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What is aws cloudtrail
Updated on 09th May, 23 282 Views

This blog tends to broaden your knowledge in the field of cloud computing. So, Let’s begin and discuss in detail the AWS CloudTrail for a better understanding.

AWS CloudTrail

AWS CloudTrail is a service provided by AWS that aids in the governance, compliance, and operational and risk auditing of your AWS account. Events in CloudTrail are the actions that a user, role, or an AWS service has performed. The AWS Management Console, AWS Command Line Interface, and AWS SDKs and APIs are just a few examples of the events that can occur.

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What is AWS CloudTrail?

AWS CloudTrail is a service offered by AWS that enables operational and risk auditing as well as governance and compliance for your AWS account.

Events in CloudTrail are the actions that a user, role, or an AWS service has performed. The AWS Management Console, AWS Command Line Interface, and AWS SDKs and APIs are just a few examples of the events that can occur.

What is AWS CloudTrail?

AWS CloudTrail only supports the AWS services found here and displays the CloudTrail Event History data for the previous 90 days for the area you are currently browsing. These only include management events involving account activity including creating, modifying, and deleting API requests.

You must set up a CloudTrail to get a full history of account activity, including all administration events, data events, and read-only activity.

Enable the AWS CloudTrail feature that creates a digest file for each log file it provides by turning on the functionality for log file integrity on the trail. Utilize the created digest files to check the accuracy of the provided CloudTrail files.

To directly enable the log file integrity feature in CloudTrail, use AWS Config. For each log file that CloudTrail sends, a digest file will be created automatically. Utilize the created digest files to check the accuracy of the provided CloudTrail files.

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Why AWS CloudTrail is Required?

We use AWS Cloudtrail to observe, search, download, archive, examine and react to account activity throughout your AWS infrastructure, utilize CloudTrail.

To analyze and react to activity in your AWS account, you can find out who or what took what action, what resources were used, when the event occurred, and other information.

You can track who made what changes to your applications using CloudTrail. Issues might be discovered. They are not exclusive to one another, and you can configure CloudTrail to deliver events, for example, to a CloudWatch log.

Monitoring activities in your AWS environment is the main application of AWS CloudTrail. Due to its ability to provide a history of activities in your AWS environment, CloudTrail also serves as compliance support. So it’s simple to make sure your company is following internal policies and regulatory regulations.

Features of AWS CloudTrail

Let’s discuss the various features of AWS CloudTrail which are mentioned below:

Features of AWS CloudTrail
  • Amazon CloudTrail Insights

By continuously evaluating CloudTrail management events, Amazon CloudTrail Insights enables customers of Amazon Web Services to spot and take action on odd behavior connected to writing API calls. When CloudTrail notices unexpected write management API activity in your account, insights events are logged.

When CloudTrail identifies odd activity while Insights is enabled, events are transmitted to the trail’s destination S3 bucket.

  • Data Events

You may record object-level API activity and obtain complete information, including who made the request, where and when it was made, and other information by turning on data event recording in CloudTrail. Data events keep track of the actions taken on or inside a resource (data plane operations).

Data events frequently include high-volume operations. Operations including Amazon S3 object-level APIs, Amazon Lambda function Invoke APIs, and Amazon DynamoDB item-level APIs are all included in CloudTrail data event recording.

  • Management Events

The management (“control plane”) operations carried out on the resources in your Amazon Web Services account are revealed by management events.

For instance, you can record administration processes like Amazon EC2 instance creation, deletion, and change.

You may see information for each event, including the Amazon Web Services account, IAM user role, IP address of the person who started the action, the time the action took place, and the resources that were impacted.

  • Multi-region configuration

For a single account, you may set up Amazon CloudTrail to send log files from many locations to a single Amazon S3 bucket. All adjustments will be applied uniformly across all currently active and recently launched regions thanks to a setup that applies to all regions.

See Aggregating CloudTrail Log Files to a Single Amazon S3 Bucket in the Amazon CloudTrail User Guide for comprehensive instructions.

  • Event History

Your recent Amazon Web Services account activity is available for viewing, searching, and downloading. You can use this to boost your security procedures and make the process of resolving operational issues more straightforward by gaining visibility into changes in your Amazon Web Services account resources.

Whenever you try to study AWS CloudTrail, you will always get a question in your mind which is: what is the difference between AWS cloud trail vs AWS cloud watch? So, let’s discuss this in detail.

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AWS cloud trail vs AWS cloud watch

 AWS Cloud Trail AWS Cloud Watch
Aws Cloud Trail requires web servicesAWS Cloud Watch requires monitoring services
The requester, the services used, the actions taken, the action parameters, and the response components supplied by the AWS service are all logged by CloudTrail.By using CloudWatch, you may gather and monitor metrics, gather and watch over log files, and trigger alarms.
After making an API call, CloudTrail provides an event within 15 minutes.Metric data from CloudWatch is delivered at 5-minute intervals.
You may get detailed information about what happened in your AWS account through CloudTrail Logs.Application logs are reported on by CloudWatch Logs.
A near-real-time stream of system events describing modifications to your AWS resources is called CloudWatch Events.AWS API calls made in your AWS account are the main focus of CloudTrail.

