During the beta test of Elastic Detector, we had a lot of queries concerning an important feature of Elastic Detector, that is :
- Elastic Detector considers that an open port in the security groups should correspond to an available service in the instances that use the security group.
For example, if you have defined a security group web with the HTTP port open, Elastic Detector deploys an auto-check HTTP and if Elastic Detector does not get an answer, he raises a critical alert on it.
First of all, why Elastic Detector does this?
From the security point of view, it is a potential threat that can be exploited by an internal or external attacker. It means that the attacker can install a rogue application that has immediate access from everywhere. Imagine that the attacker (internal or external) deploys an e-commerce application to sell viagra on your infrastructure.
So, why sometimes this can be annoying to Elastic Detector Users?
I try to enumerate the reasons they gave us:
- It is work in progress, so the service is going to be deployed later
- It is a pain to manage a lot of security groups that should fit their services AND that must be changed whenever a service changes
- I have IP restrictions to access this service
What are the solutions?
In order to cope with the first and second use case, we plan to allow for an acknowledgment of a temporary exception and for the third we have disabled auto-checks whenever Elastic Detector has no permission to access the service. Of course, once our users add Elastic Detector to the authorized IPs then an auto-check is deployed.
Finally, why is it loved by some Elastic Detector Users?
The administrators that are trying to control cloud usage love this feature. It gives an alert whenever one user changes the security groups, so administrators can at least follow the changes and drill-down if needed.
We strongly believe that the ports should be closed until the service is up and running for the sake of security.
Please let me know your thoughts about this feature, annoying or loved?