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Building Open Source CSPM with CloudQuery, PostgreSQL and Grafana

Yevgeny Pats
Yevgeny Pats

In this blog post, we will walk you through how to set up CloudQuery to build your own customizable compliance, CSPM (Cloud Security Posture Management) dashboard with PostgreSQL and Grafana.

CSPMs are probably the biggest offenders of yet another dashboard and here in CloudQuery we believe it’s time to unbundle those and apply the best practices in data engineering and the modern data stack to cloud security.

General Architecture

  • ETL (Extract-Transform-Load) ingestion layer: CloudQuery
  • Datastore: PostgreSQL
  • Policies: Standard SQL Policies to be executed via psql /docs/policies
  • Data Visualization and Exploration Platform: Grafana

What you will get

  • Raw SQL access to all your cloud asset inventory, open source SQL based policies.
  • Multi-Cloud Asset Inventory: Ingest configuration from all your clouds to a single datastore with a unified structure.
  • Avoid yet-another-dashboard fatigue: Reuse your existing BI/Visualization stack (Grafana in this example) to build an open source CSPM.

Step 1: Install or Deploy CloudQuery

If it’s your first time using CloudQuery we suggest you first run it locally to get familiar with the tool. Take a look at our Getting Started with AWS Guide or GCP, Azure.

If you are already familiar with CloudQuery, take a look at how to deploy it to AWS on RDS Aurora and EKS at github.com/cludquery/terraform-aws-cloudquery , or GCP and Cloud SQL at https://github.com/cloudquery/terraform-gcp-cloudquery

Step 2: Install Grafana

Grafana is a well-known open source observability and visualization tool. It is open source, so there are a number of ways to deploy it:

Step 3: Run Policies (CSPM - Cloud Security Posture Management)

CloudQuery policies and rules are implemented in pure SQL and they store results in a single table that you can easily query and visualize. Here is a link to all available policies and compliance frameworks. In this section we will go quickly through how to run multiple benchmarks for AWS.

cd policies
# change the DSN to your PostgreSQL instance populated by CloudQuery
psql postgres://postgres:pass@localhost:5432/postgres -f policy.sql

This should run all available compliance framework and store the results in aws_policy_results. Now you can query the table directly and export in various formats such as CSV or HTML, all with standard psql , and of course visualize them in your favorite BI tool. We prepared a pre-built dashboard for Grafana that you can check out here:


That’s it! Now you have fully functional CSPM (KSPM, or any other SPM) with those nice bonuses:

  1. Access to raw data available and stored in your PostgreSQL.

  2. Policies easily customizable and defined in pure SQL.