AWS CloudTrail vs SLF4J

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AWS CloudTrail

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SLF4J

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AWS CloudTrail vs SLF4J: What are the differences?

AWS CloudTrail: Record AWS API calls for your account and have log files delivered to you. With CloudTrail, you can get a history of AWS API calls for your account, including API calls made via the AWS Management Console, AWS SDKs, command line tools, and higher-level AWS services (such as AWS CloudFormation). The AWS API call history produced by CloudTrail enables security analysis, resource change tracking, and compliance auditing. The recorded information includes the identity of the API caller, the time of the API call, the source IP address of the API caller, the request parameters, and the response elements returned by the AWS service; SLF4J: Simple logging facade for Java. It is a simple Logging Facade for Java (SLF4J) serves as a simple facade or abstraction for various logging frameworks allowing the end user to plug in the desired logging framework at deployment time.

AWS CloudTrail and SLF4J can be primarily classified as "Log Management" tools.

According to the StackShare community, AWS CloudTrail has a broader approval, being mentioned in 50 company stacks & 59 developers stacks; compared to SLF4J, which is listed in 5 company stacks and 7 developer stacks.

Advice on AWS CloudTrail and SLF4J
Jigar Shah
Security Software Engineer at Pinterest · | 8 upvotes · 60.6K views

We would like to detect unusual config changes that can potentially cause production outage.

Such as, SecurityGroup new allow/deny rule, AuthZ policy change, Secret key/certificate rotation, IP subnet add/drop. The problem is the source of all of these activities is different, i.e., AWS IAM, Amazon EC2, internal prod services, envoy sidecar, etc.

Which of the technology would be best suitable to detect only IMP events (not all activity) from various sources all workload running on AWS and also Splunk Cloud?

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Replies (5)
Nati Abebe
Recommends
AWS Config

For continuous monitoring and detecting unusual configuration changes, I would suggest you look into AWS Config.

AWS Config enables you to assess, audit, and evaluate the configurations of your AWS resources. Config continuously monitors and records your AWS resource configurations and allows you to automate the evaluation of recorded configurations against desired configurations. Here is a list of supported AWS resources types and resource relationships with AWS Config https://docs.aws.amazon.com/config/latest/developerguide/resource-config-reference.html

Also as of Nov, 2019 - AWS Config launches support for third-party resources. You can now publish the configuration of third-party resources, such as GitHub repositories, Microsoft Active Directory resources, or any on-premises server into AWS Config using the new API. Here is more detail: https://docs.aws.amazon.com/config/latest/developerguide/customresources.html

If you have multiple AWS Account in your organization and want to detect changes there: https://docs.aws.amazon.com/config/latest/developerguide/aggregate-data.html

Lastly, if you already use Splunk Cloud in your enterprise and are looking for a consolidated view then, AWS Config is supported by Splunk Cloud as per their documentation too. https://aws.amazon.com/marketplace/pp/Splunk-Inc-Splunk-Cloud/B06XK299KV https://aws.amazon.com/marketplace/pp/Splunk-Inc-Splunk-Cloud/B06XK299KV

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Isaac Povey
Casual Software Engineer at Skedulo · | 6 upvotes · 41K views
Recommends
Terraform

While it won't detect events as they happen a good stop gap would be to define your infrastructure config using terraform. You can then periodically run the terraform config against your environment and alert if there are any changes.

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Matthew Rothstein
Recommends
Security Monkey

Consider using a combination of Netflix Security Monkey and AWS Guard Duty.

You can achieve automated detection and alerting, as well as automated recovery based on policies with these tools.

For instance, you could detect SecurityGroup rule changes that allow unrestricted egress from EC2 instances and then revert those changes automatically.

It's unclear from your post whether you want to detect events within the Splunk Cloud infrastructure or if you want to detect events indicated in data going to Splunk using the Splunk capabilities. If the latter, then Splunk has extremely rich capabilities in their query language and integrated alerting functions. With Splunk you can also run arbitrary Python scripts in response to certain events, so what you can't analyze and alert on with native functionality or plugins, you could write code to achieve.

