AWS Inspector: A Quick Security Guide

Security is crucial when using cloud-based applications. Cloud security involves using tools, regulations, and services that safeguard the infrastructure, applications, and stored data in the cloud from online attacks. Amazon Inspector is an automated security assessment service that checks apps for exposure, vulnerabilities, and breaks from recommended practices. Using Amazon Web Services enhances the security of apps running on it.

What is an Amazon Inspector?

Amazon Inspector is a security assessment service that automates testing the network accessibility of EC2 instances. It helps you identify vulnerabilities within your EC2 instances and applications and allows you to make security testing a regular occurrence in development and IT operations.

Amazon Inspector generates a clear list of security and compliance findings and assigns them a priority based on their severity level. You can analyze these findings directly or as part of comprehensive assessment records available via the API or AWS Inspector console. AWS Inspector security assessments help you to check for unintended network accessibility of EC2 instances and vulnerabilities in those instances.

Advantages and Capabilities of AWS Inspector

Amazon Inspector is an automated and managed security service offered by AWS that ensures the safety and reliability of our services and applications.

Most large AWS clients have multiple accounts, and the compute workload is spread across various areas and accounts. Amazon inspector secures EC2 and monitors vulnerabilities in all accounts

AWS Inspector is a valuable security service that can automatically fix issues in AWS cloud applications without requiring human interaction.

Amazon Inspector can always identify security vulnerabilities and deviations from best practices in applications, and you do not have to manually schedule or configure assessment scans. This is extremely useful for customers who operate large fleets of EC2s in various AWS regions.

AWS Inspector automatically assigns a risk score to your workload based on the latest vulnerability announcements in the National Vulnerability Database (NVD). However, it knows your environment and usage patterns, so it can adjust the score per your environment so you can accurately assess risks from newly discovered vulnerabilities. This dramatically simplifies the plans to address newly discovered vulnerabilities.

AWS Inspector is a service that analyzes network configurations in your AWS account. It is an API-bound service that can be used to perform security assessments during the deployment process. In addition, it provides an optional agent that gives visibility into EC2 instances. The agent can be easily integrated into your existing DevOps process, making it simple to build Inspector assessments. This empowers development and operations teams to make security assessments essential to deployment.

Pricing

Amazon Inspector Classic charges for assessments that include network reachability rules per instance. Each assessment performed on a single instance is considered an instance assessment. For example, assessing ten cases will result in ten instance assessments. The starting price of an instance assessment is $0.15 per month; buy bulk reductions are available, lowering the price to $0.04 per instance assessment per month.

The Host Assessment Rules Packages provided by Amazon Inspector Classic require an agent to be installed on the Amazon EC2 Instances to assess the applications. These assessments are charged per agent per month, also known as “agent assessments.” For instance, if you run an evaluation against ten agents, ten agent assessments will be performed. With volume reductions, the pricing can be as low as $0.05 per agent assessment per month, starting from the original price of $0.30.

How Amazon Inspector Works?

Amazon Inspector is an AWS service that automatically assesses your environment and generates a report of its findings. To use this service, you need to define the collection of AWS and all the resources that make up the application you want to test. After that, you can add and perform security practices. Additionally, you can set the assessment duration to 15 minutes, 12 hours, or one day. The report generated will contain steps to keep your environment safe.

An Inspector Agent runs on the EC2 machines hosting the application and monitors the network, file system, and process activity. After collecting all the required data, it compares it with the built-in security rules to identify security or compliance issues.

Enhancements during AWS re: Invent 2023

  • Amazon EC2 is now available for preview in three commercial regions: the US East (N. Virginia), the US West (Oregon), and Europe (Ireland), as of the end of November 2023.
  • Amazon Inspector can now scan AWS Lambda functions for multiple vulnerabilities and provides in-context code patches for detected security issues using generative AI and automated reasoning. This feature extends Amazon Inspector’s capabilities to assess custom proprietary Lambda code for security issues based on AWS security best practices.
  • Amazon Inspector has recently added the functionality to integrate with Jenkins and TeamCity, allowing developers to test their container images for vulnerabilities within their CI/CD tools. The assessment findings are displayed on the dashboard for faster action, such as blocking builds or image pushes to registries.
  • Amazon Inspector now supports CIS Benchmark assessments for operating systems in Amazon EC2 instances. CIS Security Benchmarks provide industry best practices to help organizations improve security.

Conclusion

Amazon Inspector is a valuable tool for securing applications on AWS. It helps users identify and remediate security vulnerabilities. Users can easily integrate security assessments into their workflows with its cloud-based approach. If your organization requires AWS Security or inspector assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact HighPlains Computing.

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