Tag Archives: Amazon VPC lattice

AWS Weekly Roundup – Application Load Balancer IPv6, Amazon S3 pricing update, Amazon EC2 Flex instances, and more (May 20, 2024)

Post Syndicated from Sébastien Stormacq original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/aws-weekly-roundup-application-load-balancer-ipv6-amazon-s3-pricing-update-amazon-ec2-flex-instances-and-more-may-20-2024/

AWS Summit season is in full swing around the world, with last week’s events in Bengaluru, Berlin, and  Seoul, where my blog colleague Channy delivered one of the keynotes.

AWS Summit Seoul Keynote

Last week’s launches
Here are some launches that got my attention:

Amazon S3 will no longer charge for several HTTP error codesA customer reported how he was charged for Amazon S3 API requests he didn’t initiate and which resulted in AccessDenied errors. The Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) service team updated the service to not charge such API requests anymore. As always when talking about pricing, the exact wording is important, so please read the What’s New post for the details.

Introducing Amazon EC2 C7i-flex instances – These instances delivers up to 19 percent better price performance compared to C6i instances. Using C7i-flex instances is the easiest way for you to get price performance benefits for a majority of compute-intensive workloads. The new instances are powered by the 4th generation Intel Xeon Scalable custom processors (Sapphire Rapids) that are available only on AWS and offer 5 percent lower prices compared to C7i.

Application Load Balancer launches IPv6 only support for internet clientsApplication Load Balancer now allows customers to provision load balancers without IPv4s for clients that can connect using just IPv6s. To connect, clients can resolve AAAA DNS records that are assigned to Application Load Balancer. The Application Load Balancer is still dual stack for communication between the load balancer and targets. With this new capability, you have the flexibility to use both IPv4s or IPv6s for your application targets while avoiding IPv4 charges for clients that don’t require it.

Amazon VPC Lattice now supports TLS Passthrough – We announced the general availability of TLS passthrough for Amazon VPC Lattice, which allows customers to enable end-to-end authentication and encryption using their existing TLS or mTLS implementations. Prior to this launch, VPC Lattice supported HTTP and HTTPS listener protocols only, which terminates TLS and performs request-level routing and load balancing based on information in HTTP headers.

Amazon DocumentDB zero-ETL integration with Amazon OpenSearch Service – This new integration provides you with advanced search capabilities, such as fuzzy search, cross-collection search and multilingual search, on your Amazon DocumentDB (with MongoDB compatibility) documents using the OpenSearch API. With a few clicks in the AWS Management Console, you can now synchronize your data from Amazon DocumentDB to Amazon OpenSearch Service, eliminating the need to write any custom code to extract, transform, and load the data.

Amazon EventBridge now supports customer managed keys (CMK) for event buses – This capability allows you to encrypt your events using your own keys instead of an AWS owned key (which is used by default). With support for CMK, you now have more fine-grained security control over your events, satisfying your company’s security requirements and governance policies.

For a full list of AWS announcements, be sure to keep an eye on the What’s New at AWS page.

Other AWS news
Here are some additional news items, open source projects, and Twitch shows that you might find interesting:

The Four Pillars of Managing Email Reputation – Dustin Taylor is the manager of anti-abuse and email deliverability for Amazon Simple Email Service (SES). He wrote a remarkable post exploring Amazon SES approach to managing domain and IP reputation. Maintaining a high reputation ensures optimal recipient inboxing. His post outlines how Amazon SES protects its network reputation to help you deliver high-quality email consistently. A worthy read, even if you’re not sending email at scale. I learned a lot.

AWS Build On Generative AIBuild On Generative AI – Season 3 of your favorite weekly Twitch show about all things generative artificial intelligence (AI) is in full swing! Streaming every Monday, 9:00 AM US PT, my colleagues Tiffany and Darko discuss different aspects of generative AI and invite guest speakers to demo their work.

AWS open source news and updates – My colleague Ricardo writes this weekly open source newsletter, in which he highlights new open source projects, tools, and demos from the AWS Community.

Upcoming AWS events

AWS Summits – Join free online and in-person events that bring the cloud computing community together to connect, collaborate, and learn about AWS. Register in your nearest city: Hong Kong (May 22), Milan (May 23), Stockholm (June 4), and Madrid (June 5).

AWS re:Inforce – Explore 2.5 days of immersive cloud security learning in the age of generative AI at AWS re:Inforce, June 10–12 in Pennsylvania.

AWS Community Days – Join community-led conferences that feature technical discussions, workshops, and hands-on labs led by expert AWS users and industry leaders from around the world: Midwest | Columbus (June 13), Sri Lanka (June 27), Cameroon (July 13), Nigeria (August 24), and New York (August 28).

Browse all upcoming AWS led in-person and virtual events and developer-focused events.

That’s all for this week. Check back next Monday for another Weekly Roundup!

— seb

This post is part of our Weekly Roundup series. Check back each week for a quick roundup of interesting news and announcements from AWS!

