Exploring AWS Config: Tracking and Ensuring Compliance

In today’s cloud-centric world, managing resources efficiently and ensuring compliance with best practices is paramount. AWS Config, a powerful AWS service, provides an intelligent solution to monitor, assess, and evaluate the configurations of your resources. In this article, we’ll dive into AWS Config, understanding how it offers an inventory of resources, tracks configuration changes, and performs compliance analysis. Additionally, we’ll walk you through a hands-on demo to showcase its capabilities.

AWS Config: A Closer Look

AWS Config acts as your resource configuration hub, helping you gain insights into your cloud environment like never before. It provides three key features:

  1. Resource Inventory: AWS Config records all the resources present in your environment, offering a comprehensive view of your AWS assets.
  2. Configuration History: It captures changes to resource configurations over time, allowing you to track who made the changes, when they were made, and what changed.
  3. Compliance Analysis: AWS Config evaluates resource configurations against predefined or custom rules, helping you assess compliance and security posture.

Hands-On: Setting Up AWS Config

Step 1: Enabling AWS Config

  1. Navigate to the AWS Management Console and search for “Config.”
  2. Click on “Config” to open the AWS Config console.
  3. Click “Get started.”

Step 2: Configuring Resources to Monitor

  1. In the “Set up resources” section, select the scope of resources you want to record. You can choose resources from specific services or even include global resources.
  2. Specify an Amazon S3 bucket to store configuration history. Optionally, add a prefix.
  3. Choose whether to stream configuration changes to an Amazon SNS topic.
  4. Click “Next.”

Step 3: Creating Rules for Compliance

  1. In the “Set up AWS Config rules” section, you can choose predefined AWS Managed Rules or create custom rules.
  2. Predefined rules cover various services and best practices.
  3. For our demo, let’s create a custom rule. Click “Add rule” and select a rule like “restricted SSH.”
  4. Configure how frequently you want AWS Config to evaluate the rule.
  5. Choose whether the rule is triggered by configuration changes, tags, or all changes.
  6. Click “Save.”

Step 4: Review and Confirm

  1. Review your settings.
  2. If you’re satisfied, click “Confirm.”

Step 5: Monitoring Resources

  1. Wait a few moments for AWS Config to map out your resources.
  2. Once the mapping is complete, you can explore your resources, configuration changes, and compliance status.

Exploring AWS Config Dashboard

  1. Click on the “Resources” tab to see the inventory of your resources.
  2. Select a resource, such as a security group, to view its configuration timeline and compliance details.
  3. Use the “Compliance” tab to track the compliance status of your resources based on the rules you’ve set up.


AWS Config revolutionizes how you manage and monitor your AWS resources. With real-time insights into resource configurations and changes, as well as the ability to ensure compliance through rules, AWS Config offers a comprehensive solution to maintain a secure and optimized cloud environment. By following our hands-on demo, you’ve gained practical experience in setting up AWS Config and utilizing its features.

Whether you’re concerned about security, compliance, or just want to keep a close eye on your cloud infrastructure, AWS Config is a must-have tool in your AWS toolbox. Empower yourself with the ability to track, assess, and secure your resources effortlessly.

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