This page provides an overview of Security Command Center, Google Cloud's centralized vulnerability and threat reporting service. Security Command Center helps you strengthen your security posture by evaluating your security and data attack surface; providing asset inventory and discovery; identifying misconfigurations, vulnerabilities, and threats; and helping you mitigate and remediate risks.
Security Command Center uses services, such as Event Threat Detection and Security Health Analytics, to detect security issues in your environment. These services scan your logs and resources on Google Cloud looking for threat indicators, software vulnerabilities, and misconfigurations. Services are also referred to as sources. For more information, see Security sources.
When these services detect a threat, vulnerability, or misconfiguration, they issue a finding. A finding is a report or record of an individual threat, vulnerability, or misconfiguration that service has found in your Google Cloud environment. Findings show the issue that was detected, the Google Cloud resource that is affected by the issue, and guidance on how you can address the issue.
In the Google Cloud console, Security Command Center provides a consolidated view of all of the findings that are returned by Security Command Center services. In the Google Cloud console, you can query findings, filter findings, mute irrelevant findings, and more.
Security Command Center activation levels
You can activate Security Command Center on an individual project, which is known as project-level activation, or an entire organization, which is known as organization-level activation.
For more information about activating Security Command Center, see Overview of activating Security Command Center.
Security Command Center service tiers
Security Command Center offers two service tiers: Standard and Premium.
The tier you select determines the built-in services that are available with Security Command Center.
If you have questions about the Security Command Center service tiers, contact your account representative or Google Cloud sales.
For information about costs associated with using a Security Command Center tier, see Pricing.
The Standard service tier
The Standard tier includes the following services and features:
Security Health Analytics: in the Standard tier, Security Health Analytics provides managed vulnerability assessment scanning for Google Cloud that can automatically detect the highest severity vulnerabilities and misconfigurations for your Google Cloud assets. In the Standard tier, Security Health Analytics includes the following finding types:
Dataproc image outdated
Legacy authorization enabled
MFA not enforced
Non org IAM member
Open ciscosecure websm port
Open directory services port
Open group IAM member
Open RDP port
Open SSH port
Open Telnet port
Public bucket ACL
Public Compute image
Public IP address
Public log bucket
Public SQL instance
SSL not enforced
Web UI enabled
- Web Security Scanner custom scans: in the Standard tier, Web Security Scanner supports custom scans of deployed applications with public URLs and IP addresses that aren't behind a firewall. Scans are manually configured, managed, and executed for all projects, and support a subset of categories in the OWASP Top Ten.
- Security Command Center errors: Security Command Center provides detection and remediation guidance for configuration errors that prevent Security Command Center and its services from functioning properly.
- Continuous Exports feature, which automatically manages the export of new findings to Pub/Sub.
Access to integrated Google Cloud services, including the following:
- Sensitive Data Protection discovers, classifies, and protects sensitive data.
- Google Cloud Armor protects Google Cloud deployments against threats.
- Anomaly Detection identifies security anomalies for your projects and virtual machine (VM) instances, like potential leaked credentials and cryptocurrency mining.
- Config Management Policy Controller enables the application and enforcement of programmable policies for your Kubernetes clusters.
- Integration with BigQuery, which exports findings to BigQuery for analysis.
- Integration with Forseti Security, the open source security toolkit for Google Cloud, and third-party security information and event management (SIEM) applications.
- When Security Command Center is activated at the organization level, you can grant users IAM roles at the organization, folder, and project levels.
The Premium service tier
The Premium tier includes all of the Standard tier services and features and the following additional services and features:
- Attack path simulations help you identify and prioritize vulnerability and misconfiguration findings by identifying the paths that a potential attacker could take to reach your high-value resources. The simulations calculate and assign attack exposure scores to any findings that expose those resources. Interactive attack paths help you visualize the possible attack paths and provide information about the paths, related findings, and the affected resources.
- Event Threat Detection monitors Cloud Logging and Google Workspace, using threat intelligence, machine learning, and other advanced methods to detect threats, such as malware, cryptocurrency mining, and data exfiltration. For a full list of built-in Event Threat Detection detectors, see Event Threat Detection rules. You can also create custom Event Threat Detection detectors. For information about module templates that you can use to create custom detection rules, see Overview of custom modules for Event Threat Detection.
Container Threat Detection detects the following container runtime attacks:
- Added Binary Executed
- Added Library Loaded
- Malicious Script Executed
- Reverse Shell
- Unexpected Child Shell
- Sensitive Actions Service detects when actions are taken in your Google Cloud organization, folders, and projects that could be damaging to your business if they are taken by a malicious actor.
- Virtual Machine Threat Detection detects potentially malicious applications running in VM instances.
Security Health Analytics at the Premium tier includes the following features:
- Managed vulnerability scans for all Security Health Analytics detectors
- Monitoring for many industry best practices
- Compliance monitoring across your Google Cloud assets, the results of which you can review on the Compliance page in the Google Cloud console and export as CSV files.