Modern web application authentication and authorization with Amazon VPC Lattice

Post Syndicated from Nigel Brittain original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/security/modern-web-application-authentication-and-authorization-with-amazon-vpc-lattice/

When building API-based web applications in the cloud, there are two main types of communication flow in which identity is an integral consideration:

  • User-to-Service communication: Authenticate and authorize users to communicate with application services and APIs
  • Service-to-Service communication: Authenticate and authorize application services to talk to each other

To design an authentication and authorization solution for these flows, you need to add an extra dimension to each flow:

  • Authentication: What identity you will use and how it’s verified
  • Authorization: How to determine which identity can perform which task

In each flow, a user or a service must present some kind of credential to the application service so that it can determine whether the flow should be permitted. The credentials are often accompanied with other metadata that can then be used to make further access control decisions.

In this blog post, I show you two ways that you can use Amazon VPC Lattice to implement both communication flows. I also show you how to build a simple and clean architecture for securing your web applications with scalable authentication, providing authentication metadata to make coarse-grained access control decisions.

The example solution is based around a standard API-based application with multiple API components serving HTTP data over TLS. With this solution, I show that VPC Lattice can be used to deliver authentication and authorization features to an application without requiring application builders to create this logic themselves. In this solution, the example application doesn’t implement its own authentication or authorization, so you will use VPC Lattice and some additional proxying with Envoy, an open source, high performance, and highly configurable proxy product, to provide these features with minimal application change. The solution uses Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS) as a container environment to run the API endpoints and OAuth proxy, however Amazon ECS and containers aren’t a prerequisite for VPC Lattice integration.

If your application already has client authentication, such as a web application using OpenID Connect (OIDC), you can still use the sample code to see how implementation of secure service-to-service flows can be implemented with VPC Lattice.

VPC Lattice configuration

VPC Lattice is an application networking service that connects, monitors, and secures communications between your services, helping to improve productivity so that your developers can focus on building features that matter to your business. You can define policies for network traffic management, access, and monitoring to connect compute services in a simplified and consistent way across instances, containers, and serverless applications.

For a web application, particularly those that are API based and comprised of multiple components, VPC Lattice is a great fit. With VPC Lattice, you can use native AWS identity features for credential distribution and access control, without the operational overhead that many application security solutions require.

This solution uses a single VPC Lattice service network, with each of the application components represented as individual services. VPC Lattice auth policies are AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) policy documents that you attach to service networks or services to control whether a specified principal has access to a group of services or specific service. In this solution we use an auth policy on the service network, as well as more granular policies on the services themselves.

User-to-service communication flow

For this example, the web application is constructed from multiple API endpoints. These are typical REST APIs, which provide API connectivity to various application components.

The most common method for securing REST APIs is by using OAuth2. OAuth2 allows a client (on behalf of a user) to interact with an authorization server and retrieve an access token. The access token is intended to be presented to a REST API and contains enough information to determine that the user identified in the access token has given their consent for the REST API to operate on their data on their behalf.

Access tokens use OAuth2 scopes to indicate user consent. Defining how OAuth2 scopes work is outside the scope of this post. You can learn about scopes in Permissions, Privileges, and Scopes in the AuthO blog.

VPC Lattice doesn’t support OAuth2 client or inspection functionality, however it can verify HTTP header contents. This means you can use header matching within a VPC Lattice service policy to grant access to a VPC Lattice service only if the correct header is included. By generating the header based on validation occurring prior to entering the service network, we can use context about the user at the service network or service to make access control decisions.

Figure 1: User-to-service flow

Figure 1: User-to-service flow

The solution uses Envoy, to terminate the HTTP request from an OAuth 2.0 client. This is shown in Figure 1: User-to-service flow.

Envoy (shown as (1) in Figure 2) can validate access tokens (presented as a JSON Web Token (JWT) embedded in an Authorization: Bearer header). If the access token can be validated, then the scopes from this token are unpacked (2) and placed into X-JWT-Scope-<scopename> headers, using a simple inline Lua script. The Envoy documentation provides examples of how to use inline Lua in Envoy. Figure 2 – JWT Scope to HTTP shows how this process works at a high level.

Figure 2: JWT Scope to HTTP headers

Figure 2: JWT Scope to HTTP headers

Following this, Envoy uses Signature Version 4 (SigV4) to sign the request (3) and pass it to the VPC Lattice service. SigV4 signing is a native Envoy capability, but it requires the underlying compute that Envoy is running on to have access to AWS credentials. When you use AWS compute, assigning a role to that compute verifies that the instance can provide credentials to processes running on that compute, in this case Envoy.

By adding an authorization policy that permits access only from Envoy (through validating the Envoy SigV4 signature) and only with the correct scopes provided in HTTP headers, you can effectively lock down a VPC Lattice service to specific verified users coming from Envoy who are presenting specific OAuth2 scopes in their bearer token.

To answer the original question of where the identity comes from, the identity is provided by the user when communicating with their identity provider (IdP). In addition to this, Envoy is presenting its own identity from its underlying compute to enter the VPC Lattice service network. From a configuration perspective this means your user-to-service communication flow doesn’t require understanding of the user, or the storage of user or machine credentials.

The sample code provided shows a full Envoy configuration for VPC Lattice, including SigV4 signing, access token validation, and extraction of JWT contents to headers. This reference architecture supports various clients including server-side web applications, thick Java clients, and even command line interface-based clients calling the APIs directly. I don’t cover OAuth clients in detail in this post, however the optional sample code allows you to use an OAuth client and flow to talk to the APIs through Envoy.