AWS Trail

Aws trail is a setup that permits event delivery to a specific Amazon S3 bucket. With Amazon CloudWatch Logs and Amazon EventBridge, you can also distribute and examine events in a trail. A trail can be produced via the CloudTrail console, AWS CLI, or CloudTrail API.

When you establish a trail that applies to every area, CloudTrail logs events in every region and sends the CloudTrail event log files to a specific S3 bucket. A new area is immediately included and its events are tracked if it is added after you construct a trail that applies to all regions.

An all-regions trail is selected by default when you create a trail in the CloudTrail interface since it is advised as a best practice to do so in order to record activity across all regions in your account. Only the AWS S3 CLI may be used to upgrade a single-region trail to log all regions.

AWS Event

The documentation of a transaction in an AWS account. This activity may involve a move made by a user, role, or service that CloudTrail can watch. Events are transmitted to any trail that includes global services and is reported as occurring in the US East (N. Virginia) Region, for global services like IAM, STS, CloudFront, and Route 53.

The following attributes: Event name, User name, Resource name, Event Source, Event ID, and Resource type can be used to filter logs in addition to the Time range.

There are three types of AWS Events which are as follows:

Types of AWS Event

Management Event

By default logged-in and Management events, also known as control plane operations, give information on management operations made on resources in your AWS account.

Data Event

It’s not by default logged Data events, sometimes referred to as data plane operations, that give information on resource activities carried out on or in a resource. Data events frequently include enormous volumes of activity.

Insights Event

Observable behavior in your AWS account is captured by insights events. When you enable Insights events, CloudTrail will find suspicious activity and log it to S3.

The pertinent data that insights events provide, such as the linked API, incident time, and statistics, enable you to comprehend unexpected activity and take appropriate action.

Only when CloudTrail notices changes in your account’s API usage that significantly deviate from the account’s regular usage patterns are insights events recorded.

AWS Cloudtrail Pricing

Management events are offered for free for the first time in each region. There are fees for additional copies of management events.

Only the Lambda functions, DynamoDB tables, and S3 buckets you designate are recorded and charged for data events.

Since CloudTrail sends logs to an S3 bucket, S3 fees depending on usage apply once a trail is set up.

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Advantages of AWS CloudTrail

Let’s see the advantages of AWS CloudTrail:

Advantages of AWS CloudTrail
  • Security Analysis and Troubleshooting

By periodically capturing an extensive history of modifications made to the AWS account, AWS CloudTrail will enable the user to identify and troubleshoot security and operational issues.

  • Simplified Compliance

By automatically capturing and keeping event logs for actions created periodically in the AWS account, AWS CloudTrail can change the compliance audits. Searching through the log data is made simple by integration with Amazon CloudWatch Logs.

Additionally, it aids in identifying events that are out of compliance and speeds up incident investigations and auditor request responses.

  • Visibility into user and resource activity

By capturing AWS Management Console events and API calls, Amazon CloudTrail will improve insight into user and resource activity.

The user can ascertain which accounts and users are referred to as AWS. Once the calls took place, the calls’ supply internet protocol address was formed.

  • Security Automation

The user can utilize Amazon CloudTrail to automatically reply to the account for the protection of Amazon resources. The user will be able to specify workflows that run once events that could result in security vulnerabilities are discovered thanks to the integration of Amazon CloudWatch Events.

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Application of AWS CloudTrail

Here comes the different use cases of AWS CloudTrail:

Application of AWS CloudTrail
  • Security Analysis

The user can be in control of security analysis, and they can observe user behavior with the aid of AWS CloudTrail events, patterns, log management, and analytics tools.

  • Data Exfiltration

By gathering activity information on S3 objects, the user can observe data exfiltration with the use of object-level API events that are recorded in Amazon Cloudtrail.

  • Compliance AID

By providing a history of activity in the AWS account, AWS CloudTrail makes it simpler to certify compliance with internal policies and regulatory standards. Transfer the AWS compliance document for more information.

  • Operational Issue Troubleshooting

By using the AWS CloudTrail decision history for the AWS API, the user can address operational issues.

For example, the user will be able to identify the most recent changes made to resources in the environment as well as the creation, modification, and deletion of AWS resources rapidly (e.g., Amazon EC2 instances, Amazon VPC security teams, and Amazon EBS volumes).


Since all AWS accounts have Amazon Cloudtrail enabled, we researched how it captures user account activity upon account creation. The user will be able to read and transfer the past ninety days’ worth of activities performed on their supported services accounts, including creating, modifying, and deleting.

Along with this, we thoroughly examined the advantages, applications, and operation of cloudtrail. Do you find this information to be useful? Please provide us with feedback!

For more information on What is AWS CloudTrail?, visit our AWS Community

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