Overview

Amazon Inspector is a vulnerability management service that continually scans compute workloads for software vulnerabilities and unintended network exposure. With a few steps in the Amazon Web Services Management Console, you can use Amazon Inspector across all accounts in your organization. Once started, it automatically discovers Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances, container images residing in Amazon Elastic Container Registry (ECR) and within continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) tools, and Amazon Lambda functions, at scale, and immediately starts assessing them for known vulnerabilities.

Amazon Inspector calculates a highly contextualized risk score for each finding by correlating common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVE) information with factors such as network access and exploitability. This score is used to prioritize the most critical vulnerabilities to improve remediation response efficiency. All findings are aggregated in the Amazon Inspector console and pushed to Amazon Security Hub and Amazon EventBridge to automate workflows. Vulnerabilities found in container images are also sent to Amazon ECR for resource owners to view and remediate. Amazon Inspector empowers security teams and developers of any size to achieve comprehensive infrastructure workload security and compliance across their Amazon Web Services environments.

Key Features

Automated vulnerability management for compute workloads

Amazon Inspector is a comprehensive vulnerability management service that spans various resources, such as Amazon EC2, Lambda functions, and container workloads. It identifies different types of vulnerabilities, including software vulnerabilities and unintended network exposure that can be used to compromise workloads, repurpose resources for malicious use, or facilitate data exfiltration.

Simplified one-click onboarding and integration with Amazon Organizations

Start Amazon Inspector across multiple accounts with one step in the Amazon Inspector console or a single API call. Amazon Inspector allows you to assign an Inspector Delegated Administrator (DA) account for your organization, which can seamlessly start and configure all member accounts, as well as consolidate all findings.

Automated discovery and continual vulnerability scanning

Once started, Amazon Inspector automatically discovers all Amazon EC2 instances, Lambda functions, and container images in Amazon ECR. It promptly initiates scans for software vulnerabilities and unintended network exposure. All workloads are continually rescanned when a new CVE is published or when there are changes in the workloads, including installation of new software in an EC2 instance.

Integration with Systems Manager Agent

Amazon Inspector uses the widely deployed Systems Manager Agent (SSM Agent) to collect the software inventory and configurations from your Amazon EC2 instances. The collected application inventory and configurations are used to assess workloads for vulnerabilities.

Agentless vulnerability assessments for Amazon EC2 (in preview)

Amazon Inspector offers continuous monitoring of your Amazon EC2 instances for software vulnerabilities without installing an agent or additional software. Amazon Inspector takes a snapshot of the EBS volume to extract data about the system and configuration of the instances to perform vulnerability assessments. With this capability, you can expand your vulnerability assessment coverage across your EC2 infrastructure with Amazon Inspector agentless scanning for EC2 instances (preview) that do not have SSM Agents installed or configured.

Suppression of findings

Amazon Inspector supports suppression of findings based on criteria you define. You can create these suppression rules to suppress findings that your organization deems an acceptable risk.

Amazon Inspector risk score for findings

Amazon Inspector generates a highly contextualized Amazon Inspector risk score for each finding by correlating CVE information with environmental factors such as network reachability results and exploitability data. This helps prioritize the findings and highlights the most critical findings and vulnerable resources. The Amazon Inspector score calculation (and which factors influenced the score) can be viewed in the Amazon Inspector Score tab within the Findings Details side panel.

Automatic closure of remediated findings

Amazon Inspector automatically detects if a vulnerability has been patched or remediated. Once detected, it automatically changes the state of the finding to “Closed” without manual intervention.

Detailed coverage monitoring

Amazon Inspector provides a comprehensive, near real-time overview of organization-wide environment coverage, so you can avoid gaps in coverage. It provides metrics and detailed information on accounts, as well as Amazon EC2 instances, Amazon ECR repositories, and container images that are actively being scanned by Amazon Inspector. Additionally, it highlights the resources not being actively monitored and provides guidance on how to include them.

Integration with Amazon Security Hub and Amazon EventBridge

All findings are aggregated in the Amazon Inspector console, routed to Amazon Security Hub, and pushed through Amazon EventBridge to automate workflows such as ticketing.

Integrating vulnerability mapping and generative AI powered remediation to layers in Lambda functions

Amazon Inspector scans the custom proprietary application code within a Lambda function for code security vulnerabilities such as injection flaws, data leaks, weak cryptography, or missing encryption based on Amazon Web Services security best practices. Upon detecting code vulnerabilities within the Lambda function or layer, Amazon Inspector generates actionable security findings that provide several details, such as security detector name, impacted code snippets, and remediation suggestions to address vulnerabilities. Using generative AI and automated reasoning, Amazon Inspector provides in-context code patches for multiples classes of vulnerabilities, reducing the effort required to fix code vulnerabilities. By addressing vulnerabilities at the foundational layers, you can help improve security of all downstream Lambda functions.  

Manage software bill of materials (SBOM) exports

Amazon Inspector offers automated and centralized management of software bill of materials (SBOM) exports. It enables the easy export of a consolidated SBOM for all monitored resources to a preconfigured Amazon S3 bucket, supporting industry-standard formats. You can download the SBOM artifact, perform Amazon Athena queries, or create Amazon QuickSight dashboards to gain valuable insights and visualize trends.

Integration with developer tools

Amazon Inspector integrates with developer tools like Jenkins and TeamCity for container image assessments. It allows developers to assess their container images within these CI/CD tools, pushing security earlier in the software development lifecycle. The findings are available in the CI/CD tool’s dashboard, allowing you to take immediate automated actions in response to critical security issues, such as blocking builds or image pushes to container registries. Your CI/CD tools can be hosted anywhere, in Amazon Web Services, on-premises, or hybrid clouds, providing consistency for developers to use a single solution across all your development pipelines.

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