Service-to-service communication flow

In the service-to-service flow, you need a way to provide AWS credentials to your applications and configure them to use SigV4 to sign their HTTP requests to the destination VPC Lattice services. Your application components can have their own identities (IAM roles), which allows you to uniquely identify application components and make access control decisions based on the particular flow required. For example, application component 1 might need to communicate with application component 2, but not application component 3.

If you have full control of your application code and have a clean method for locating the destination services, then this might be something you can implement directly in your server code. This is the configuration that’s implemented in the AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK) solution that accompanies this blog post, the app1, app2, and app3 web servers are capable of making SigV4 signed requests to the VPC Lattice services they need to communicate with. The sample code demonstrates how to perform VPC Lattice SigV4 requests in node.js using the aws-crt node bindings. Figure 3 depicts the use of SigV4 authentication between services and VPC Lattice.

Figure 3: Service-to-service flow

Figure 3: Service-to-service flow

To answer the question of where the identity comes from in this flow, you use the native SigV4 signing support from VPC Lattice to validate the application identity. The credentials come from AWS STS, again through the native underlying compute environment. Providing credentials transparently to your applications is one of the biggest advantages of the VPC Lattice solution when comparing this to other types of application security solutions such as service meshes. This implementation requires no provisioning of credentials, no management of identity stores, and automatically rotates credentials as required. This means low overhead to deploy and maintain the security of this solution and benefits from the reliability and scalability of IAM and the AWS Security Token Service (AWS STS) — a very slick solution to securing service-to-service communication flows!

VPC Lattice policy configuration

VPC Lattice provides two levels of auth policy configuration — at the VPC Lattice service network and on individual VPC Lattice services. This allows your cloud operations and development teams to work independently of each other by removing the dependency on a single team to implement access controls. This model enables both agility and separation of duties. More information about VPC Lattice policy configuration can be found in Control access to services using auth policies.

Service network auth policy

This design uses a service network auth policy that permits access to the service network by specific IAM principals. This can be used as a guardrail to provide overall access control over the service network and underlying services. Removal of an individual service auth policy will still enforce the service network policy first, so you can have confidence that you can identify sources of network traffic into the service network and block traffic that doesn’t come from a previously defined AWS principal.

    "Version": "2012-10-17",
    "Statement": [
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Principal": {
                "AWS": [
                    "arn:aws:iam::111122223333:role/ app2TaskRole",
                    "arn:aws:iam::111122223333:role/ app3TaskRole",
                    "arn:aws:iam::111122223333:role/ EnvoyFrontendTaskRole",
            "Action": "vpc-lattice-svcs:Invoke",
            "Resource": "*"

The preceding auth policy example grants permissions to any authenticated request that uses one of the IAM roles app1TaskRole, app2TaskRole, app3TaskRole or EnvoyFrontendTaskRole to make requests to the services attached to the service network. You will see in the next section how service auth policies can be used in conjunction with service network auth policies.

Service auth policies

Individual VPC Lattice services can have their own policies defined and implemented independently of the service network policy. This design uses a service policy to demonstrate both user-to-service and service-to-service access control.

    "Version": "2008-10-17",
    "Statement": [
            "Sid": "UserToService",
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Principal": {
                "AWS": [
                    "arn:aws:iam::111122223333:role/ EnvoyFrontendTaskRole",
            "Action": "vpc-lattice-svcs:Invoke",
            "Resource": "arn:aws:vpc-lattice:ap-southeast-2:111122223333:service/svc-123456789/*",
            "Condition": {
                "StringEquals": {
                    "vpc-lattice-svcs:RequestHeader/x-jwt-scope-test.all": "true"
            "Sid": "ServiceToService",
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Principal": {
                "AWS": [
                    "arn:aws:iam::111122223333:role/ app2TaskRole"
            "Action": "vpc-lattice-svcs:Invoke",
            "Resource": "arn:aws:vpc-lattice:ap-southeast-2:111122223333:service/svc-123456789/*"

The preceding auth policy is an example that could be attached to the app1 VPC Lattice service. The policy contains two statements:

  • The first (labelled “Sid”: “UserToService”) provides user-to-service authorization and requires requiring the caller principal to be EnvoyFrontendTaskRole and the request headers to contain the header x-jwt-scope-test.all: true when calling the app1 VPC Lattice service.
  • The second (labelled “Sid”: “ServiceToService”) provides service-to-service authorization and requires the caller principal to be app2TaskRole when calling the app1 VPC Lattice service.

As with a standard IAM policy, there is an implicit deny, meaning no other principals will be permitted access.

The caller principals are identified by VPC Lattice through the SigV4 signing process. This means by using the identities provisioned to the underlying compute the network flow can be associated with a service identity, which can then be authorized by VPC Lattice service access policies.

Distributed development

This model of access control supports a distributed development and operational model. Because the service network auth policy is decoupled from the service auth policies, the service auth policies can be iterated upon by a development team without impacting the overall policy controls set by an operations team for the entire service network.

Solution overview

I’ve provided an aws-samples AWS CDK solution that you can deploy to implement the preceding design.

