AWS CloudTrail is a service that enables governance, compliance, operational auditing, and risk auditing of your AWS account. With CloudTrail, you can log, continuously monitor, and retain account activity related to actions across your AWS infrastructure. CloudTrail provides event history of your AWS account activity, including actions taken through the AWS Management Console, AWS SDKs, command line tools, and other AWS services. This event history simplifies security analysis, resource change tracking, and troubleshooting. In addition, you can use CloudTrail to detect unusual activity in your AWS accounts. These capabilities help simplify operational analysis and troubleshooting.
With AWS CloudTrail, you can simplify your compliance audits by automatically recording and storing event logs for actions made within your AWS account. Integration with Amazon CloudWatch Logs provides a convenient way to search through log data, identify out-of-compliance events, accelerate incident investigations, and expedite responses to auditor requests.
Visibility into user and resource activity
AWS CloudTrail increases visibility into your user and resource activity by recording AWS Management Console actions and API calls. You can identify which users and accounts called AWS, the source IP address from which the calls were made, and when the calls occurred.
Security analysis and troubleshooting
With AWS CloudTrail, you can discover and troubleshoot security and operational issues by capturing a comprehensive history of changes that occurred in your AWS account within a specified period of time.
AWS CloudTrail allows you track and automatically respond to account activity threatening the security of your AWS resources. With Amazon CloudWatch Events integration, you can define workflows that execute when events that can result in security vulnerabilities are detected. For example, you can create a workflow to add a specific policy to an Amazon S3 bucket when CloudTrail logs an API call that makes that bucket public.
How it works
AWS CloudTrail makes it easier to ensure compliance with internal policies and regulatory standards by providing a history of activity in your AWS account. For more information, download the AWS compliance whitepaper, “Security at Scale: Logging in AWS.”
You can perform security analysis and detect user behavior patterns by ingesting AWS CloudTrail events into your log management and analytics solutions.
You can detect data exfiltration by collecting activity data on S3 objects through object-level API events recorded in CloudTrail. After the activity data is collected, you can use other AWS services, such as Amazon CloudWatch Events and AWS Lambda, to trigger response procedures.
Operational issue troubleshooting
You can troubleshoot operational issues by leveraging the AWS API call history produced by AWS CloudTrail. For example, you can quickly identify the most recent changes made to resources in your environment, including creation, modification, and deletion of AWS resources (e.g., Amazon EC2 instances, Amazon VPC security groups, and Amazon EBS volumes).
Unusual activity detection
You can detect unusual activity in your AWS accounts by enabling CloudTrail Insights. For example, you can quickly alert and act on operational issues such as erroneous spikes in resource provisioning or services hitting rate limits.