Manage Accounts

There are scenarios where it makes sense to centrally manage your security deployments.


Whether you just don't want to manage deployments across all of your AWS accounts or you want to follow an AWS Landing Zone or an AWS Control Tower best practice implementation, the necessity to scan multiple accounts may be one of your requirements.

Cross account scanning is achieved by linking "remote accounts" (non-deployment accounts) through the console and then deploying a cross-account role within each remote account. This is a very simple process which will allow the console to see all of the buckets for the linked account as it would for the deployment account ("primary"). All aspects of management and protection and feedback are the same after these steps have been completed. Both event-based and retro-scanning fully work with linked accounts so you can scan both your go-forward data as well as any existing data. You can link as many accounts as desired.

Accounts can be linked and then added in stages as you want to roll them out. So feel free to link all of your remote accounts and then activate them singularly or in groups. And you can always deactivate / reactivate accounts later on as needed.

Linking Accounts

The Manage Accounts page can look as follows. The deployment account is labeled as Primary by default. Like any account though, that is a nickname and can be replaced if you see fit to be more meaningful.

You can link another account by clicking the Link Another Account button and filling in the Account Number, the Nickname and specifying which group the account will belong to. Then click the Link Account button. If you'd like to link more at this same time, click the Link Another Account button within the popup and repeat the process of entering the account number, nickname and group.

You may not be using Groups to organize your accounts. There is always one group created by default, the Primary group. In this situation you would specify Primary as the group value.

Deploying the Cross Account Role

After you click the Link Account button, the fields will be replaced with a link to directly launch the CloudFormation Template to create the cross-account role. If you do not wish to launch the stack at this time, you can do so later, but will need the values presented to manually enter into the Stack Launch.

You will now see the newly added account listed in the account list. Note the Primary account reflects a bucket count and ProdAcct shows N/A. Once you run the cross-account CloudFormation Template you can mark the account as active. The Console will attempt to assume the role and you will either get a message indicating the role might still need to be created or the account will be marked as active and a bucket count will be reflected. You will know it worked when you see that number populated.

All actions are taken on individual accounts via the actions menu ellipses. You can launch the stack, change groups, activate the account and delete the account.

After clicking Launch Stack you will be directed to the AWS Console and right into the Stack creation wizard. If you are not already logged into the AWS Console, you will be prompted to login. Provide the credentials to the remote account you are linking. Then, just tick the box and click create.

Once the role is created head back to the Antivirus for Amazon S3 console and mark the account active from the action ellipses button. If you see the bucket count update you can feel confident the role is working appropriately. When you select to activate an account, you will see the button turn into a "spinner" while it is working.

Once complete the account will be shown as active and a bucket count provided.

At this time, the Bucket Protection page will reflect the new buckets found and distinguish them from the primary account by nickname.

All active accounts will be reflected throughout the rest of the console. All buckets from all accounts and all scan statuses will be shown. If you later deactivate a remote account (or even the primary) those buckets will not be reflected in the Bucket Protection page, but the data scanned is still counted in metrics and any "problem files" found will be reflected on the Problem Files page. Deactivating will also remove all event configuration from each bucket in the remote account.

Deleting an account will remove the account from the Linked Accounts pages. All data scanned within that account will still be reflected in the metrics and billing.

Group functionality can also impact what you see from the linked accounts throughout the console.

Role Version Management

Simplified Linked Account Role management was introduced starting with Console version 5.08.000 and Linked Account Role version 1.06.000. With both of those versions (or greater) in place, you can simply upgrade a single account, multiple accounts or all accounts to the latest Linked Account Role. This removes the need to go to each and every linked account to do a Stack Update on the CloudFormation stack that initially created the role.

You can tell which account(s) are behind in their linked account role with both the version number in the CFT Version column and the red dot that shows there is an update available. You can upgrade one or multiple or all of the accounts very easily.

For a single account, you can simply click the row's action button and select Update Stack

For a multiple accounts, you can tick multiple checkboxes and select the top level Action menu and click the Update Stacks choice

In addition, we when check for product updates we are also checking for Linked Account Role updates which will now be reflected on the overall Updates Menu. Clicking this option will update all accounts that are available to be updated. If you want to roll updates out, then use the above on the Manage Accounts page.

If you are still on a role version below 1.06, then you will have to upgrade all the linked accounts manually one last time.

We have programmed the Console to look for the default Linked Account Role CloudFormation Stack name, CloudStorageSec-AV-for-S3-Linked-Account, in the same AWS Region the Console is deployed in (but inside the linked account). If you changed the name of the Stack or deployed it in an alternate region, then you will have to update the values on the Manage Accounts page in order for this to work.

Role Issues

If the role is deleted or changed in such a way in the linked account that the console can no longer assume it, the scanning agents will not be able to retrieve the objects and those objects will be reflected as Error files in the Problem Files page. The linked account buckets will still show on the Bucket Protection page and the events will continue to be pushed to the queue, but we will continue to error out in processing those files until the role is fixed.

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