AWS Inspector Pricing: Demystifying the Costs of Cloud Security

Securing your Amazon Web Services (AWS) environment is paramount, and Amazon Inspector stands as a valuable tool in that endeavor. This automated service scans your EC2 instances for vulnerabilities, network misconfigurations, and compliance issues, offering invaluable insights into your security posture. But before diving headfirst into Inspector’s (fairly good) capabilities, understanding its pricing model is crucial. This blog post delves into the intricacies of AWS Inspector pricing, helping you estimate costs and make informed decisions for your cloud security need.
  • We’ve built a platform to automate incident response and forensics in AWS, Azure and GCP — you can grab a demo here. You can also download a free playbook we’ve written on how to respond to security incidents in AWS.
Understanding the Billing Components
Inspector’s pricing structure hinges on two key components: EC2 instance assessments and findings. Let’s break them down:
EC2 Instance Assessments: Each time Inspector scans an EC2 instance, you incur a per-assessment fee. This fee depends on the instance type, with larger instances attracting higher charges. The assessment fee covers the resource utilization needed to analyze your instance for vulnerabilities and misconfigurations.
Findings: Once an assessment is complete, Inspector generates a report detailing any discovered vulnerabilities or compliance issues. These findings are further categorized into high, medium, low, and informational severity levels. Each finding, irrespective of its severity, incurs a separate cost.
Cost Optimization Strategies
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s explore ways to optimize your Inspector costs:
Schedule Assessments Wisely: By default, Inspector performs daily assessments. Consider customizing the schedule based on your needs. Frequent scans for critical systems might be necessary, while less crucial instances can be assessed less frequently.
Leverage Free Tier: New AWS accounts benefit from a 15-month free tier for Inspector, offering 1,500 EC2 instance assessments per month and unlimited findings analysis. Utilize this period to understand your security posture and optimize your future usage.
Focus on High-Severity Findings: Prioritize addressing high-severity findings first, as they pose the most immediate threat. Addressing these issues promptly can potentially prevent costly security breaches.
Utilize Inspector Filters: You can fine-tune which vulnerabilities and compliance checks Inspector triggers for each instance type. This helps prevent unnecessary findings and associated costs.
Consider Inspector Aggregator: This service simplifies managing Inspector across multiple accounts and regions, potentially offering cost savings through consolidated billing.
Additional Resources:
For further insights into Inspector pricing, consider these valuable resources:
Official Pricing Page: https://aws.amazon.com/inspector/pricing/
Pricing Guide: https://docs.aws.amazon.com/inspector/v1/userguide/InspectorPricing.html
Conclusion
AWS Inspector offers a powerful tool for bolstering your cloud security, but understanding its pricing is essential for optimal cost management. By optimizing your assessment schedule, prioritizing high-severity findings, and utilizing available resources, you can leverage Inspector’s capabilities effectively without breaking the bank. Remember, a secure cloud environment starts with informed decisions, and understanding Inspector’s pricing empowers you to make the most of this valuable security service.