1. Overview

Container environments tend to utilize many third party services across multiple cloud providers. To improve accessibility and reusability, Prisma Cloud manages all credentials in a central encrypted store. Credentials are used when setting up the following integrations:

  • Scanning (container registries, serverless functions, etc).

  • Alerting in third party services (email, Slack, ServiceNow, etc).

  • Deploying and managing Defender DaemonSets from the Console UI.

  • Injecting secrets from secret stores into containers at runtime.

credentials store arch

The credential store can be found under Manage > Authentication > Credentials Store. Credentials cannot be deleted if they are currently in use. To see all the places where a credentials is being used, click on an entry in the credentials store table, and review the Usages list.

If a credential is being used by an integration, and you edit its parameters (e.g. username, password, etc), the new values are automatically propagated to the right places in the product. You don’t need to delete and set up the integration again to refresh a credential’s values.

credentials store usage

2. AWS

Prisma Cloud lets you authenticate with AWS the following ways:

  • IAM users (access keys).

  • IAM roles.

  • Security Token Service (STS) (Recommended when using IAM users).

2.1. AWS IAM users

An IAM user is an identity that you create in AWS. It represents a person or service that uses the IAM user to interact with AWS.

Access keys are long-term credentials for IAM users. Access keys consist of two parts: an access key ID and a secret access key. Like a username and password, you must use both the access key ID and secret access key together to authenticate requests with AWS.

The credentials store in Prisma Cloud lets you save access keys. When creating a new credential, select the AWS type and Access Key subtype, and then enter an access key ID and secret access key.

credentials store aws access key


As per AWS best practices, it is recommended to rotate your keys every 90 days. Prisma Cloud will raise an Alert if the age of the credentials added is >90 days. Ensure that if you use this option, rotate your keys at least every 90 days.

2.2. AWS IAM roles

In many cases, you can take advantage of IAM roles and their temporary security credentials rather than the long-term credentials associated with IAM users.

IAM roles are similar to IAM users. Both are identities with permission policies. The permission policy determines what an identity can (and cannot) do in AWS. However, roles don’t have any associated credentials (e.g. access keys). Instead of being uniquely associated with one person, roles are assumable by anyone who needs them. IAM users can assume a role to temporarily acquire the permissions needed to carry out a specific task.

IAM roles solve the problem of how to securely manage and distribute credentials. For example, how do you distribute credentials to new EC2 instances created by an auto scaling group? How do you rotate credentials on EC2 instances in a cluster? Instead of creating and distributing credentials, you can delegate permission to call the AWS API as follows:

  1. Create an IAM role.

  2. Specify the AWS service (e.g. EC2) that can assume the role.

  3. Specify the API actions and resources Prisma Cloud can use after assuming the role.

  4. Specify the role when you launch the service.

  5. Prisma Cloud retrieves a set of temporary credentials and uses them as needed.

Prisma Cloud ships with a default credential called IAM Role. Assuming you’ve created an IAM role in AWS, configured trust (who can use the role), permission policy (what the role can do), and launched the service with the role, Prisma Cloud can acquire the temporary credentials it needs to carry out its work. Each feature in Prisma Cloud has documentation which describes permission policy it requires.

credentials store default iam role

2.2.1. How Prisma Cloud accesses IAM role credentials

Roles provide a way to grant credentials to applications that run on EC2 instances to access other AWS services, such as ECR. IAM dynamically provides temporary credentials to the EC2 instances, and these credentials are automatically rotated for you.

This section shows how Prisma Cloud Defender gets credentials to scan the ECR registry when its running on an EC2 instance with a correctly configured IAM role. The mechanism is similar for other services where Prisma Cloud might run.

When you create an EC2 instance, you can assign it a role. When the instance is started, the AWS instance metadata service (IMDS) attaches your credentials to the running EC2 instance. You can access this metadata from within the instance using the following command:

"Code" : "Success",
"LastUpdated" : "2017-06-29T06:12:29Z",
"Type" : "AWS-HMAC",
"AccessKeyId" : "ASIA...",
"SecretAccessKey" : "3VI...",
"Token" : "dzE...",
"Expiration" : "2017-06-29T12:16:54Z"

Where <POLICY_NAME> is assigned to the EC2 instance when it is created or at some point during its life.

