Leveraging AWS CloudWatch for continuous security monitoring

Sneha Mude 10th January 2024 - 4 mins read

What is CloudWatch

Amazon CloudWatch, which is used to keep an eye on client applications that are hosted on AWS resources and Amazon infrastructure.

With CloudWatch, you can monitor Elastic Load Balancing, Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) instances, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances, and Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) volumes in real time. The program gathers and displays CPU utilization, latency, and request counts automatically. Other parameters, such as error rates, transaction volumes, or memory usage, can be chosen by users to be monitored.

Application programming interfaces (APIs), command-line tools, AWS software development kits, and the AWS Management Console can all be used by users to access CloudWatch functionalities. Users can access up-to-date statistics via the CloudWatch interface in graph style. Users can choose to get email warnings when something under monitoring reaches a predefined threshold. Furthermore, the program can recognize and end idle or underutilized EC2 instances.

Amazon CloudWatch is intended for AWS users, including DevOps engineers, IT managers, cloud developers, and site reliability engineers.

CloudWatch features

A wide range of features are offered by Amazon CloudWatch to help users monitor, diagnose, and maximize their AWS resources. Below is a detailed rundown of all of CloudWatch's main features:

1. Metrics:

Metrics, or time-series data, are gathered and stored by CloudWatch to illustrate different facets of your AWS resources.

Use: Track custom metrics for additional AWS services and metrics related to CPU utilization, network activity, and disk I/O for EC2 instances.

2. Alarms:

When a predetermined threshold is crossed, alarms on CloudWatch metrics can be configured to trigger actions or send messages automatically.

Use: When metric values rise or fall below predetermined thresholds, you can choose to receive notifications or initiate automated actions (such scaling up or down resources).

3. Logs:

Using CloudWatch Logs, you can gather, track, and archive log data from different AWS services and programs.

Use: Examine logs to identify errors, do troubleshooting, and learn more about the behaviour of the system. A strong query language for log data analysis is offered by CloudWatch Logs Insights.

4. Cross-Account Dashboards:

Centralize monitoring for an environment with several AWS accounts by sharing CloudWatch dashboards among them.

Use: By offering a unified view of dashboards and metrics, work together with teams from several accounts.

Benefits of CloudWatch

1. Unified Monitoring: With unified monitoring, you can see all AWS's resources in one place.

2. Real-time insights: For prompt performance evaluations, access real-time data and dashboards.

3. Automated Alarming: Activate proactive issue resolution by setting thresholds and receiving automated alerts.

4. Resource Optimization: Make efficient use of measurements to maximize resource performance and control expenses.

5. Log management: For effective troubleshooting and fault detection, centralize and analyze logs.

6. Automation with Events: Use events-based automation to react to changes in the AWS environment.

7. Container Insights: Keep an eye on and debug apps running in containers that are handled by Kubernetes and ECS.

Amazon CloudWatch use cases.

1. Performance monitoring

  • The performance of RDS databases, EC2 instances, and other resources may be tracked with CloudWatch, and this information can be utilized to set off automated scaling events.
  • Stored log data from many AWS services, apps, and infrastructure components may be searched, stored, and analysed with CloudWatch.
  • With Amazon CloudWatch, we monitor the cloud resources used for our product.
  • Create various alarms for auto-scaling, increased CPU load on EC2 instance, Elastic load balancer metrics like connection count and 5xx errors, etc.
  • Create custom rules to trigger other cloud resources in our product. Since we use AWS Cloud for our application, our scope is all the resources being used by our application and CloudWatch helps in monitoring all the resources across our application.

2. Cost Management

  • Identifying underutilized or overprovisioned resources can help optimize costs through monitoring and analysis of resource consumption.


Amazon CloudWatch gives AWS customers the ability to efficiently monitor, diagnose, and improve their cloud infrastructure. With so many capabilities at your disposal, CloudWatch makes sure you can keep your apps operating at peak performance, dependability, and efficiency so you can concentrate on growing and developing your cloud-based business.

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