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AWS CloudTrail

Last Updated : 13 Nov, 2023
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AWS With the help of the tool called Cloud Trail, offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS), you may keep track of and document activities that take place inside your AWS infrastructure. It gives you a thorough event history of every activity users, services, and resources took while using your AWS account. By recording and archiving event logs, Cloud Trail assists with security, compliance, operational auditing, and troubleshooting.

When you create Cloud Trail, it is already operational in your AWS account and doesn’t need to be manually set up. A Cloud Trail event is created each time something happens in your AWS account.

Types Of AWS CloudTrail

1. Event History

Your AWS account has Cloud Trail activated by default, and you have immediate access to the Cloud Trail Event history. A viewable, searchable, printable, and immutable record of the last 90 days’ worth of management events in an AWS Region is available in the Event history. The AWS Management Console, AWS Command Line Interface, and AWS SDKs and APIs are all used to perform the activities that these events record. The AWS Region where the event occurred is documented in the Event history. The Event history can be seen for free on Cloud Trail.

2. Cloud Trail Lake

A managed data lake called AWS Cloud Trail Lake is used to record, store, access, and analyze user and API activity on AWS for audit and security reasons. Existing events in row-based json format are converted to Apache ORC format by Cloud Trail Lake. A columnar storage format called ORC is designed for quick data retrieval. Event data stores, which are immutable collections of events based on criteria you choose by using sophisticated event selectors, aggregate events into immutable collections.

The event data can be kept in an event data storage for a maximum of seven years (2557 days). Using AWS Organizations, you may construct an event data store for a single AWS account or for a number of AWS accounts. Any Cloud Trail logs that you currently have can be imported into an existing or new event data store from your S3 buckets. With Lake dashboards, you can also see the top Cloud Trail event trends. See Creating an event data storage and Working with AWS Cloud Trail Lake for further details.

3. Trails

In addition to delivering and storing events in an Amazon S3 bucket, Trails can also deliver events to Amazon Cloud Watch Logs and Amazon Event Bridge. These occurrences can be entered into your security monitoring programs. You may also search and examine your Cloud Trail logs using custom third-party programs or programs like Amazon Athena.

Using AWS Organizations, you can build trails for a single AWS account or for a number of AWS accounts. Your management events can be analyzed for unusual behavior in API call volumes and error rates by logging Insights events. See Creating a trail for your AWS account for further details.

AWS CloudTrail Architecture

AWS Account is created in the AWS environment in the diagram above. When a new account is created, Cloud Trail is activated. An API call is made in the Back End whenever we carry out any operation using an AWS account, such as signing in, creating and deleting EC2 instances, creating S3 buckets, and uploading data into them. An API request is made on the backend when the activity occurs.

The activities that we carry out with our AWS Account can be carried out in a variety of ways. For instance, we can use the account with the aid of the AWS CLI (AWS – Command-line Interface), and we can also carry out the activity using the SDK (Software Development Kit) or AWS Management Console. We may use any method here, and by using that method, whenever we execute an activity from the account, the backend API is called. When the backend API is called, an event is generated, and the event log is saved in the Cloud Trail. Only when we carry out any activity using an AWS Account does an event get created in Cloud Trail.

The AWS account activity we perform lasts for 90 days in the same place. It is possible to keep event logs in an S3 bucket for longer than 90 days. SNS notification (Simple Notification Service) configuration is also possible in Cloud Trail.

AWS Cloud Trail

Benefits of using AWS CloudTrail In AWS

  1. CloudTrail log file: The log file integrity validation is a tool you may use to help with IT security and auditing procedures.
  2. Security and Compliance: Meeting security and compliance standards is made easier with CloudTrail. It supports security incident investigation and compliance audits by assisting enterprises in identifying illegal or suspicious activity through the monitoring of AWS actions.
  3. Resource Change Tracking: AWS resource changes over time can be tracked with CloudTrail. This helps with resource management and troubleshooting by helping to spot configuration changes, authorization changes, and resource removals.
  4. Alerting and Notifications: Businesses can configure alerts and notifications for a variety of events that are logged in CloudTrail logs. The prompt response to urgent situations is made possible by this proactive monitoring.
  5. Cross-Account and Multi-Region Support: Multi-account logging is supported by CloudTrail, enabling businesses to centralize logging for numerous AWS accounts. Additionally, it offers multi-region logging, which consolidates logs from various AWS regions in one place for centralized analysis.Enables your account’s governance, compliance, and auditing.Aids in constant monitoring and security analysissimple to manage and access.

