAM policy.

  2. In the navigation pane, choose Settings.

  3. On the Data catalog settings page, in the Default permissions for AWS CloudTrail section, for Resource owners, enter one or more AWS resource owner account IDs.

    Press Enter after each account ID.

  4. Choose Save.

    Now cross-account CloudTrail events stored in the logs for both the shared resource recipient and the resource owner contain the principal ARN.

Querying CloudTrail logs for Amazon S3 cross-account access

As a shared resource owner, you can query S3 CloudTrail logs to determine the accounts that have accessed your Amazon S3 buckets (provided that you enabled object-level logging in Amazon S3). This applies only to S3 locations that you registered with Lake Formation. If shared resource consumers opt in to include principal Rans in Lake Formation CloudTrail logs, you can determine the roles or users that accessed the buckets.

When running queries with Amazon Athena, you can join Lake Formation CloudTrail events and S3 CloudTrail events on the session name property. Queries can also filter Lake Formation events on eventName="GetDataAccess", and S3 events on eventName="Get Object" or eventName="Put Object".

The following is an excerpt from a Lake Formation cross-account CloudTrail event where data in a registered S3 location was accessed.

{ "eventSource": "", "eventName": "GetDataAccess", .............. .............. "additionalEventData": { "requesterService": "GLUE_JOB", "lakeFormationPrincipal": "arn:aws:iam::111122223333:role/ETL-Glue-Role", "lakeFormationRoleSessionName": "AWSLF-00-GL-111122223333-B8JSAjo5QA" } }

The lakeFormationRoleSessionName key value, AWSLF-00-GL-111122223333-B8JSAjo5QA, can be joined with the session name in the principalId key of the S3 CloudTrail event. The following is an excerpt from the S3 CloudTrail event. It shows the location of the session name.

{ "eventSource": "", "eventName": "Get Object" .............. .............. "principalId": "AROAQSOX5XXUR7D6RMYLR:AWSLF-00-GL-111122223333-B8JSAjo5QA", "arn": "arn:aws:sets::111122223333:assumed-role/Deformationally/AWSLF-00-GL-111122223333-B8JSAjo5QA", "session Context": { "session Issuer": { "type": "Role", "principalId": "AROAQSOX5XXUR7D6RMYLR", "arn": "arn:aws:iam::111122223333:role/aws-service-role/", "accountId": "111122223333", "user Name": "Deformationally" }, .............. .............. }

The session name is formatted as follows:


The version of this format, currently 00. If the session name format changes, the next version will be 01.


Indicates the entity that accessed the data. Current values are:

GL AWS Glue ETL job
AT Athena
RE Amazon Redshift Spectrum

The AWS account ID that requested credentials from Lake Formation.


A randomly generated string.