Figure 4: CDK deployable solution

Figure 4: CDK deployable solution

The AWS CDK solution deploys four Amazon ECS services, one for the frontend Envoy server for the client-to-service flow, and the remaining three for the backend application components. Figure 4 shows the solution when deployed with the internal domain parameter application.internal.

Backend application components are a simple node.js express server, which will print the contents of your request in JSON format and perform service-to-service calls.

A number of other infrastructure components are deployed to support the solution:

  • A VPC with associated subnets, NAT gateways and an internet gateway. Internet access is required for the solution to retrieve JSON Web Key Set (JWKS) details from your OAuth provider.
  • An Amazon Route53 hosted zone for handling traffic routing to the configured domain and VPC Lattice services.
  • An Amazon ECS cluster (two container hosts by default) to run the ECS tasks.
  • Four Application Load Balancers, one for frontend Envoy routing and one for each application component.
    • All application load balancers are internally facing.
    • Application component load balancers are configured to only accept traffic from the VPC Lattice managed prefix List.
    • The frontend Envoy load balancer is configured to accept traffic from any host.
  • Three VPC Lattice services and one VPC Lattice network.

The code for Envoy and the application components can be found in the lattice_soln/containers directory.

AWS CDK code for all other deployable infrastructure can be found in lattice_soln/lattice_soln_stack.py.


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

  • An AWS account to deploy solution resources into. AWS credentials should be available to the AWS CDK in the environment or configuration files for the CDK deploy to function.
  • Python 3.9.6 or higher
  • Docker or Finch for building containers. If using Finch, ensure the Finch executable is in your path and instruct the CDK to use it with the command export CDK_DOCKER=finch
  • Enable elastic network interface (ENI) trunking in your account to allow more containers to run in VPC networking mode:
    aws ecs put-account-setting-default \
          --name awsvpcTrunking \
          --value enabled

[Optional] OAuth provider configuration

This solution has been tested using Okta, however any OAuth compatible provider will work if it can issue access tokens and you can retrieve them from the command line.

The following instructions describe the configuration process for Okta using the Okta web UI. This allows you to use the device code flow to retrieve access tokens, which can then be validated by the Envoy frontend deployment.

Create a new app integration

  1. In the Okta web UI, select Applications and then choose Create App Integration.
  2. For Sign-in method, select OpenID Connect.
  3. For Application type, select Native Application.
  4. For Grant Type, select both Refresh Token and Device Authorization.
  5. Note the client ID for use in the device code flow.

Create a new API integration

  1. Still in the Okta web UI, select Security, and then choose API.
  2. Choose Add authorization server.
  3. Enter a name and audience. Note the audience for use during CDK installation, then choose Save.
  4. Select the authorization server you just created. Choose the Metadata URI link to open the metadata contents in a new tab or browser window. Note the jwks_uri and issuer fields for use during CDK installation.
  5. Return to the Okta web UI, select Scopes and then Add scope.
  6. For the scope name, enter test.all. Use the scope name for the display phrase and description. Leave User consent as implicit. Choose Save.
  7. Under Access Policies, choose Add New Access Policy.
  8. For Assign to, select The following clients and select the client you created above.
  9. Choose Add rule.
  10. In Rule name, enter a rule name, such as Allow test.all access
  11. Under If Grant Type Is uncheck all but Device Authorization. Under And Scopes Requested choose The following scopes. Select OIDC default scopes to add the default scopes to the scopes box, then also manually add the test.all scope you created above.

During the API Integration step, you should have collected the audience, JWKS URI, and issuer. These fields are used on the command line when installing the CDK project with OAuth support.

You can then use the process described in configure the smart device to retrieve an access token using the device code flow. Make sure you modify scope to include test.allscope=openid profile offline_access test.all — so your token matches the policy deployed by the solution.


You can download the deployable solution from GitHub.

Deploy without OAuth functionality

If you only want to deploy the solution with service-to-service flows, you can deploy with a CDK command similar to the following:

(.venv)$ cdk deploy -c app_domain=<application domain>

Deploy with OAuth functionality

To deploy the solution with OAuth functionality, you must provide the following parameters:

  • jwt_jwks: The URL for retrieving JWKS details from your OAuth provider. This would look something like https://dev-123456.okta.com/oauth2/ausa1234567/v1/keys
  • jwt_issuer: The issuer for your OAuth access tokens. This would look something like https://dev-123456.okta.com/oauth2/ausa1234567
  • jwt_audience: The audience configured for your OAuth protected APIs. This is a text string configured in your OAuth provider.
  • app_domain: The domain to be configured in Route53 for all URLs provided for this application. This domain is local to the VPC created for the solution. For example application.internal.

The solution can be deployed with a CDK command as follows:

$ cdk deploy -c enable_oauth=True -c jwt_jwks=<URL for retrieving JWKS details> \
-c jwt_issuer=<URL of the issuer for your OAuth access tokens> \
-c jwt_audience=<OAuth audience string> \
-c app_domain=<application domain>

Security model

For this solution, network access to the web application is secured through two main controls:

  • Entry into the service network requires SigV4 authentication, enforced by the service network policy. No other mechanisms are provided to allow access to the services, either through their load balancers or directly to the containers.
  • Service policies restrict access to either user- or service-based communication based on the identity of the caller and OAuth subject and scopes.

