AWS - Config Enum

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AWS Config

AWS Config capture resource changes, so any change to a resource supported by Config can be recorded, which will record what changed along with other useful metadata, all held within a file known as a configuration item, a CI. This service is region specific.

A configuration item or CI as it's known, is a key component of AWS Config. It is comprised of a JSON file that holds the configuration information, relationship information and other metadata as a point-in-time snapshot view of a supported resource. All the information that AWS Config can record for a resource is captured within the CI. A CI is created every time a supported resource has a change made to its configuration in any way. In addition to recording the details of the affected resource, AWS Config will also record CIs for any directly related resources to ensure the change did not affect those resources too.

  • Metadata: Contains details about the configuration item itself. A version ID and a configuration ID, which uniquely identifies the CI. Ither information can include a MD5Hash that allows you to compare other CIs already recorded against the same resource.

  • Attributes: This holds common attribute information against the actual resource. Within this section, we also have a unique resource ID, and any key value tags that are associated to the resource. The resource type is also listed. For example, if this was a CI for an EC2 instance, the resource types listed could be the network interface, or the elastic IP address for that EC2 instance

  • Relationships: This holds information for any connected relationship that the resource may have. So within this section, it would show a clear description of any relationship to other resources that this resource had. For example, if the CI was for an EC2 instance, the relationship section may show the connection to a VPC along with the subnet that the EC2 instance resides in.

  • Current configuration: This will display the same information that would be generated if you were to perform a describe or list API call made by the AWS CLI. AWS Config uses the same API calls to get the same information.

  • Related events: This relates to AWS CloudTrail. This will display the AWS CloudTrail event ID that is related to the change that triggered the creation of this CI. There is a new CI made for every change made against a resource. As a result, different CloudTrail event IDs will be created.

Configuration History: It's possible to obtain the configuration history of resources thanks to the configurations items. A configuration history is delivered every 6 hours and contains all CI's for a particular resource type.

Configuration Streams: Configuration items are sent to an SNS Topic to enable analysis of the data.

Configuration Snapshots: Configuration items are used to create a point in time snapshot of all supported resources.

S3 is used to store the Configuration History files and any Configuration snapshots of your data within a single bucket, which is defined within the Configuration recorder. If you have multiple AWS accounts you may want to aggregate your configuration history files into the same S3 bucket for your primary account. However, you'll need to grant write access for this service principle,, and your secondary accounts with write access to the S3 bucket in your primary account.


  • When make changes, for example to security group or bucket access control list —> fire off as an Event picked up by AWS Config

  • Stores everything in S3 bucket

  • Depending on the setup, as soon as something changes it could trigger a lambda function OR schedule lambda function to periodically look through the AWS Config settings

  • Lambda feeds back to Config

  • If rule has been broken, Config fires up an SNS

Config Rules

Config rules are a great way to help you enforce specific compliance checks and controls across your resources, and allows you to adopt an ideal deployment specification for each of your resource types. Each rule is essentially a lambda function that when called upon evaluates the resource and carries out some simple logic to determine the compliance result with the rule. Each time a change is made to one of your supported resources, AWS Config will check the compliance against any config rules that you have in place. AWS have a number of predefined rules that fall under the security umbrella that are ready to use. For example, Rds-storage-encrypted. This checks whether storage encryption is activated by your RDS database instances. Encrypted-volumes. This checks to see if any EBS volumes that have an attached state are encrypted.

  • AWS Managed rules: Set of predefined rules that cover a lot of best practices, so it's always worth browsing these rules first before setting up your own as there is a chance that the rule may already exist.

  • Custom rules: You can create your own rules to check specific customconfigurations.

Limit of 50 config rules per region before you need to contact AWS for an increase. Non compliant results are NOT deleted.

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