AWS Intrusion Detection & Prevention System IDS/IPS
An Intrusion Prevention System IPS
is an appliance that monitors and analyzes network traffic to detect malicious patterns and potentially harmful packets and prevent vulnerability exploits
Most IPS offer firewall, unified threat management and routing capabilities
An Intrusion Detection System IDS is
an appliance or capability that continuously monitors the environment
sends alerts when it detects malicious activity, policy violations or network & system attack from someone attempting to break into or compromise the system
produces reports for analysis.
Approaches for AWS IDS/IPS
Network Tap or SPAN
Traditional approach involves using a network Test Access Point (TAP) or Switch Port Analyzer (SPAN) to access & monitor all network traffic
Connection between the AWS Internet Gateway (IGW) and the Elastic Load Balancer would be an ideal place to capture all network traffic
However, there is no place to plug this in between IGW and ELB as there are no SPAN ports, network taps, or a concept of Layer 2 bridging
It is not possible for a virtual instance running in promiscuous mode to receive or sniff traffic that is intended for a different virtual instance.
While interfaces can be placed into promiscuous mode, the hypervisor will not deliver any traffic to an instance that is not addressed to it.
Even two virtual instances that are owned by the same customer located on the same physical host cannot listen to each other’s traffic
Host Based Firewall – Forward Deployed IDS
Deploy a network-based IDS on every instance you deploy IDS workload scales with your infrastructure
Host-based security software works well with highly distributed and scalable application architectures because network packet inspection is distributed across the entire software fleet
However, CPU-intensive process is deployed onto every single machine.
Host Based Firewall – Traffic Replication
An Agent is deployed on every instance to capture & replicate traffic for centralized analysis
Actual workload of network traffic analysis is not performed on the instance but on a separate server
Traffic capture and replication is still CPU-intensive (particularly on Windows machines.)
It significantly increases the internal network traffic in the environment as every inbound packet is duplicated in the transfer from the instance that captures the traffic to the instance that analyzes the traffic
In-Line Firewall – Inbound IDS Tier
Add another tier to the application architecture where a load balancer sends all inbound traffic to a tier of instances that performs the network analysis for e.g. Third Party Solution Fortinet FortiGate
IDS workload is now isolated to a horizontally scalable tier in your architecture You have to maintain and manage another mission-critical elastic tier in your architecture
AWS Certification Exam Practice Questions
Questions are collected from Internet and the answers are marked as per my knowledge and understanding (which might differ with yours).
AWS services are updated everyday and both the answers and questions might be outdated soon, so research accordingly.
AWS exam questions are not updated to keep up the pace with AWS updates, so even if the underlying feature has changed the question might not be updated
Open to further feedback, discussion and correction.
A web company is looking to implement an intrusion detection and prevention system into their deployed VPC. This platform should have the ability to scale to thousands of instances running inside of the VPC. How should they architect their solution to achieve these goals?
Configure an instance with monitoring software and the elastic network interface (ENI) set to promiscuous mode packet sniffing to see an traffic across the VPC. (virtual instance running in promiscuous mode to receive or“sniff” traffic)
Create a second VPC and route all traffic from the primary application VPC through the second VPC where the scalable virtualized IDS/IPS platform resides.
Configure servers running in the VPC using the host-based ‘route’ commands to send all traffic through the platform to a scalable virtualized IDS/IPS (host based routing is not allowed)
Configure each host with an agent that collects all network traffic and sends that traffic to the IDS/IPS platform for inspection.
You are designing an intrusion detection prevention (IDS/IPS) solution for a customer web application in a single VPC. You are considering the options for implementing IDS/IPS protection for traffic coming from the Internet. Which of the following options would you consider? (Choose 2 answers)
Implement IDS/IPS agents on each Instance running In VPC
Configure an instance in each subnet to switch its network interface card to promiscuous mode and analyze network traffic. (virtual instance running in promiscuous mode to receive or“sniff” traffic)
Implement Elastic Load Balancing with SSL listeners In front of the web applications (ELS with SSL does not serve as IDS/IPS)
Implement a reverse proxy layer in front of web servers and configure IDS/IPS agents on each reverse proxy server