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12 AWS Config Rules That Every Account Should Have – Enhancing Governance and Security in the Cloud

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12 AWS Config Rules That Every Account Should Have - Enhancing Governance and Security in the Cloud


AWS Config is a powerful service that allows you to assess, audit, and evaluate the configurations of your AWS resources. By defining AWS Config rules, you can continuously monitor your cloud environment for compliance and security. In this article, we present 12 essential AWS Config rules that every AWS account should have in place to ensure optimal governance and safeguard against security vulnerabilities.

12 Essential AWS Config Rules

1. Restricted SSH Access

Rule: Ensure that SSH access to EC2 instances is restricted to specific IP ranges or security groups.

Description: By restricting SSH access to only authorized IP ranges or security groups, you minimize the risk of unauthorized access and potential security breaches.

2. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Rule: Enforce MFA for IAM users with administrative privileges.

Description: Implementing MFA adds an extra layer of security to prevent unauthorized access to your AWS Management Console and critical resources.

3. Password Policy

Rule: Enforce a strong password policy for IAM users.

Description: A strong password policy ensures that IAM users create robust passwords, reducing the likelihood of successful brute-force attacks.

4. S3 Bucket Encryption

Rule: Ensure that all S3 buckets have encryption enabled.

Description: Enabling encryption for S3 buckets protects sensitive data from unauthorized access, even if the bucket permissions are misconfigured.

5. Root Account MFA

Rule: Enable MFA for the root AWS account.

Description: Adding MFA to the root account prevents unauthorized users from gaining control over the entire AWS account.

6. IAM Access Key Rotation

Rule: Enforce regular rotation of IAM access keys.

Description: Regularly rotating access keys reduces the risk of unauthorized access due to compromised or leaked credentials.

7. VPC Flow Logs

Rule: Ensure VPC flow logs are enabled for all VPCs.

Description: VPC flow logs provide valuable insights into network traffic, aiding in security analysis and troubleshooting.

8. RDS Snapshots Encryption

Rule: Ensure that RDS snapshots are encrypted.

Description: Encrypting RDS snapshots safeguards your database backups and ensures data confidentiality.

9. Public Access to S3 Buckets

Rule: Prohibit public access to S3 buckets.

Description: Preventing public access to S3 buckets mitigates the risk of data exposure and data leaks.

10. Unrestricted Security Group Rules

Rule: Identify and remove security groups with unrestricted inbound access.

Description: Removing security groups with overly permissive inbound rules reduces the potential attack surface.

11. EBS Volume Encryption

Rule: Ensure that EBS volumes are encrypted.

Description: Encrypting EBS volumes protects data at rest and prevents unauthorized access to the underlying data.

12. AWS CloudTrail Enabled

Rule: Ensure AWS CloudTrail is enabled.

Description: AWS CloudTrail provides a detailed audit trail of API calls and changes made to your AWS resources, helping with compliance and security monitoring.

Implementing AWS Config Rules

To implement these rules, follow these steps:

  1. Access the AWS Management Console.
  2. Navigate to the AWS Config service.
  3. Create a new AWS Config rule.
  4. Choose the desired rule from the predefined rules or create custom rules.
  5. Set the required rule parameters and apply them to your AWS resources.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions):

Q: Can I customize AWS Config rules to suit my organization’s requirements?

A: Yes, AWS Config allows you to create custom rules based on your specific needs and compliance standards.

Q: How often should I evaluate AWS Config rules?

A: It is recommended to evaluate AWS Config rules continuously to ensure ongoing compliance and security.

Q: Are there any additional costs associated with using AWS Config?

A: AWS Config is billed separately based on the number of active configuration items and configuration changes recorded.

Q: Can AWS Config rules help with compliance audits?

A: Yes, AWS Config rules can provide evidence of compliance with various security standards during audits.

Q: Can I remediate non-compliant resources using AWS Config?

A: Yes, AWS Config provides auto-remediation options to automatically correct non-compliant resources based on predefined rules.


Implementing AWS Config rules is crucial for maintaining a secure and compliant cloud environment. By enforcing essential rules, such as restricted SSH access, MFA, and encryption, you can significantly enhance your cloud governance and protect against potential security risks. Regularly monitor and evaluate these rules to ensure continuous compliance and proactive security measures in your AWS account.


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