Simplifying FedRAMP Compliance with Teleport
Jun 27
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External Audit Storage

External Audit Storage is a feature of Teleport in which the Auth Service stores audit events and session recordings directly on infrastructure in any AWS account.

Because you control the infrastructure that stores audit events and session recordings, you can use External Audit Storage to satisfy compliance, retention, and privacy policies.

With External Audit Storage, you do not need to build an exporter to support custom audit event queries, since you can access and efficiently query your audit events right where they are stored.

External Audit Storage is based on Teleport's Athena backend for audit events and the S3 backend for session recordings. It is only available on Teleport Enterprise Cloud clusters running Teleport v14.2.1 or above.


  1. A Teleport Enterprise Cloud account. If you do not have one, sign up for a free trial.
  2. To store and query audit events and session recordings, you need to set up the following four components in an AWS account of your choosing. The Teleport Web UI walks you through the infrastructure you need to create, but you should be aware that it includes the following components:
    • A long-term storage Amazon S3 bucket to hold all audit events and session recordings from your cluster. Audit events are stored as Parquet files.
    • An AWS Glue database with a table to represent the schema of the audit events as stored in the Parquet format in S3.
    • An Amazon Athena workgroup to power queries of your audit log.
    • A transient storage S3 bucket that temporarily holds the results of Athena queries.
  3. Currently it is a requirement that the AWS infrastructure is hosted in the same AWS region as the Teleport Auth Service for your cluster.

Step 1/2. Configure RBAC

To configure the integration you will need the following allow rules in one of your Teleport roles. These are available by default in the preset editor role:

kind: role
version: v7
  name: example
    - resources:
      - integration
      - external_audit_storage
      - create
      - update
      - list
      - read

Step 2/2. Visit the Web UI

External Audit Storage is available as an integration in the management panel of the Teleport Web UI:

With External Audit Storage enabled, your Teleport Enterprise Cloud cluster acts as an OpenID Connect (OIDC) identity provider to authenticate to your organization's AWS account.

The Teleport Web UI walks you through the steps to set up an AWS OIDC integration (if you don't have one already), configure the IAM policy, create the infrastructure in your AWS account, test the connection to your S3 buckets and Athena workgroup, and enable the feature.

The IAM policy for External Audit Storage resembles the following, modified to support your AWS environment:

    "Version": "2012-10-17",
    "Statement": [
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": [
            "Resource": [
            "Sid": "ReadWriteSessionsAndEvents"
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": [
            "Resource": "arn:aws:athena:us-west-2:278576220453:workgroup/teleport_events_<unique_id>",
            "Sid": "AllowAthenaQuery"
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": [
            "Resource": [
            "Sid": "FullAccessOnGlueTable"

Migrating to External Audit Storage

Once External Audit Storage is enabled, all new audit events and session recordings will be stored in your S3 bucket, and they will not be stored in the Teleport Cloud infrastructure.

If you currently use the Event Handler plugin to export events, it will follow the switch from the old to new backends and new events will continue to be exported. Only events emitted after the transition to External Audit Storage will be visible in the Teleport UI or accessible to Teleport clients.

Disabling External Audit Storage

If you disable External Audit Storage at any time in the future, your infrastructure will not be touched and all audit events and session recordings will remain in your S3 bucket.

If you use the Event Handler plugin, it will continue to export new events. All new events will be stored on Teleport Cloud infrastructure. While External Audit Storage is disabled, only events stored in the Teleport Cloud infrastructure will be visible in the Teleport UI or accessible to Teleport clients.