The following diagram shows all the pieces. Defender retrieves the credentials from the metadata service, then uses those credentials to retrieve and scan the container images in ECR.

credentials store scan ecr iam role

2.3. AWS Security Token Service (STS)

AWS Security Token Service (STS) lets you request temporary, limited-privilege credentials for AWS IAM users or users that you authenticate (federated users).

Per the AWS Well-Architected Framework, this method is a recommended best practice when using IAM users. With STS, you don’t have to distribute long-term AWS credentials (access keys) to places like the Prisma Cloud credentials store. Also, the temporary credentials have a limited life span, so you don’t have to rotate or revoke them when they’re no longer needed.

When you configure integration with an AWS resource, you can pick an AWS credential from the central store, then use STS to change the role of the account. AWS STS lets you have a few number of IAM identities that can be used across many AWS accounts. For example, if you were setting up Prisma Cloud to scan an AWS ECR registry, you would select the AWS credentials from the central store. Then you would enable Use AWS STS, and enter the name of the STS role to assume in the target account.

When using AWS STS, ensure the following:

  • The policy of the IAM user you use as credentials has sts:AssumeRole permission on the IAM role you’re going to assume. Sample policy:

        "Version": "2012-10-17",
        "Statement": [
                "Effect": "Allow",
                "Action": "sts:AssumeRole",
                "Resource": "arn:aws:iam::123456789123:role/stsIAMrole"
  • The IAM role you’re going to assume has the IAM user mentioned above configured as a trusted entity. Sample trusted entity policy:

      "Version": "2012-10-17",
      "Statement": [
          "Effect": "Allow",
          "Principal": {
            "AWS": "arn:aws:iam::123456789123:user/prismaUser"
          "Action": "sts:AssumeRole"

The following diagram shows the relationship between an IAM user, a permissions policy, and an assumed role. By default, the IAM user has no permissions. The permissions policy allows ready-only access to the ECR registry. The role brings everything together. It specifies the trust relationship (who is allowed to assume the role, also known as the principal), it grants to ability for the principal to assume roles (sts:AssumeRole), and it declares what the role can do when it assumed by a principal (permission policy).

credentials store aws sts relationships

3. Azure

This section discusses Azure credentials.

3.1. Creating an Azure Service Principal

Create an Azure Service Principal so that Prisma Cloud Console can scan your Azure tenant for microservices. To get a service key:

  1. Download and install the Azure CLI.

  2. Create a service principal and configure its access to Azure resources.

    $ az ad sp create-for-rbac \
      --name <user>-twistlock-azure-cloud-discovery-<contributor|reader> \
      --role <reader|contributor> \

    The --role value depends upon the type of scanning:

    • contributor = Cloud Discovery + Azure Container Registry Scanning + Azure Function Apps Scanning

    • reader = Cloud Discovery + Azure Container Registry Scanning

  3. Copy the output of the command and set it aside. It will be used as the Service Key when creating an Azure credential.

      "clientId": "bc968c1e-67g3-4ba5-8d05-f807abb54a57",
      "clientSecret": "5ce0f4ec-5291-42f8-gbe3-90bb3f42ba14",
      "subscriptionId": "ae01981e-e1bf-49ec-ad81-80rf157a944e",
      "tenantId": "d189c61b-6c27-41d3-9749-ca5c9cc4a622",
      "activeDirectoryEndpointUrl": "https://login.microsoftonline.com",
      "resourceManagerEndpointUrl": "https://management.azure.com/",
      "activeDirectoryGraphResourceId": "https://graph.windows.net/",
      "sqlManagementEndpointUrl": "https://management.core.windows.net:8443/",
      "galleryEndpointUrl": "https://gallery.azure.com/",
      "managementEndpointUrl": "https://management.core.windows.net/"

3.2. Storing the credential in Prisma Cloud

Store the service principal’s credentials in Console so that Prisma Cloud can authenticate with Azure for scanning.