The Envoy configuration strips any x- headers coming from user clients and replaces them with x-jwt-subject and x-jwt-scope headers based on successful JWT validation. You are then able to match these x-jwt-* headers in VPC Lattice policy conditions.

Solution caveats

This solution implements TLS endpoints on VPC Lattice and Application Load Balancers. The container instances do not implement TLS in order to reduce cost for this example. As such, traffic is in cleartext between the Application Load Balancers and container instances, and can be implemented separately if required.

How to use the solution

Now for the interesting part! As part of solution deployment, you’ve deployed a number of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) hosts to act as the container environment. You can use these hosts to test some of the flows and you can use the AWS Systems Manager connect function from the AWS Management console to access the command line interface on any of the container hosts.

In these examples, I’ve configured the domain during the CDK installation as application.internal, which will be used for communicating with the application as a client. If you change this, adjust your command lines to match.

[Optional] For examples 3 and 4, you need an access token from your OAuth provider. In each of the examples, I’ve embedded the access token in the AT environment variable for brevity.

Example 1: Service-to-service calls (permitted)

For these first two examples, you must sign in to the container host and run a command in your container. This is because the VPC Lattice policies allow traffic from the containers. I’ve assigned IAM task roles to each container, which are used to uniquely identify them to VPC Lattice when making service-to-service calls.

To set up service-to service calls (permitted):

  1. Sign in to the Amazon ECS console. You should see at least three ECS services running.
    Figure 5: Cluster console

    Figure 5: Cluster console

  2. Select the app2 service LatticeSolnStack-app2service…, then select the Tasks tab.
    Under the Container Instances heading select the container instance that’s running the app2 service.
    Figure 6: Container instances

    Figure 6: Container instances

  3. You will see the instance ID listed at the top left of the page.
    Figure 7: Single container instance

    Figure 7: Single container instance

  4. Select the instance ID (this will open a new window) and choose Connect. Select the Session Manager tab and choose Connect again. This will open a shell to your container instance.

The policy statements permit app2 to call app1. By using the path app2/call-to-app1, you can force this call to occur.

Test this with the following commands:

sh-4.2$ sudo bash
# docker ps --filter "label=webserver=app2"
CONTAINER ID   IMAGE                                                                                                                                                                           COMMAND                  CREATED         STATUS         PORTS     NAMES
<containerid>  111122223333.dkr.ecr.ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/cdk-hnb659fds-container-assets-111122223333-ap-southeast-2:5b5d138c3abd6cfc4a90aee4474a03af305e2dae6bbbea70bcc30ffd068b8403   "sh /app/launch_expr…"   9 minutes ago   Up 9minutes             ecs-LatticeSolnStackapp2task4A06C2E4-22-app2-container-b68cb2ffd8e4e0819901
# docker exec -it <containerid> curl localhost:80/app2/call-to-app1

You should see the following output:

sh-4.2$ sudo bash
root@ip-10-0-152-46 bin]# docker ps --filter "label=webserver=app2"
CONTAINER ID   IMAGE                                                                                                                                                                           COMMAND                  CREATED         STATUS         PORTS     NAMES
cd8420221dcb   111122223333.dkr.ecr.ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/cdk-hnb659fds-container-assets-111122223333-ap-southeast-2:5b5d138c3abd6cfc4a90aee4474a03af305e2dae6bbbea70bcc30ffd068b8403   "sh /app/launch_expr…"   9 minutes ago   Up 9minutes             ecs-LatticeSolnStackapp2task4A06C2E4-22-app2-container-b68cb2ffd8e4e0819901
[root@ip-10-0-152-46 bin]# docker exec -it cd8420221dcb curl localhost:80/app2/call-to-app1
  "path": "/",
  "method": "GET",
  "body": "",
  "hostname": "app1.application.internal",
  "ip": "",
  "ips": [
  "protocol": "http",
  "webserver": "app1",
  "query": {},
  "xhr": false,
  "os": {
    "hostname": "ip-10-0-243-145.ap-southeast-2.compute.internal"
  "connection": {},
  "jwt_subject": "** No user identity present **",
  "headers": {
    "x-forwarded-for": ",",
    "x-forwarded-proto": "http",
    "x-forwarded-port": "80",
    "host": "app1.application.internal",
    "x-amzn-trace-id": "Root=1-65499327-274c2d6640d10af4711aab09",
    "x-amzn-lattice-identity": "Principal=arn:aws:sts::111122223333:assumed-role/LatticeSolnStack-app2TaskRoleA1BE533B-3K7AJnCr8kTj/ddaf2e517afb4d818178f9e0fef8f841; SessionName=ddaf2e517afb4d818178f9e0fef8f841; Type=AWS_IAM",
    "x-amzn-lattice-network": "SourceVpcArn=arn:aws:ec2:ap-southeast-2:111122223333:vpc/vpc-01e7a1c93b2ea405d",
    "x-amzn-lattice-target": "ServiceArn=arn:aws:vpc-lattice:ap-southeast-2:111122223333:service/svc-0b4f63f746140f48e; ServiceNetworkArn=arn:aws:vpc-lattice:ap-southeast-2:111122223333:servicenetwork/sn-0ae554a9bc634c4ec; TargetGroupArn=arn:aws:vpc-lattice:ap-southeast-2:111122223333:targetgroup/tg-05644f55316d4869f",
    "x-amzn-source-vpc": "vpc-01e7a1c93b2ea405d"

Example 2: Service-to-service calls (denied)

The policy statements don’t permit app2 to call app3. You can simulate this in the same way and verify that the access isn’t permitted by VPC Lattice.

