Notice: Over the next few months, we're reorganizing the App Engine documentation site to make it easier to find content and better align with the rest of Google Cloud products. The same content will be available, but the navigation will now match the rest of the Cloud products.

Overview of App Security

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Region ID

The REGION_ID is an abbreviated code that Google assigns based on the region you select when you create your app. The code does not correspond to a country or province, even though some region IDs may appear similar to commonly used country and province codes. For apps created after February 2020, REGION_ID.r is included in App Engine URLs. For existing apps created before this date, the region ID is optional in the URL.

Learn more about region IDs.

Security is a core feature of the Google Cloud, but there are still steps you should take to protect your App Engine app and identify vulnerabilities.

Use the following features to ensure that your App Engine app is secure. To learn more about the Google Security Model and the available steps that you can take to secure your Cloud projects, see Google Cloud Platform Security.

HTTPS requests

Use HTTPS requests to access to your App Engine app securely. Depending on how your app is configured, you have the following options:

appspot.com domains
  • Use the https URL prefix to send HTTPS request to the default service of your Cloud project, for example:
    https://PROJECT_ID.REGION_ID.r.appspot.com
  • To target specific resources in your App Engine app, use the -dot- syntax to separate each resource you want to target, for example:
    https://VERSION-dot-SERVICE-dot-PROJECT_ID.REGION_ID.r.appspot.com

  • To convert an HTTP URL to an HTTPS URL, replace the periods between each resource with -dot-, for example:
    http://SERVICE_ID.PROJECT_ID.REGION_ID.r.appspot.com
    https://SERVICE_ID-dot-PROJECT_ID.REGION_ID.r.appspot.com

For more information about HTTPS URLs and targeting resources, see How Requests are Routed.

Custom domains

To send HTTPS requests with your custom domain, you can use the managed SSL certificates that are provisioned by App Engine. For more information, see Securing Custom Domains with SSL.

Access control

In each Cloud project, set up access control to determine who can access the services within the project, including App Engine. You can assign different roles to different accounts to ensure each account has only the permissions it needs to support your app. For details see, Setting Up Access Control.

App Engine firewall

The App Engine firewall enables you to control access to your App Engine app through a set of rules that can either allow or deny requests from the specified ranges of IP addresses. You are not billed for traffic or bandwidth that is blocked by the firewall. Create a firewall to:

Allow only traffic from within a specific network
Ensure that only a certain range of IP addresses from specific networks can access your app. For example, create rules to allow only the range of IP addresses from within your company's private network during your app's testing phase. You can then create and modify your firewall rules to control the scope of access throughout your release process, allowing only certain organizations, either within your company or externally, to access your app as it makes its way to public availability.
Allow only traffic from a specific service
Ensure that all the traffic to your App Engine app is first proxied through a specific service. For example, if you use a third-party Web Application Firewall (WAF) to proxy requests directed at your app, you can create firewall rules to deny all requests except those that are forwarded from your WAF.
Block abusive IP addresses
While Google Cloud has many mechanisms in place to prevent attacks, you can use the App Engine firewall to block traffic to your app from IP addresses that present malicious intent or shield your app from denial of service attacks and similar forms of abuse. You can add IP addresses or subnetworks to a denylist, so that requests routed from those addresses and subnetworks are denied before they reach your App Engine app.

For details about creating rules and configuring your firewall, see Controlling App Access with Firewalls.

Ingress controls

This section describes how to use ingress settings to restrict network access to your App Engine app. At a network level, by default, any resource on the internet is able to reach your App Engine app on its appspot URL or at a custom domain set up in App Engine. For example, the appspot.com URL can have the following format: SERVICE_ID.PROJECT_ID.REGION_ID.r.appspot.com.

You can change this default setting by specifying a different setting for ingress. All ingress paths, including the default appspot.com URL, are subject to your ingress setting. Ingress is set at the service level.

Available ingress settings

The following settings are available:

Setting Description
Internal Most restrictive. Allows requests from resources attached to the project's VPC networks, such as:
Requests from these sources stay within the Google network, even if they access your service at the appspot.com URL. Requests from other sources, including the internet, cannot reach your service at the appspot.com URL or custom domains. There is no support for multi-tenancy, that is, multiple trust domains within the same project.
Internal and Cloud Load Balancing Allows requests from the following resources:
  • Resources allowed by the more restrictive Internal setting
  • External HTTP(S) load balancer
Use the Internal and Cloud Load Balancing setting to accept requests from an external HTTP(S) load balancer but not directly from the internet. Requests to the appspot.com URL bypass External HTTP(S) load balancer, so this setting prevents external requests from reaching the appspot.com URL.
All Least restrictive. Allows all requests, including requests directly from the internet to the appspot.com URL.

Accessing internal services

The following considerations apply:

  • For requests from a Shared VPC, traffic is only considered internal if the App Engine app is deployed in the Shared VPC host project. If the App Engine app is deployed in a Shared VPC service project, only traffic from networks owned by the app's own project is internal. All other traffic, including traffic from other Shared VPCs, is external.

  • When accessing internal services, call them as you would normally do by using their public URLs, either the default appspot.com URL or a custom domain set up in App Engine.

  • For requests from Compute Engine VM instances or other resources running inside a VPC network in the same project, no further setup is required.

  • For requests from other App Engine services or from Cloud Run or Cloud Functions in the same project, connect the service or function to a VPC network and route all egress through the connector, as described in Connecting to a Shared VPC network.

  • Requests from resources within VPC networks in the same project are classified as internal even if the resource they originate from has a public IP address.

  • Requests from on-premises resources connected to the VPC network via Cloud VPN are considered internal.

View ingress settings

Console

  1. Go to the App Engine Services page.

    Go to the Services page

  2. Locate the Ingress column. For each service, the value in this column shows the ingress setting as one of All (default), Internal + Load Balancing, or Internal.

gcloud

To view the ingress setting for a service using the gcloud CLI:

gcloud app services describe SERVICE

Replace SERVICE with the name of your service.

For example, to view the ingress settings and other information for the default service run:

gcloud app services describe default

Edit ingress settings

Console

  1. Go to the App Engine Services page.

    Go to the Services page

  2. Select the service you wish to edit.

  3. Click Edit ingress setting.

  4. Select the ingress setting that you want from the menu and click Save.

gcloud

To update the ingress setting for a service using the gcloud CLI:

gcloud app services update SERVICE --ingress=INGRESS

Replace:

  • SERVICE: The name of your service.
  • INGRESS: The ingress control you want to apply. One of all, internal-only, or internal-and-cloud-load-balancing.

For example:

  • To update the default service of an App Engine app to accept traffic only from Cloud Load Balancing and VPC networks that are in the same project:

    gcloud app services update default --ingress=internal-and-cloud-load-balancing
  • To update a service named "internal-requests" to accept traffic only from VPC networks that are in the same project:

    gcloud app services update internal-requests --ingress=internal-only

Security scanner

The Google Cloud Web Security Scanner discovers vulnerabilities by crawling your App Engine app, following all that links within the scope of your starting URLs, and attempting to exercise as many user inputs and event handlers as possible.

In order to use the security scanner, you must be an owner of the Cloud project. For more information on assigning roles, see Setting Up Access Control.

You can run security scans from the Google Cloud console to identify security vulnerabilities in your App Engine app. For details about running the Security Scanner, see the Security Scanner Quickstart.