Configuration history of AWS resources
AWS Config records details of changes to your AWS resources to provide you with a configuration history. You can use the AWS Management Console, API, or CLI to obtain details of what a resource’s configuration looked like at any point in the past. AWS Config will also automatically deliver a configuration history file to the Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) bucket you specify.
Configuration history of software
AWS Config helps you record software configuration changes within your Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances and servers running on-premises, as well as servers and virtual machines in environments provided by other cloud providers. With AWS Config, you gain visibility into operating system (OS) configurations, system-level updates, installed applications, network configuration and more. AWS Config also provides a history of OS and system-level configuration changes alongside infrastructure configuration changes recorded for Amazon EC2 instances.
Resource relationships tracking
AWS Config discovers, maps, and tracks AWS resource relationships in your account. For example, if a new EC2 security group is associated with an EC2 instance, AWS Config records the updated configurations of both the EC2 security group and the EC2 instance.
Configurable and customizable rules
AWS Config provides you with pre-built rules evaluating the configurations of your cloud resources, as well as software within managed instances, including EC2 instances and servers running on-premises, before and after provisioning. You can customize pre-built rules to evaluate your AWS resource configurations and configuration changes, or create your own custom rules on AWS Lambda that define your internal best practices and guidelines for resource configurations. Using AWS Config, you can assess your resource configurations and resource changes for compliance against the built-in or custom rules.
Conformance packs help you manage compliance of your AWS resource configuration at scale (from policy definition to auditing and aggregated reporting) using a common framework and packaging model. Conformance packs are integrated with AWS Organizations. Using conformance packs as your compliance framework, you can package a collection of AWS Config rules and remediation actions into a single entity (known as a conformance pack) and deploy it across an entire organization. This is useful if you must quickly establish a common baseline for resource configuration policies and best practices across multiple accounts in your organization in a scalable and efficient way.
Conformance packs also provide compliance scores. A compliance score is a percentage-based score that helps you quickly discern the level to which your resources are compliant for a set of requirements that are captured within the scope of a conformance pack. A compliance score is calculated based on the number of rule-to-resource combinations that are compliant within the scope of a conformance pack. For example, a conformance pack with five rules applying to five resources has 25 possible rule-resource combinations. If two resources are not compliant with two rules, then the compliance score would be 84%, indicating that 21 out of 25 rule-resource combinations are currently in compliance. Also, compliance scores are emitted to Amazon CloudWatch metrics, which create tracking over time. Compliance scores offer a consistent measurement to track remediation progress, perform comparisons across different sets of requirements, and show the impact that a specific change or deployment has on your compliance posture.
Multi-account, multi-Region data aggregation
Multi-account, multi-Region data aggregation is a capability on AWS Config that enables centralized auditing and governance. It gives you an enterprise-wide view of your AWS Config rule compliance status, and you can associate your AWS Organization to quickly add your accounts. The aggregated dashboard on AWS Config will display the total count of non-compliant rules across your Organization, the top five non-compliant rules by number of resources, and the top five AWS accounts that have the highest number of non-compliant rules. You can then drill down to view details about the resources that are violating the rule and the list of rules that are being violated by an account.
AWS Config supports extensibility by helping you publish the configuration of third-party resources into AWS Config using our public API operations. Examples of third-party resources include version control systems such as GitHub, Microsoft Active Directory resources, or any on-premises server. AWS Config helps you view and monitor the resource inventory and configuration history of these third-party resources using the AWS Config console and API operations, like you do for AWS resources. You can also create AWS Config rules or conformance packs to evaluate these third-party resources against best practices, internal policies, and regulatory policies.
AWS Config can provide you with a configuration snapshot, which is a point-in-time capture of all your resources and their configurations. Configuration snapshots are generated on demand by using the AWS CLI or API and delivered to the Amazon S3 bucket that you specify.
Cloud governance dashboard
AWS Config provides you a visual dashboard to help you quickly spot non-compliant resources and take appropriate action. IT administrators, security experts, and compliance officers can see a shared view of your AWS resources’ compliance posture.
You can choose from numerous AWS Partner Network (APN) partners who provide solutions that integrate with AWS Config for resource discovery, change management, compliance, or security. Learn more about AWS Config APN Partners here.
You can use AWS Organizations to define the accounts to use for AWS Config’s multi-account, multi-Region data aggregation capability. AWS Organizations is an account management service that helps you consolidate multiple AWS accounts into an organization that you create and centrally manage. By providing your AWS Organizations details, you can monitor the compliance status across your organization.
AWS Config integrates with AWS CloudTrail to correlate configuration changes to particular events in your account. You can use the CloudTrail logs to obtain the details of the event that invoked the change, including who made the request, at what time, and from which IP address. You can navigate to the AWS Config timeline from the CloudTrail console to view the configuration changes related to your AWS API activities. To learn more about this feature, read our documentation here.
Connect with ITSM / ITOM Software
IT Service Management (ITSM) tools, such as Jira Service Desk, can connect with AWS Config to make it easier for ITSM users to request and manage AWS services and resources. The AWS Service Management Connector for Jira Service Desk provides Jira Service Desk administrators governance and oversight over their AWS products.
AWS Security Hub
AWS Security Hub centralizes security checks from other AWS services, including AWS Config rules. Security Hub enables and controls AWS Config rules to verify your resource configurations are aligned to best practices. Enable AWS Config on all accounts in all Regions where Security Hub is to run security checks on your environment’s resources.
AWS Audit Manager
Audit Manager helps you continuously audit your AWS usage to simplify how you assess risk and compliance with regulations and industry. Audit Manager automates evidence collection, so you can configure a control data source, such as AWS Config, to collect automated evidence.
AWS Systems Manager
AWS Config integrates with Systems Manager to record configuration changes to software on your EC2 instances and servers in your on-premises environment. With this integration, you can gain visibility into operating system (OS) configurations, system-level updates, installed applications, network configuration, and more. AWS Config also provides a history of OS and system-level configuration changes alongside infrastructure configuration changes recorded for EC2 instances. You can navigate to the AWS Config timeline from the Systems Manager console to view the configuration changes of your managed EC2 instances. You can use AWS Config to view Systems Manager inventory history and track changes for all your managed instances.
AWS Firewall Manager
To use Firewall Manager, you must enable AWS Config for each of your AWS Organizations member accounts. When new applications are created, Firewall Manager is the single service to build firewall rules, create security policies, and enforce them consistently.
Amazon EC2 Dedicated Host
AWS Config integrates with EC2 Dedicated Hosts to assess license compliance. AWS Config records when instances are launched, stopped, or shut down on a Dedicated Host, and pairs this information with host and instance level information relevant to software licensing, such as Host ID, Amazon Machine Image (AMI) IDs, number of sockets, and physical cores. This helps you use AWS Config as a data source for your license reporting. You can navigate to the AWS Config timeline from the EC2 Dedicated Hosts console to view the configuration changes of your EC2 Dedicated Hosts.
Application Load Balancers
AWS Config integrates with the Elastic Load Balancing (ELB) service to record configuration changes to Application Load Balancers. AWS Config also includes relationships with associated EC2 security groups, VPCs, and subnets. You can use this information for security analysis and troubleshooting. For example, you can check which security groups are associated with your Application Load Balancer at any point in time. You can navigate to the AWS Config timeline from the ELB console to view the configuration changes of your Application Load Balancers.