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Service Details

A MongoDB-compatible NoSQL database. Implemented to support customers wanting MongoDB on AWS, after MongoDB altered their licensing terms to prevent cloud providers offering the open source product as a service.

Assessment Notes

  • Encryption at rest is not enforced by default. Enforce default keys in most situations, unless there's a reason to prefer customer managed KMS keys for a given environment.
    • aws docdb describe-db-clusters --db-cluster-identifier [CLUSTER NAME]
      • If StorageEncrypted is false, encryption is disabled. If true, the KmsKeyId will give a KMS key arn.
      • aws aws kms describe-key --key-id [ARN] - the KeyMetadata.KeyManager field will say AWS if default, CUSTOMER if customer managed.
  • TLS is enforced by default, but can be disabled
    • aws docdb describe-db-clusters --db-cluster-identifier [CLUSTER NAME]
      • DBClusterParameterGroup will have a tls key - this should be set to true.
  • Logging and auditing:
    • aws docdb describe-db-clusters --db-cluster-identifier [CLUSTER NAME]
      • EnabledCloudwatchLogsExports specifies the logs currently being exported.
      • Audit logging is likely to be most useful for security monitoring, of the available log types. The ddl audit log parameter ensures that all administrative actions are appropriately logged. Read and Write events may be useful in some circumstances but are likely to generate a large volume of logs, so weigh this up against the benefit of the log data in the context of each DocumentDB cluster
      • details the DocumentDB audit logging capability.
  • Are automated backups set to an appropriate time frame?
    • aws docdb describe-db-clusters --db-cluster-identifier [CLUSTER NAME]
      • BackupRetentionPeriod specifies backup period in days. Maximum is 35 days, but storage costs increase with the number of days stored. This setting should be determined on a case by case basis depending on organization backup strategies and criticality of data for the DocumentDB cluster under review.
  • Authentication/User Management
    • master and serviceadmin are created by default and cannot be removed
      • The master user is a privileged user that holds the MongoDB role of root, and can perform administrative tasks and create additional users with roles.
      • The serviceadmin user is created automatically on cluster creation. It provides AWS the ability to manage your cluster, and this user cannot be altered.
  • Role-based access control (RBAC) is implemented in line with the standard MongoDB RBAC model.
    • As with any access control, enforce least privilege wherever possible
    • prefer user-defined roles with appropriately scoped permissions over built-in roles where possible
    • Available permissions are detailed in the AWS documentation

Differences vs MongoDB

  • User and role definitions are stored in the admin database, and users are also authenticated against the admin database. This matches how MongoDB Atlas operates, but not MongoDB Community Edition (the OSS version)