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Vijayanand Narayanasharma
DevOps/TechOps Consultant at Qantas Loyalty · | 3 upvotes · 32.6K views
Recommends
AWS CloudTrail

Well there are clear advantages of using either tools, it all boils down to what exactly are you trying to achieve with this i.e do you want to proactive monitoring or do you want debug an incident/issue. Splunk definitely is superior in terms of proactively monitoring your logs for unusal events, but getting the cloudtrail logs across to splunk would require some not so straight forward setup (Splunk has a blueprint for this setup which uses AWS kinesis/Firehose). Cloudtrail on the other had is available out of the box from AWS, the setup is quite simple and straight forward. But analysing the log could require you setup Glue crawlers and you might have to use AWS Athena to run SQL Like query.

Refer: https://docs.aws.amazon.com/athena/latest/ug/cloudtrail-logs.html

In my personal experience the cost/effort involved in setting up splunk is not worth it for smaller workloads, whereas the AWS Cloudtrail/Glue/Athena would be less expensive setup(comparatively).

Alternatively you could look at something like sumologic, which has better integration with cloudtrail as opposed to splunk. Hope that helps.

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Recommends
AWS CloudTrail

I'd recommend using CloudTrail, it helped me a lot. But depending on your situation I'd recommed building a custom solution(like aws amazon-ssm-agent) which on configuration change makes an API call and logs them in grafana or kibana.

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Pros of AWS CloudTrail
Pros of SLF4J
  • 7
    Very easy setup
  • 3
    Good integrations with 3rd party tools
  • 2
    Very powerful
  • 2
    Backup to S3
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    What is AWS CloudTrail?

    With CloudTrail, you can get a history of AWS API calls for your account, including API calls made via the AWS Management Console, AWS SDKs, command line tools, and higher-level AWS services (such as AWS CloudFormation). The AWS API call history produced by CloudTrail enables security analysis, resource change tracking, and compliance auditing. The recorded information includes the identity of the API caller, the time of the API call, the source IP address of the API caller, the request parameters, and the response elements returned by the AWS service.

    What is SLF4J?

    It is a simple Logging Facade for Java (SLF4J) serves as a simple facade or abstraction for various logging frameworks allowing the end user to plug in the desired logging framework at deployment time.

    Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

    What companies use AWS CloudTrail?
    What companies use SLF4J?
    See which teams inside your own company are using AWS CloudTrail or SLF4J.
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    What tools integrate with AWS CloudTrail?
    What tools integrate with SLF4J?

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    What are some alternatives to AWS CloudTrail and SLF4J?
    AWS Config
    AWS Config is a fully managed service that provides you with an AWS resource inventory, configuration history, and configuration change notifications to enable security and governance. With AWS Config you can discover existing AWS resources, export a complete inventory of your AWS resources with all configuration details, and determine how a resource was configured at any point in time. These capabilities enable compliance auditing, security analysis, resource change tracking, and troubleshooting.
    AWS X-Ray
    It helps developers analyze and debug production, distributed applications, such as those built using a microservices architecture. With this, you can understand how your application and its underlying services are performing to identify and troubleshoot the root cause of performance issues and errors. It provides an end-to-end view of requests as they travel through your application, and shows a map of your application’s underlying components.
    Splunk
    It provides the leading platform for Operational Intelligence. Customers use it to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine data.
    Logstash
    Logstash is a tool for managing events and logs. You can use it to collect logs, parse them, and store them for later use (like, for searching). If you store them in Elasticsearch, you can view and analyze them with Kibana.
    ELK
    It is the acronym for three open source projects: Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana. Elasticsearch is a search and analytics engine. Logstash is a server‑side data processing pipeline that ingests data from multiple sources simultaneously, transforms it, and then sends it to a "stash" like Elasticsearch. Kibana lets users visualize data with charts and graphs in Elasticsearch.
    See all alternatives