  1. Open Console, and go to Manage > Authentication > Credentials Store.

  2. Click Add credential, and enter the following values:

    1. In the Name field, enter a label to identify the credential.

    2. In the Type field, select Azure.

    3. In the Service Key field, enter the value returned by the Azure CLI tool when you created the service principal.

    4. Click Save.

4. Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

Accessing GCP to scan resources can be done in one of two ways. You can make use of a service account and create a key for that account or you can use an API Key. Google recommends that you use a service account with a key and we document that here. More information is available here https://cloud.google.com/docs/authentication/api-keys

4.1. Creating a service account

Create a service account that Prisma Cloud can use to scan your resources in GCP.

  1. Google provide a comprehensive guide for creating a service account - https://cloud.google.com/iam/docs/creating-managing-service-accounts

  2. Create a key for this service account. The format of this key should be JSON. Google have a guide for this - https://cloud.google.com/iam/docs/creating-managing-service-account-keys

  3. Copy the contents of the downloaded key, here is an example:

      "type": "service_account",
      "project_id": "mycompany-project",
      "private_key_id": "abe29475a09fb22e709fdc622306a714e17cqd1c",
      "private_key": "-----BEGIN PRIVATE KEY-----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\nK4CCBhjL3UX8Z9FbJJz7mYoX\n-----END PRIVATE KEY-----\n",
      "client_email": "mycompany-service-svc@mycompany-project.iam.gserviceaccount.com",
      "client_id": "120957099362691824155",
      "auth_uri": "https://accounts.google.com/o/oauth2/auth",
      "token_uri": "https://oauth2.googleapis.com/token",
      "auth_provider_x509_cert_url": "https://www.googleapis.com/oauth2/v1/certs",
      "client_x509_cert_url": "https://www.googleapis.com/robot/v1/metadata/x509/mycompany-service-svc%40mycompany-project.iam.gserviceaccount.com"

4.2. Storing the credential in Prisma Cloud

Store your GCP credential in Prisma Cloud.

  1. Open Console, and go to Manage > Authentication > Credentials Store.

  2. Click Add credential, and enter the following values:

    1. In the Name field, enter a label to identify the credential.

    2. In the Type field, select GCP.

    3. In the Service Account field, copy and paste the entire JSON key that you downloaded.

    4. Leave the API token blank

    5. Click Save.

5. IBM Cloud

Prisma Cloud integrates with IBM Cloud Security Advisor. To enable the integration, you must provide credentials, which consist of an Account GUID and API Key.

IBM Credential

6. Kubeconfig

Kubernetes stores cluster authentication information in a YAML file known as kubeconfig. The kubeconfig file grants access to clients, such as kubectl, to run commands against the cluster. By default, kubeconfig is stored in $HOME/.kube/config.

Prisma Cloud uses the kubeconfig credential to deploy and upgrade Defender DaemonSets directly from the Console UI. If you plan to manage DaemonSets from the command line with kubectl, you don’t need to create this type of credential.

The user or service account in your kubeconfig must have permissions to create and delete the following resources:

  • ClusterRole

  • ClusterRoleBinding

  • DaemonSet

  • Secret

  • ServiceAccount

Prisma Cloud doesn’t currently support kubeconfig credentials for Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) or AWS Elastic Kubernetes Service(EKS). The kubeconfig for these clusters require an external binary for authentication (specifically the Google Cloud SDK and aws-iam-authenticator, respectively), and Prisma Cloud Console doesn’t ship with these binaries.
  1. Open Console, and go to Manage > Authentication > Credentials Store.

  2. Click Add credential, and enter the following values:

    1. In Name, enter a label to identify the credential.

    2. In Type , select Kubeconfig.

    3. In Kubeconfig, paste the contents of your kubeconfig file.