Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!
AWS CloudTrail vs Splunk: What are the differences?
What is 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.
What is Splunk? Search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine data. Splunk Inc. provides the leading platform for Operational Intelligence. Customers use Splunk to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine data.
AWS CloudTrail and Splunk can be categorized as "Log Management" tools.
Starbucks, Intuit, and Razorpay are some of the popular companies that use Splunk, whereas AWS CloudTrail is used by Netflix, Slack, and Seat Pagine Gialle. Splunk has a broader approval, being mentioned in 31 company stacks & 29 developers stacks; compared to AWS CloudTrail, which is listed in 38 company stacks and 12 developer stacks.
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?
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pros of AWS CloudTrail
- Very easy setup7
- Good integrations with 3rd party tools3
- Very powerful2
- Backup to S32
Pros of Splunk
- Ability to style search results into reports2
- Alert system based on custom query results2
- API for searching logs, running reports2
- Query engine supports joining, aggregation, stats, etc2
- Query any log as key-value pairs1
- Splunk language supports string, date manip, math, etc1
- Granular scheduling and time window support1
- Custom log parsing as well as automatic parsing1
- Dashboarding on any log contents1
- Rich GUI for searching live logs1
Sign up to add or upvote prosMake informed product decisions
Cons of AWS CloudTrail
Cons of Splunk
- Splunk query language rich so lots to learn1
Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions
What is AWS CloudTrail?
What is Splunk?
Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!
What companies use Splunk?
Sign up to get full access to all the companiesMake informed product decisions
What tools integrate with AWS CloudTrail?
What tools integrate with Splunk?
Sign up to get full access to all the tool integrationsMake informed product decisions