1. Overview

App Embedded Defenders monitor your Fargate tasks to ensure they execute as designed, protecting tasks from running suspicious processes or making suspicious network connections.

Policies let you define:

  • Allow process activity. Enables verification of launched processes against policy.

  • Allow networking activity. Enables verification of domain name resolution, and inbound and outbound network connections.

Besides runtime policy, you can also configure the WAAS application firewall to protect front-end Fargate containers.

2. Securing Fargate tasks

To secure a Fargate task, embed the Prisma Cloud Fargate Defender into it. The steps are:

  1. Define your policy in Prisma Cloud Console.

  2. Embed the Fargate Defender into your task definition.

  3. Start the service.

3. Sample task

You can use the following sample task definition to test Prisma Cloud’s Fargate Defender. The associated container includes an entry.sh script that runs mkdir and then makes various outbound network requests to yahoo.com and google.com using wget. It then sleeps for 5 minutes and exits.

  "requiresCompatibilities": [
  "containerDefinitions": [
      "entryPoint": [ "entry.sh" ],
      "portMappings": [],
      "command": null,
      "image": "matthewabq/twistlock-fargate-auto",
      "name": "twistlock-fargate-task"
  "family": "twistlock-fargate-task",
  "volumes": [],
  "networkMode": "awsvpc",
  "memory": "512",
  "cpu": "256"
Your task definition must including matching entrypoint and cmd parameters from the Dockerfile(s) of the image(s) in your task. Because Prisma Cloud does not see the actual images as part of the embedding flow, it depends on having these parameter present to reliably insert Defender into the task startup flow. If your Dockerfile does not include an entrypoint parameter, a default one, such as /bin/sh, must be used in the task definition. However, because the cmd parameter is optional, if your Dockerfile does not include a cmd parameter, one is not required in the task definition.

3.1. Defining your policy

Add runtime protection for your Fargate task by defining a runtime rule for it in Prisma Cloud Console.

By default, there are no rules in the Fargate runtime policy. Fargate Defenders dynamically retrieve policies from Console as they are updated. You can embed Fargate Defender into a task with empty or very simple initial policies, and refine them as needed later.

This procedure demonstrates how to block the sample task from executing a new process and establishing outbound network connections. You will create a new rule that prevents mkdir from running in the container named twistlock-fargate-task, and blocks outbound network requests to yahoo.com. If you’ve got your own task, configure the rule to meet your own specific objectives. By default, new rules apply to all images and containers (*), but you can target them to specific images or containers using pattern matching.

  1. Log into Prisma Cloud Console.

  2. Go to Defend > Runtime > App Embedded Policy.

  3. Click Add rule.

    1. Enter a rule name.

    2. By default, the rule applies to all images and all containers.

      Target the rule to specific images or containers. A task definition declares the container name in the containerDefinitions→name field.

    3. Click the Processes tab.

    4. Set Effect to Prevent.

    5. Click the Networking tab.

    6. Set Effect to Prevent.

    7. Click Save.

3.2. Embedding the Fargate Defender

Prisma Cloud cleanly separates the code developers produce from the Fargate containers we protect. Developers don’t need to change their code to accommodate Prisma Cloud. They don’t need to load any special libraries, add any files, or change any manifests. When a container is ready to be deployed to test or production, run your task definition through a transform tool to automatically embed the Fargate Defender, then load the new task definition into AWS.

The method for embedding the Fargate Defender was designed to seamlessly integrate into the CI/CD pipeline. You can call the Prisma Cloud API to embed the Fargate Defender into your task definition. Documentation for these API endpoints will be available shortly. See Jenkins Fargate example on how to integrate this process into a Jenkins Pipeline build.

  1. Log into Prisma Cloud Console.

  2. Go to Manage > Defenders > Deploy.

  3. In the first drop-down menu (1a), select the name or IP address Fargate Defender can use to connect to Console.

    A list of IP addresses and hostnames are pre-populated in the drop-down list. If none of the items are valid, select the Names tab and add a new subject alternative name (SAN) using Add SAN button. After adding a SAN, your IP address or hostname will be available in the drop-down list in the *Deploy" tab.

    Selecting an IP address in a evaluation setup is acceptable, but using a DNS name is more resilient. If you select Console’s IP address, and Console’s IP address changes, your Defenders will no longer be able to communicate with Console.
  4. In the second drop-down list (1b), select the Defender type of App Embedded.

  5. In Deployment type, select Fargate Task.

  6. Embed the Fargate Defender into your task definition.

    1. Copy and paste your task definition into the left-hand box.

    2. Click Generate Protected Task. A new task definition with the Fargate Defender is generated.

    3. Copy the new task definition from right-hand box.

3.3. Creating a task definition in AWS

Create a new task definition in AWS with the output from the previous section. If you already have an existing task definition, create a new revision.

This section is geared to creating a new task definition based on the sample task.

