Control: 3.3 Ensure a log metric filter and alarm exist for usage of "root" account


Real-time monitoring of API calls can be achieved by directing CloudTrail Logs to CloudWatch Logs and establishing corresponding metric filters and alarms. It is recommended that a metric filter and alarm be established for root login attempts.

Monitoring for root account logins will provide visibility into the use of a fully privileged account and an opportunity to reduce the use of it.


Perform the following to setup the metric filter, alarm, SNS topic, and subscription:

  1. Create a metric filter based on filter pattern provided which checks for "Root" account usage and the <cloudtrail_log_group_name> taken from audit step 1.
aws logs put-metric-filter --log-group-name `<cloudtrail_log_group_name>` -- filter-name `<root_usage_metric>` --metric-transformations metricName= `<root_usage_metric>` ,metricNamespace='CISBenchmark',metricValue=1 --filter- pattern '{ $.userIdentity.type = "Root" && $.userIdentity.invokedBy NOT EXISTS && $.eventType != "AwsServiceEvent" }'

Note: You can choose your own metricName and metricNamespace strings. Using the same metricNamespace for all Foundations Benchmark metrics will group them together.

  1. Create an SNS topic that the alarm will notify
aws sns create-topic --name <sns_topic_name>

Note: You can execute this command once and then re-use the same topic for all monitoring alarms.

  1. Create an SNS subscription to the topic created in step 2
aws sns subscribe --topic-arn <sns_topic_arn> --protocol <protocol_for_sns> - -notification-endpoint <sns_subscription_endpoints>

Note: You can execute this command once and then re-use the SNS subscription for all monitoring alarms.

  1. Create an alarm that is associated with the CloudWatch Logs Metric Filter created in step 1 and an SNS topic created in step 2
aws cloudwatch put-metric-alarm --alarm-name `<root_usage_alarm>` --metric- name `<root_usage_metric>` --statistic Sum --period 300 --threshold 1 -- comparison-operator GreaterThanOrEqualToThreshold --evaluation-periods 1 -- namespace 'CISBenchmark' --alarm-actions <sns_topic_arn>


Run the control in your terminal:

powerpipe control run aws_compliance.control.cis_v120_3_3

Snapshot and share results via Turbot Pipes:

powerpipe login
powerpipe control run aws_compliance.control.cis_v120_3_3 --share


This control uses a named query: