Last updated at Tue, 26 Dec 2023 21:09:33 GMT

In today's ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape, detecting and responding to cyber threats is paramount for organizations in cloud environments. At the same time, investigating cyber threat alerts can be arduous due to the time-consuming and complex process of data collection. To tackle this pain point, Rapid7 developed a new Cloud Resource Enrichment API that streamlines data retrieval from various cloud resources. The API empowers security analysts to swiftly respond to cyber threats and improve incident response time.

Identifying the Need for a Unified API

Protecting cloud resources from cyber attacks is a growing challenge. Security analysts must grapple with gathering relevant data spread across multiple systems and APIs, leading to incident response inefficiencies. Presented with this challenge, we recognized a pressing need for a unified API that collects all relevant data types related to a cloud resource during a cyber threat action. This API streamlines data access, enabling analysts to piece together a comprehensive view of incidents rapidly, enhancing cybersecurity operations.

Defining the Vision and Scope

Our development team worked closely with security analysts to tailor the API's functionalities to meet real-world needs. Defining the API's scope involved meticulous prioritization of features, striking the right balance between usability and data abundance. By involving analysts from the outset, we laid a solid foundation for the API's success.

The Development Journey

Adopting agile methodologies, our team iteratively developed the API, adapting and fine-tuning as we progressed. The iterative development process played a vital role in ensuring the API's success. By breaking down the project into smaller, manageable tasks, we could focus on specific features, implement them efficiently, and gather feedback from early prototypes. With a comprehensive design phase, we defined the API's architecture and capabilities based on insights from security analysts. Regular meetings and feedback gathering facilitated continuous improvements, streamlining the data retrieval process.

The API utilizes RESTful API design principles for data integration and communication between cloud systems. It collects the following types of data:

  • Harvested cloud resource properties (image, IP, network interfaces, region, cloud organization and account, security groups, and much, much more)
  • Permissions data (permissions on the resource, permissions of the resource)
  • Security insights (risks, misconfigurations, vulnerabilities)
  • Security alerts (“threat finding”)
  • First level cloud related resources
  • Application context (tagging made by the client in the cloud environment)

Each data type required collaboration with a different team which is responsible for collecting and processing the data. This resulted in a feature that involved developers from 6 different teams! Regular meetings and continuous communication with the development team and the product manager, allowed us to incorporate suggestions and make iterative improvements to the API's design and functionality.


The development journey of our Cloud Resource Enrichment API has been both challenging and rewarding. With a user-centric approach, we have crafted a powerful tool that empowers security teams to respond effectively to cyber threats. As we continue to enhance the API, we remain committed to fortifying organizations' cyber defenses and elevating incident response capabilities. Together, we can better equip security analysts to face the ever-changing cyber war with confidence.