  1. Log into the AWS Management Console.

  2. Go to Services > ECS.

  3. Click Task Definitions, then click Create new Task Definition.

    1. Select Fargate, then click Next step.

    2. Scroll to the bottom of the page, and click Configure via JSON.

    3. Delete the prepopulated JSON, then paste the JSON generated for task from the previous section.

    4. Click Save.

    5. Click Create.

    6. Click View task definition.

3.4. Testing the task

Since the container associated with your task automatically executes mkdir and wget in the entrypoint script, simply launch your Fargate task, wait a few minutes, then review the audits in Prisma Cloud Console.

Prerequisite: You have already created an ECS cluster.

  1. Log into the AWS Management Console.

  2. Go to Services > ECS.

  3. Click Clusters, then select one of your clusters.

  4. Click the Services tab, then click Create.

    1. For Launch type, select Fargate.

    2. For Task Definition, select your task. If you’re using the sample task definition, select twistlock-fargate-task, and select the revision that contains the embedded Defender.

    3. For Service name, enter twistlock-fargate-task.

    4. For Number of tasks, enter 1.

    5. Click Next step.

    6. Select a Cluster VPC and Subnets, then click Next step.

    7. For Service Auto Scaling, select Do not adjust the service’s desired count, then click Next step.

    8. Review your settings, then click Create Service.

  5. Validate the results.

    1. Click View Service.

      When Last status is Running, your Fargate task is running. The sample task automatically executes mkdir and wget (to google.com and yahoo.com), then exits after 5 minutes.

      fargate running task
      fargate task ipaddr

      After a short time has passed, audits appear in Prisma Cloud Console. To review them, go to Monitor > Events > App Embedded Audits. You should see audits with the following messages:

      DNS resolution of suspicious name yahoo.com
      /bin/mkdir launched from /bin/dash and is explicitly blocked in the runtime rule. Full command: mkdir test

4. WAAS for Fargate

All the capabilities of standard WAAS are available for Fargate tasks. The only difference is that Fargate Defenders run as a reverse proxies to all other containers in the task. As such, when you set up WAAS for Fargate, you must specify the exposed external port where Fargate Defender can listen, and the port (not exposed to the Internet) where your web application listens. WAAS for Fargate forwards the filtered traffic to your application port - unless an attack is detected and you chose Prevent in your WAAS for Fargate rule.

For more information on the type of attacks that Prisma Cloud detects and prevents, see Prisma Cloud WAAS.

To add an application firewall to a Fargate based web container:

  1. Embed the Fargate Defender into your web container’s Fargate task.

    You can utilize the same sample Fargate task with one change: replace image matthewabq/twistlock-fargate-auto with httpd:2.4. The httpd:2.4 image is an Apache web container listening on default port 80.

  2. Add a rule to protect your Fargate web container.

    1. Go to Defend > Firewalls > WAAS for Fargate and click Add rule.

    2. Enter a rule name and select the desired protections, such as SQLiAttack protection.

    3. Select Alert or Prevent.

    4. Enter a port number for the External Port, then enter one for the web container Application Port. Typically this is 80 for HTTP and 443 for HTTPS). For this example, enter 8080 for the External Port and 80 for the Application Port.

    5. Enter your Fargate task name Wildcards are allowed, but do NOT include the task version.

    6. Click Save.

      fargate cnaf rule

      All traffic to your Fargate web container will now be examined and protected by the embedded Fargate Defender.

  3. Test your Fargate WAAS protected task.

    1. Run your protected web application Fargate task.

      Before launching your Prisma Cloud protected Fargate task, modify the security group’s inbound rules to permit TCP connections on the exposed port (8080) that you entered in the Fargate WAAS rule. This is the external port that allows you to access your web container. The security group’s inbound rules can be modified while the task is running. To disable WAAS protection, disable the WAAS rule, and re-expose the application’s real port by modifying the security group’s inbound rule.
    2. Access your Fargate web container by browsing to the public IP address of your container. Specify the external port as defined in your WAAS rule and security group.

    3. Test SQLi attack protection by running the following curl command:

      curl -o reply.html -H 'Content-Type: application/json' -X POST \
        -d '{"-1+union+all+select+1,group_concat(user,0x3a,file_priv),3,4+from+mysql.user--"}' \
        http://<public ip of fargate container>:8080

      The command should return a reply.html file that states the request was blocked by Prisma Cloud. There will also be an audit in Prisma Cloud Console at Monitor > Events > WAAS for App Embedded.

      fargate cnaf audit

5. Jenkins Fargate example

Passing the Fargate task definition to your Prisma Cloud Console’s API returns the Prisma Cloud protected Fargate task definition. Use this task definition to start Prisma Cloud protected Fargate containers. This example demonstrates using the Jenkins Pipeline build process to:

  • Call the Prisma Cloud Console’s API endpoint for Fargate task creation.

  • Pass the Fargate task definition to the API.

  • Capture the returned Prisma Cloud protected Fargate task definition.

  • Save the Prisma Cloud protected Fargate task definition within the Pipeline’s archive https://<jenkins>/job/<pipeline_name>/<job#>/artifact/tw_fargate.json

In this example we have placed our simple task fargate.json and Jenkinsfile in a GitHub repository.