How Does AWS CloudTrail Work?

Your Amazon Web Services (AWS) account’s activity is tracked and recorded by the AWS CloudTrail service. It offers thorough logs of all API calls and operations made on your AWS resources. This is how AWS CloudTrail functions:

  1. Data Collection : Activity in your AWS account is regularly monitored by CloudTrail. An API call is created whenever an AWS service or resource is used or updated.
  2. Log Storage : You can define an Amazon S3 bucket where these log entries will be gathered and stored. For your CloudTrail logs, you may set the bucket’s location and retention time.
  3. Access Control : Policies set forth by AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) govern who has access to CloudTrail logs. Who is permitted to read, write, or administer CloudTrail logs can be specified.
  4. Alerting and Notifications : You can configure in-the-moment alerts based on particular occurrences or trends in your CloudTrail logs using CloudWatch Alarms. This enables you to react rapidly to operational or security incidents.
  5. Log Generation : Each time an API is called, CloudTrail creates a log entry with information on the caller, the action taken, the resource used, and the timestamp.

Steps To Set Up AWS CloudTrail

Step 1 : First of all login in AWS (

Step 2 : AWS Academy Learner Lab [52156] -> Modules

Step 3 : Launch AWS Academy Learner Lab -> Start Lab

Step 4 : Then click on AWSgreen dot.


Step 5 : Now open CloudTrail Service in Click to Service and Search CloudTrail .

→ Service -> CloudTrail.


Step 6 : Then Creat CloudTrail

→ Create CloudTrail (Name is MyTrail )

Cloud trail

Step 7 : Click on Trail (MyTrail) and edit in Storage location in select Create new S3 bucket and click Save changes.

General details

Step 8 : Click Save Change button After Result is :

My Trail

Step 9 : Data event (AWS CloudTrail delivers events to the AWS CloudTrail console, Amazone S3 buckets, and optionally Amazon CloudWatch Logs)

Cloud trail Step 10 : Data event store in S3 bucket

Upload Object

Amazon S3 Objects

Step 11 : Click to first file and dowenload , and open file. (our Data event file in json formate).

FAQs on AWS CloudTrail

1. What Is AWS CloudTrail And What Does It Do?

AWS CloudTrail is a service that records API calls and actions taken within your AWS account. It provides a history of changes made to resources, which can be used for security analysis, compliance auditing, and troubleshooting.

2. How does AWS CloudTrail capture and store AWS API activity?

CloudTrail captures API activity by monitoring and logging events triggered by AWS services and resources. It stores these logs in an Amazon S3 bucket, which can be further analyzed using tools like AWS CloudWatch Logs or other logging and analytics services.

3. What Is a CloudTrail Trail, And How Do I Create One?

A CloudTrail trail is a configuration that specifies the settings for recording and storing AWS API events. You can create trails for specific AWS regions and direct log data to an S3 bucket, CloudWatch Logs, or both.

4. How Does CloudTrail Enhance Security And Compliance In AWS?

CloudTrail provides an audit trail of actions taken on AWS resources, helping organizations monitor for security threats, track changes to resources, and meet compliance requirements by documenting who did what and when.

5. What Are Some Common Security Analysis Use Cases for CloudTrail Logs?

You can use CloudTrail logs to detect and investigate security incidents, unauthorized access, and suspicious behavior by analyzing the recorded API activity and correlating it with other security data.

6. How Can CloudTrail Logs Be Helpful In Troubleshooting Operational Issues In AWS?

Yes, CloudTrail logs can be used to troubleshoot issues by providing a detailed history of API calls and changes to resources. This can assist in identifying the root cause of problems.

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