AWS Shield

Welcome to issue #1 of the โ€œAWS services shortsโ€, In each issue, I present to you an AWS service and explore what its strengths and weaknesses are, discover some use cases, and finally what the most common mistakes people are making with it.

Todayโ€™s issue is about AWS Shield!

Letโ€™s start ๐Ÿ˜Š

If you prefer you can listen to the podcast or watch the video on YouTube!


Amazon Web Services (AWS) Shield is a managed Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) protection service that safeguards applications running on AWS. AWS Shield provides two levels of protection: Standard and Advanced, with the latter offering added protection and cost protection for larger, more sophisticated attacks.

Product page: 

Main Purpose

AWS Shield was developed to offer a protective layer against DDoS attacks for applications running on AWS. DDoS attacks can cripple services, causing significant downtime, financial loss, and damage to a company’s reputation. By integrating AWS Shield, businesses can ensure that their services remain uninterrupted and their customers retain trust in their platforms.


Comprehensive Protection

AWS Shield offers protection against the most common and frequently observed DDoS attack types. With AWS Shield Advanced, users receive protection against larger and more sophisticated attacks.

Integration with AWS Services

AWS Shield is deeply integrated with other AWS services and enabled by default. This tight integration ensures seamless protection without needing changes to existing architectures.

Cost Protection

For AWS Shield Advanced subscribers, AWS offers financial protection by covering extra costs that arise due to a DDoS attack. This ensures businesses don’t face unexpected charges in the event of a large-scale attack.

24/7 Shield Response Team (SRT) Access

Advanced subscribers gain access to the Shield Response Team (SRT), a group of security experts available round the clock to help with incident response.


Cost for Advanced Protection

While AWS Shield Standard is available at no extra cost, the Advanced version, can be expensive for small businesses.

Complexity for Novices

Users unfamiliar with AWS or cybersecurity can find AWS Shield’s array of features overwhelming.

Potential False Positives

Like any security service, AWS Shield can sometimes interpret legitimate traffic as malicious, leading to false positives.

Dependence on AWS Ecosystem

AWS Shield works best when integrated with other AWS services, making it less suitable for businesses not fully invested in the AWS ecosystem.

Use Cases

Web Application Protection

For web applications hosted on AWS, integrating Shield can mitigate potential DDoS attacks, ensuring continuous service availability.

API Gateway Protection

APIs, especially public ones, are frequent targets. AWS Shield offers protection, keeping these gateways secure and operational.


Ignoring AWS Shield Alerts

AWS Shield provides real-time metrics and alerts. Ignoring these can lead to undetected vulnerabilities or threats.

Over-relying on Shield Standard

While Standard offers protection against most common attacks, Advanced is necessary for robust protection against sophisticated threats.

Not Integrating with AWS WAF

Shield works best when combined with AWS Web Application Firewall (WAF) for complete protection against various attack vectors.

Not Engaging with SRT when Needed

Shield Advanced users often don’t leverage the expertise of the DDoS Response Team, missing out on valuable guidance during incidents.

Misconfiguring Shield

Incorrect configurations can reduce the effectiveness of AWS Shield or even expose vulnerabilities.

Overlooking Cost Protections

AWS Shield Advanced users sometimes aren’t aware of the cost protection feature, leading to unnecessary extra costs during attacks.

Not Testing the Setup

Regularly simulating DDoS attacks (in a controlled manner) can help ensure AWS Shield is correctly configured and effective.

I hope you find this overview useful!

Did you like it? Too long? To short? Something is missing?

Please let me know with a comment! ๐Ÿ™

Your feedback is truly precious to me ๐Ÿ˜Š




Scroll to Top