How to Implement Endpoint Protection in AWS with Amazon Inspector

November 30, 20234 min read

Implementing endpoint protection in AWS with Amazon Inspector involves several key steps. Amazon Inspector is an automated security assessment service that helps improve the security and compliance of applications deployed on AWS. Here’s a detailed guide on how to use Amazon Inspector to implement endpoint protection.


Before you begin, ensure you have the following prerequisites in place:

  • An active AWS account.
  • Necessary permissions to access Amazon Inspector and related services (e.g., IAM roles and policies).
  • Running instances on EC2 or supported container-based services that you wish to assess.

Step 1: Configure IAM Roles and Policies

  • Create an IAM role for Amazon Inspector to access your AWS resources.
  • Ensure the role has the necessary permissions to interact with other AWS services.
  • Attach policies to the role that allows it to describe EC2 instances, tags, and other necessary metadata.

Step 2: Set up Amazon Inspector

  • Login to AWS Management Console.
  • Navigate to the Amazon Inspector service.

Setting up Assessment Targets:

  • Define the assessment target:
    • Select the EC2 instances or container images you want to inspect.
    • Group resources using tags for ease of management and identification.
  • Set up Resource Groups: (optional)
    • Create Resource Groups to manage and categorize your assessment targets efficiently.

Step 3: Create Assessment Templates

  • Configure the assessment template:
    • Choose the rule packages applicable for your requirements, such as the following:
      • Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures
      • Center for Internet Security (CIS) Benchmarks
      • AWS Security Best Practices
    • Define the duration for the assessment run.
    • Specify the data collection settings as required.

Step 4: Run the Assessment

  • Once the assessment template is configured:
    • Start an assessment run from within the Amazon Inspector console.
    • Monitor the progress of the inspector agents, as they collect data and assess your EC2 instances or container images.

Step 5: Analyze Findings

  • When an assessment run is complete:
    • Review the generated findings in the AWS Management Console.
    • Analyze the severity ratings, and understand the potential vulnerabilities and their impact.
    • Filter and categorize findings for easier prioritization.

Step 6: Take Action on Findings

  • Address critical findings by following best practices:
    • Patch known vulnerabilities or apply updates as necessary.
    • Harden configurations to align with recommended benchmarks.
    • Automate responses where possible using AWS Lambda functions triggered by Amazon CloudWatch Events corresponding to Inspector findings.

Step 7: Automate Continuous Monitoring

  • Set up a scheduled assessment run to periodically evaluate your environment.
  • Implement Amazon Inspector’s API into your CI/CD pipelines for automatic security assessments.
  • Leverage AWS services like CloudWatch Events to trigger automated workflows in response to new findings.

Step 8: Monitor and Report

  • Integrate with Amazon CloudWatch for real-time monitoring of assessments and findings.
  • Configure SNS notifications to be alerted of new findings.
  • Use AWS Security Hub for a comprehensive view and to aggregate findings from Amazon Inspector with other security tools.

Step 9: Stay Compliant

  • Regularly update your rule sets to meet compliance requirements.
  • Utilize AWS Quick Start compliance blueprints if available for your industry.
  • Regularly review access controls and IAM policies to ensure they enforce least privilege access.

Step 10: Optimize and Review

  • Regularly review the effectiveness of your endpoint protection measures.
  • Analyze cost and usage to optimize the assessment frequency and resource coverage.
  • Stay informed about new Amazon Inspector features and best practices to continually enhance your security posture.

By following these steps, you can set up a robust endpoint protection strategy using Amazon Inspector in your AWS environment. Always keep in mind that endpoint protection is an ongoing process that requires continuous attention and updates to remain effective against evolving threats.