AWS WAF and AWS Shield Advanced
Developer Guide (API Version 2015-08-24)

Monitoring Tools

AWS provides various tools that you can use to monitor AWS WAF and AWS Shield. You can configure some of these tools to do the monitoring for you, while some of the tools require manual intervention. We recommend that you automate monitoring tasks as much as possible.

Automated Monitoring Tools

You can use the following automated monitoring tools to watch AWS WAF and AWS Shield Advanced and report when something is wrong:

  • Amazon CloudWatch Alarms – Watch a single metric over a time period that you specify, and perform one or more actions based on the value of the metric relative to a given threshold over a number of time periods. The action is a notification sent to an Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS) topic or Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling policy. CloudWatch alarms do not invoke actions simply because they are in a particular state; the state must have changed and been maintained for a specified number of periods. For more information, see Monitoring with Amazon CloudWatch.

    Not only can you use CloudWatch to monitor AWS WAF and Shield Advanced metrics as described in Monitoring with Amazon CloudWatch, you also should use CloudWatch to monitor activity for you Elastic Load Balancing resources and Amazon CloudFront distributions. For more information, see CloudWatch Metrics for Your Application Load Balancer and Monitoring CloudFront Activity Using CloudWatch.

  • Amazon CloudWatch Logs – Monitor, store, and access your log files from AWS CloudTrail or other sources. For more information, see Monitoring Log Files in the Amazon CloudWatch User Guide.

  • Amazon CloudWatch Events – Match events and route them to one or more target functions or streams to make changes, capture state information, and take corrective action. For more information, see What is Amazon CloudWatch Events in the Amazon CloudWatch User Guide.

  • AWS CloudTrail Log Monitoring – Share log files between accounts, monitor CloudTrail log files in real time by sending them to CloudWatch Logs, write log-processing applications in Java, and validate that your log files have not changed after delivery by CloudTrail. For more information, see Logging AWS WAF API Calls with AWS CloudTrail and Working with CloudTrail Log Files in the AWS CloudTrail User Guide.

Manual Monitoring Tools

Another important part of monitoring AWS WAF and AWS Shield involves manually monitoring those items that the CloudWatch alarms don't cover. You can view the AWS WAF, AWS Shield Advanced, CloudWatch, and other AWS console dashboards to see the state of your AWS environment. We recommend that you also check the log files for your web ACLs and rules.

  • View the AWS WAF dashboard:

  • View the CloudWatch home page for the following:

    • Current alarms and status

    • Graphs of alarms and resources

    • Service health status

    In addition, you can use CloudWatch to do the following:

    • Create customized dashboards to monitor the services that you care about

    • Graph metric data to troubleshoot issues and discover trends

    • Search and browse all of your AWS resource metrics

    • Create and edit alarms to be notified of problems