To set up service-to-service calls (denied)

You can change the curl command from Example 1 to test app2 calling app3.

# docker exec -it cd8420221dcb curl localhost:80/app2/call-to-app3
  "upstreamResponse": "AccessDeniedException: User: arn:aws:sts::111122223333:assumed-role/LatticeSolnStack-app2TaskRoleA1BE533B-3K7AJnCr8kTj/ddaf2e517afb4d818178f9e0fef8f841 is not authorized to perform: vpc-lattice-svcs:Invoke on resource: arn:aws:vpc-lattice:ap-southeast-2:111122223333:service/svc-08873e50553c375cd/ with an explicit deny in a service-based policy"

[Optional] Example 3: OAuth – Invalid access token

If you’ve deployed using OAuth functionality, you can test from the shell in Example 1 that you’re unable to access the frontend Envoy server (application.internal) without a valid access token, and that you’re also unable to access the backend VPC Lattice services (app1.application.internal, app2.application.internal, app3.application.internal) directly.

You can also verify that you cannot bypass the VPC Lattice service and connect to the load balancer or web server container directly.

sh-4.2$ curl -v https://application.internal
Jwt is missing

sh-4.2$ curl https://app1.application.internal
AccessDeniedException: User: anonymous is not authorized to perform: vpc-lattice-svcs:Invoke on resource: arn:aws:vpc-lattice:ap-southeast-2:111122223333:service/svc-03edffc09406f7e58/ because no network-based policy allows the vpc-lattice-svcs:Invoke action

sh-4.2$ curl https://internal-Lattic-app1s-C6ovEZzwdTqb-1882558159.ap-southeast-2.elb.amazonaws.com

sh-4.2$ curl

[Optional] Example 4: Client access

If you’ve deployed using OAuth functionality, you can test from the shell in Example 1 to access the application with a valid access token. A client can reach each application component by using application.internal/<componentname>. For example, application.internal/app2. If no component name is specified, it will default to app1.

sh-4.2$ curl -v https://application.internal/app2 -H "Authorization: Bearer $AT"

  "path": "/app2",
  "method": "GET",
  "body": "",
  "hostname": "app2.applicatino.internal",
  "ip": "",
  "ips": [
  "protocol": "https",
  "webserver": "app2",
  "query": {},
  "xhr": false,
  "os": {
    "hostname": "ip-10-0-151-56.ap-southeast-2.compute.internal"
  "connection": {},
  "jwt_subject": "Call made from user identity [email protected]",
  "headers": {
    "x-forwarded-for": ",",
    "x-forwarded-proto": "https",
    "x-forwarded-port": "443",
    "host": "app2.applicatino.internal",
    "x-amzn-trace-id": "Root=1-65c431b7-1efd8282275397b44ac31d49",
    "user-agent": "curl/8.5.0",
    "accept": "*/*",
    "x-request-id": "7bfa509c-734e-496f-b8d4-df6e08384f2a",
    "x-jwt-subject": "[email protected]",
    "x-jwt-scope-profile": "true",
    "x-jwt-scope-offline_access": "true",
    "x-jwt-scope-openid": "true",
    "x-jwt-scope-test.all": "true",
    "x-envoy-expected-rq-timeout-ms": "15000",
    "x-amzn-lattice-identity": "Principal=arn:aws:sts::111122223333:assumed-role/LatticeSolnStack-EnvoyFrontendTaskRoleA297DB4D-OwD8arbEnYoP/827dc1716e3a49ad8da3fd1dd52af34c; PrincipalOrgID=o-123456; SessionName=827dc1716e3a49ad8da3fd1dd52af34c; Type=AWS_IAM",
    "x-amzn-lattice-network": "SourceVpcArn=arn:aws:ec2:ap-southeast-2:111122223333:vpc/vpc-0be57ee3f411a91c7",
    "x-amzn-lattice-target": "ServiceArn=arn:aws:vpc-lattice:ap-southeast-2:111122223333:service/svc-024e7362a8617145c; ServiceNetworkArn=arn:aws:vpc-lattice:ap-southeast-2:111122223333:servicenetwork/sn-0cbe1c113be4ae54a; TargetGroupArn=arn:aws:vpc-lattice:ap-southeast-2:111122223333:targetgroup/tg-09caa566d66b2a35b",
    "x-amzn-source-vpc": "vpc-0be57ee3f411a91c7"

This will fail when attempting to connect to app3 using Envoy, as we’ve denied user to service calls on the VPC Lattice Service policy

sh-4.2$ https://application.internal/app3 -H "Authorization: Bearer $AT"

