This topic compares Alibaba Cloud Elasticsearch instances with user-built Elasticsearch instances to describe the advantages of Alibaba Cloud Elasticsearch in security protection.


Open-source software has typically been the first choice of attackers, such as the MongoDB ransomware attacks event. Elasticsearch has also become the target of the attackers. They may attack user-created Elasticsearch services that do not have professional security protection, and then delete important data or intrude into the business system.
Elasticsearch security background

Alibaba Cloud Security Center has released a note about security risk warning on Elasticsearch and provided multiple security hardening strategies and solutions. Compared with the security protection for user-built Elasticsearch instances, the solutions provided by Alibaba Cloud Elasticsearch for data and service security are more reliable and professional.

Security feature descriptions

Alibaba Cloud has released the fully-hosted Elasticsearch service in November 2017. Alibaba Cloud Elasticsearch provides security protection features for you to safeguard your services.
Elasticsearch security features

The following table compares Alibaba Cloud Elasticsearch with user-built Elasticsearch services in security protection:

Security indicator Security protection for user-built Elasticsearch service Integrated security features for Alibaba Cloud Elasticsearch
Access control
  • Purchase cloud security products, such as security groups or firewalls, to control and quarantine source IP addresses.
  • Disable port 9200 unless it is necessary.
  • Bind source IP addresses.
  • Change the default port.
  • Alibaba Cloud Elasticsearch instances are deployed in VPC networks. In this way, they can be isolated at the data link layer.
  • IPv4 and IPv6 whitelists for access control. Both IP addresses and CIDR blocks are supported.
  • Kibana whitelist for access control. Both IP addresses and CIDR blocks are supported.
Authentication and authorization Install third-party security plug-ins, such as Searchguard and Shield.
  • Cluster access control policies based on Resource Access Management (RAM), such as the ReadOnlyAccess policy for granting the read-only permission and the FullAccess policy for granting the administrator permission.
  • Permission control based on RAM, such as permissions on instances, accounts, and GET, POST, and PUT methods.
  • Role-based access control (RBAC) based on the X-Pack plug-in. Data field-specific access control is supported.
  • Single sign-on (SSO) based on the X-Pack plug-in. Active Directory, LDAP, and Elasticsearch native Realm are supported for identity verification.
Data encryption
  • Use storage media that support static data encryption.
  • Disable HTTP in YML configuration.
  • HTTPS is supported.
  • Static data encryption based on Key Management Service (KMS).
  • The X-Pack plug-in is integrated to support data transmission encryption through SSL or TLS.
Monitoring and auditing Use third-party tools to audit logs and monitor services.
  • Operation log auditing based on the X-Pack plug-in.
  • CloudMonitor-based cluster monitoring with multiple metrics, such as cluster workload.
Disaster recovery
  • Purchase file systems to back up data periodically.
  • Use multiple clusters to implement disaster recovery.
  • A cluster can be deployed across multiple zones in one city to implement disaster recovery.
  • Snapshots are automatically created at a scheduled time.