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Is it a good idea to have single security group for multiple apps?

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We are having multiple apps which are more or less using the same incoming traffic rules. For half of the apps we are in a condition where we frequently need to change the outgress IPs for a port. That requires us to rerun the Cloudformation stack everytime it changes.

Is it a good idea to have a single Security group for all apps which we map on all app Cloudformation stacks to reduce efforts. I also have security considerations and best practices rule in my mind, I just wanted to have wise opinions.

2 Answers
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Your EC2 and other points of ingress typically support multiple Security Groups. So it makes perfect sense that one traffic profile type would be just one single Security Group if their lifecycle is tightly connected to each other.

So for example you could have Security Group called "AllowTrustedSources" that contains your list of IP addresses you will allow, you should manage this with one Cloudformation stack and share it cross different apps if it makes sense for you. What I mean by this is how do you in general manage the Cloudformation stacks? Do you have one per App?

Other method you could use to centrally manage the allowed IP addresses is to use VPC Prefixlists and then refer to this prefix list in all your different Security Groups. This allows you to have Security Group per application, giving each apps Cloudformation stack independence from each other but still gives you control centrally on the addresses you allow to connect to your apps.

Also see Tushar_J's comment below on when to to use multiple security groups. I totally agree what they wrote. You should share Security Group only if the traffic profile you allow in them is completely common between the apps. Such as Internet to Apps allowing port 443 from certain IP addresses.

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EXPERT
answered 22 days ago
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Instead of keeping just 1 flat security group I would recommend creating multiple groups - for example, if you have a 3 Tier architecture then create Web, App & DB security group, in DB SG you can allow (reference) only App SG, similarly in App SG you can allow/reference only Web SG. If you create just 1 SG there will be lot of unnecessary rules that are not really required for each of the functionality for which the SG is applied to.

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answered 22 days ago
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SUPPORT ENGINEER
reviewed 12 days ago

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