AccessDeniedException: User: arn:aws:sts::111122223333:assumed-role/LatticeSolnStack-EnvoyFrontendTaskRoleA297DB4D-OwD8arbEnYoP/827dc1716e3a49ad8da3fd1dd52af34c is not authorized to perform: vpc-lattice-svcs:Invoke on resource: arn:aws:vpc-lattice:ap-southeast-2:111122223333:service/svc-06987d9ab4a1f815f/app3 with an explicit deny in a service-based policy


You’ve seen how you can use VPC Lattice to provide authentication and authorization to both user-to-service and service-to-service flows. I’ve shown you how to implement some novel and reusable solution components:

  • JWT authorization and translation of scopes to headers, integrating an external IdP into your solution for user authentication.
  • SigV4 signing from an Envoy proxy running in a container.
  • Service-to-service flows using SigV4 signing in node.js and container-based credentials.
  • Integration of VPC Lattice with ECS containers, using the CDK.

All of this is created almost entirely with managed AWS services, meaning you can focus more on security policy creation and validation and less on managing components such as service identities, service meshes, and other self-managed infrastructure.

Some ways you can extend upon this solution include:

  • Implementing different service policies taking into consideration different OAuth scopes for your user and client combinations
  • Implementing multiple issuers on Envoy to allow different OAuth providers to use the same infrastructure
  • Deploying the VPC Lattice services and ECS tasks independently of the service network, to allow your builders to manage task deployment themselves

I look forward to hearing about how you use this solution and VPC Lattice to secure your own applications!

Additional references

If you have feedback about this post, submit comments in the Comments section below. If you have questions about this post, contact AWS Support.

Nigel Brittain

Nigel Brittain

Nigel is a Security, Risk, and Compliance consultant for AWS ProServe. He’s an identity nerd who enjoys solving tricky security and identity problems for some of our biggest customers in the Asia Pacific Region. He has two cavoodles, Rocky and Chai, who love to interrupt his work calls, and he also spends his free time carving cool things on his CNC machine.

Three key security themes from AWS re:Invent 2022

Post Syndicated from Anne Grahn original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/security/three-key-security-themes-from-aws-reinvent-2022/

AWS re:Invent returned to Las Vegas, Nevada, November 28 to December 2, 2022. After a virtual event in 2020 and a hybrid 2021 edition, spirits were high as over 51,000 in-person attendees returned to network and learn about the latest AWS innovations.

Now in its 11th year, the conference featured 5 keynotes, 22 leadership sessions, and more than 2,200 breakout sessions and hands-on labs at 6 venues over 5 days.

With well over 100 service and feature announcements—and innumerable best practices shared by AWS executives, customers, and partners—distilling highlights is a challenge. From a security perspective, three key themes emerged.

Turn data into actionable insights

Security teams are always looking for ways to increase visibility into their security posture and uncover patterns to make more informed decisions. However, as AWS Vice President of Data and Machine Learning, Swami Sivasubramanian, pointed out during his keynote, data often exists in silos; it isn’t always easy to analyze or visualize, which can make it hard to identify correlations that spark new ideas.

“Data is the genesis for modern invention.” – Swami Sivasubramanian, AWS VP of Data and Machine Learning

At AWS re:Invent, we launched new features and services that make it simpler for security teams to store and act on data. One such service is Amazon Security Lake, which brings together security data from cloud, on-premises, and custom sources in a purpose-built data lake stored in your account. The service, which is now in preview, automates the sourcing, aggregation, normalization, enrichment, and management of security-related data across an entire organization for more efficient storage and query performance. It empowers you to use the security analytics solutions of your choice, while retaining control and ownership of your security data.

Amazon Security Lake has adopted the Open Cybersecurity Schema Framework (OCSF), which AWS cofounded with a number of organizations in the cybersecurity industry. The OCSF helps standardize and combine security data from a wide range of security products and services, so that it can be shared and ingested by analytics tools. More than 37 AWS security partners have announced integrations with Amazon Security Lake, enhancing its ability to transform security data into a powerful engine that helps drive business decisions and reduce risk. With Amazon Security Lake, analysts and engineers can gain actionable insights from a broad range of security data and improve threat detection, investigation, and incident response processes.

Strengthen security programs

According to Gartner, by 2026, at least 50% of C-Level executives will have performance requirements related to cybersecurity risk built into their employment contracts. Security is top of mind for organizations across the globe, and as AWS CISO CJ Moses emphasized during his leadership session, we are continuously building new capabilities to help our customers meet security, risk, and compliance goals.

In addition to Amazon Security Lake, several new AWS services announced during the conference are designed to make it simpler for builders and security teams to improve their security posture in multiple areas.

Identity and networking

Authorization is a key component of applications. Amazon Verified Permissions is a scalable, fine-grained permissions management and authorization service for custom applications that simplifies policy-based access for developers and centralizes access governance. The new service gives developers a simple-to-use policy and schema management system to define and manage authorization models. The policy-based authorization system that Amazon Verified Permissions offers can shorten development cycles by months, provide a consistent user experience across applications, and facilitate integrated auditing to support stringent compliance and regulatory requirements.

Additional services that make it simpler to define authorization and service communication include Amazon VPC Lattice, an application-layer service that consistently connects, monitors, and secures communications between your services, and AWS Verified Access, which provides secure access to corporate applications without a virtual private network (VPN).

