CloudCustodian At Slice

Regulation is an exciting topic and is directly proportional to fair and clean working of a process. Interestingly, it is also inversely related to the freedom with which the process could be performed. Take Indian markets, for instance, when the 1991 moment removed regulation, the productivity of the market increased, but lawmakers still have to come every year to amend the processes of the market to be fair and clean.

At slice, our infrastructure is growing, and so is our team. We wanted to be productive to an extent. A developer should ideally get a bucket up and ready in seconds but we also wanted to make sure that it is launched as per the configuration and is compliant with our organisation’s policy. But it’s extremely tricky to convey to every developer in an ever-growing team about all the types of configuration required. Would you want him to just create the bucket or first go through a document of how to launch the bucket in org ? See, Security and Productivity are inversely proportional, just like the Regulation and the Markets are.

Enters cloudcustodian,

Cloud Custodian runs a set of policies against your cloud resources. It checks if your resource is compliant with the set of filters defined in the policy as well as performs an action if you want to – make the bucket private, which you accidentally made public.

A typical cloudcustodian policy for the above use case looks like this .

It has two major components:

  1. Filters: The set of filters to be run against your resources. You can apply operators, combine them together as well . Cloudcustodian also comes with predefined standard filters for resources, or you can create them custom by filtering the values based on the describe-resource api call for aws resource. Ex: aws ec2 describe-instances.
  2. Actions: The set of actions you want to perform on the resources selected via filters. Again, cloudcustodian comes with predefined standard actions for resources, or you can attach a lambda handler to perform any custom action. 

Our infrastructure team defines what the right configuration to launch an s3 bucket is, commits it into a git repo. Next, our custodian runs on the hercules platform and picks these policies up from an s3 bucket. It further runs against all resources in our multiple AWS accounts and sends alerts, and aggregates into AWS Security Hub. Lastly, it performs an action if it’s a critical configuration mismatch. 

Drawing comparisons from the market analogy, the custodian runs like the constant regulator in a market, making sure it’s fair and clean. The developers are like the entrepreneurs who remain productive without ever having a second thought about the security.

So, this was all about the CloudCustodian at slice. To know more about the amazing things that slice’s engineering team does, keep an eye on this space! 

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