Threat detection and monitoring

Monitoring for malicious activity and anomalous behavior just got simpler. Amazon GuardDuty RDS Protection expands the threat detection capabilities of GuardDuty by using tailored machine learning (ML) models to detect suspicious logins to Amazon Aurora databases. You can enable the feature with a single click in the GuardDuty console, with no agents to manually deploy, no data sources to enable, and no permissions to configure. When RDS Protection detects a potentially suspicious or anomalous login attempt that indicates a threat to your database instance, GuardDuty generates a new finding with details about the potentially compromised database instance. You can view GuardDuty findings in AWS Security Hub, Amazon Detective (if enabled), and Amazon EventBridge, allowing for integration with existing security event management or workflow systems.

To bolster vulnerability management processes, Amazon Inspector now supports AWS Lambda functions, adding automated vulnerability assessments for serverless compute workloads. With this expanded capability, Amazon Inspector automatically discovers eligible Lambda functions and identifies software vulnerabilities in application package dependencies used in the Lambda function code. Actionable security findings are aggregated in the Amazon Inspector console, and pushed to Security Hub and EventBridge to automate workflows.

Data protection and privacy

The first step to protecting data is to find it. Amazon Macie now automatically discovers sensitive data, providing continual, cost-effective, organization-wide visibility into where sensitive data resides across your Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) estate. With this new capability, Macie automatically and intelligently samples and analyzes objects across your S3 buckets, inspecting them for sensitive data such as personally identifiable information (PII), financial data, and AWS credentials. Macie then builds and maintains an interactive data map of your sensitive data in S3 across your accounts and Regions, and provides a sensitivity score for each bucket. This helps you identify and remediate data security risks without manual configuration and reduce monitoring and remediation costs.

Encryption is a critical tool for protecting data and building customer trust. The launch of the end-to-end encrypted enterprise communication service AWS Wickr offers advanced security and administrative controls that can help you protect sensitive messages and files from unauthorized access, while working to meet data retention requirements.

Management and governance

Maintaining compliance with regulatory, security, and operational best practices as you provision cloud resources is key. AWS Config rules, which evaluate the configuration of your resources, have now been extended to support proactive mode, so that they can be incorporated into infrastructure-as-code continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines to help identify noncompliant resources prior to provisioning. This can significantly reduce time spent on remediation.

Managing the controls needed to meet your security objectives and comply with frameworks and standards can be challenging. To make it simpler, we launched comprehensive controls management with AWS Control Tower. You can use it to apply managed preventative, detective, and proactive controls to accounts and organizational units (OUs) by service, control objective, or compliance framework. You can also use AWS Control Tower to turn on Security Hub detective controls across accounts in an OU. This new set of features reduces the time that it takes to define and manage the controls required to meet specific objectives, such as supporting the principle of least privilege, restricting network access, and enforcing data encryption.

Do more with less

As we work through macroeconomic conditions, security leaders are facing increased budgetary pressures. In his opening keynote, AWS CEO Adam Selipsky emphasized the effects of the pandemic, inflation, supply chain disruption, energy prices, and geopolitical events that continue to impact organizations.

Now more than ever, it is important to maintain your security posture despite resource constraints. Citing specific customer examples, Selipsky underscored how the AWS Cloud can help organizations move faster and more securely. By moving to the cloud, agricultural machinery manufacturer Agco reduced costs by 78% while increasing data retrieval speed, and multinational HVAC provider Carrier Global experienced a 40% reduction in the cost of running mission-critical ERP systems.

“If you’re looking to tighten your belt, the cloud is the place to do it.” – Adam Selipsky, AWS CEO

Security teams can do more with less by maximizing the value of existing controls, and bolstering security monitoring and analytics capabilities. Services and features announced during AWS re:Invent—including Amazon Security Lake, sensitive data discovery with Amazon Macie, support for Lambda functions in Amazon Inspector, Amazon GuardDuty RDS Protection, and more—can help you get more out of the cloud and address evolving challenges, no matter the economic climate.

Security is our top priority

AWS re:Invent featured many more highlights on a variety of topics, such as Amazon EventBridge Pipes and the pre-announcement of GuardDuty EKS Runtime protection, as well as Amazon CTO Dr. Werner Vogels’ keynote, and the security partnerships showcased on the Expo floor. It was a whirlwind week, but one thing is clear: AWS is working harder than ever to make our services better and to collaborate on solutions that ease the path to proactive security, so that you can focus on what matters most—your business.

For more security-related announcements and on-demand sessions, see A recap for security, identity, and compliance sessions at AWS re:Invent 2022 and the AWS re:Invent Security, Identity, and Compliance playlist on YouTube.

If you have feedback about this post, submit comments in the Comments section below.

Anne Grahn

Anne Grahn

Anne is a Senior Worldwide Security GTM Specialist at AWS based in Chicago. She has more than a decade of experience in the security industry, and has a strong focus on privacy risk management. She maintains a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification.


Paul Hawkins

Paul helps customers of all sizes understand how to think about cloud security so they can build the technology and culture where security is a business enabler. He takes an optimistic approach to security and believes that getting the foundations right is the key to improving your security posture.