- Custom module support, which you can use to create your own custom Security Health Analytics detectors.
In the Premium tier, Security Health Analytics supports the standards described in Remain compliant with industry standards.
- Web Security Scanner in the Premium tier includes all Standard tier features and additional detectors that support categories in the OWASP Top Ten. Web Security Scanner also adds managed scans that are automatically configured.
- Rapid Vulnerability Detection scans networks and web applications to detect weak credentials, incomplete software installations, and other critical vulnerabilities that have a high likelihood of being exploited.
- You can request for additional Cloud Asset Inventory quota if the need for extended asset monitoring arises.
- Secured Landing Zone service can be enabled only in the Security Command Center Premium tier. When enabled, this service displays findings if there are policy violations in the resources of the deployed blueprint, generates corresponding alerts, and selectively takes automatic remediation actions.
- VM Manager vulnerability reports
Strengthen your security posture
Security Command Center works with Cloud Asset Inventory to provide complete visibility into your Google Cloud infrastructure and resources, also referred to as assets. Built-in services—Security Health Analytics, Event Threat Detection, Container Threat Detection, and Web Security Scanner—use nearly 200 detection modules that continuously monitor and scan your assets, web applications, Cloud Logging stream, Google Workspace logs, and Google Groups.
Powered by Google's threat intelligence, machine learning, and unique insights into the architecture of Google Cloud, Security Command Center detects vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, threats, and compliance violations in near-real time. Security findings, attack exposure scores, and compliance reports help you triage and prioritize risks, and provide verified remediation instructions and expert tips for responding to findings.
The following figure illustrates the core services and operations in Security Command Center.
Expansive inventory of assets, data, and services
Security Command Center ingests data about new, modified, and deleted assets from Cloud Asset Inventory, which continuously monitors assets in your cloud environment. Security Command Center supports a large subset of Google Cloud assets. For most assets, configuration changes, including IAM and organization policies, are detected in near-real time. You can quickly identify changes in your organization or project and answer questions like:
- How many projects do you have, and how many projects are new?
- What Google Cloud resources are deployed or in use, like Compute Engine virtual machines (VMs), Cloud Storage buckets, or App Engine instances?
- What's your deployment history?
- How to organize, annotate, search, select, filter, and sort across the
- Assets and asset properties
- Security marks, which enable you to annotate assets or findings in Security Command Center
- Time period
Security Command Center always knows the current state of supported assets and, in the Google Cloud console or Security Command Center API, lets you review historical discovery scans to compare assets between points in time. You can also look for underused assets, like virtual machines or idle IP addresses.
If you are using Security Command Center Premium, Security Command Center provides
dynamically generated explanations of each finding and of each simulated
attack path that Security Command Center generates for
Misconfiguration class findings.
The summaries are written in natural language to help you quickly understand and act on findings and any attack paths that might accompany them.
The summaries appear in the following places in the Google Cloud console:
- When you click the name of an individual finding, the summary at the top of the details page of the finding.
- In Security Command Center Premium, if a finding has an attack exposure score, you can display the summary to the right of the attack path by clicking the attack exposure score and then AI summary.
Required IAM permissions
To view the AI summaries, you need the required IAM permissions.
For findings, you need the
IAM permission. The least-permissive predefined
IAM role that contains this permission is the
Security Center Findings Viewer (
For attack paths, you need the
IAM permission. The least-permissive predefined
IAM role that contains this permission is the
Security Center Exposure Paths Reader
During the preview, these permissions are not available in the Google Cloud console to add to custom IAM roles.
To add the permission to a custom role, you can use the Google Cloud CLI.
For information about using the Google Cloud CLI to add permissions to a custom role, see Create and manage custom roles.
Actionable security insights
Security Command Center's built-in and integrated services continuously monitor your assets and logs for indicators of compromise and configuration changes that match known threats, vulnerabilities, and misconfigurations. To provide context for incidents, findings are enriched with information from the following sources:
- AI-generated summaries that help you understand and act on Security Command Center findings and any attack paths included with them. For more information, see AI-generated summaries.
- Chronicle, a Google Cloud service that ingests Event Threat Detection findings and lets you investigate threats and pivot through related entities in a unified timeline
- VirusTotal, an Alphabet-owned service that provides context on potentially malicious files, URLs, domains, and IP addresses
- MITRE ATT&CK framework, which explains techniques for attacks against cloud resources and provides remediation guidance
- Cloud Audit Logs (Admin Activity logs and Data Access logs)
You get notifications for new findings in near real-time, helping your security teams gather data, identify threats, and act on recommendations before they result in business damage or loss.
With a centralized view of your security posture and a robust API, you can quickly do the following:
- Answer questions like:
- What static IP addresses are open to the public?
- What images are running on your VMs?
- Is there evidence that your VMs are being used for cryptocurrency mining or other abusive operations?
- Which service accounts have been added or removed?
- How are firewalls configured?
- Which storage buckets contain personally-identifiable information (PII) or sensitive data? This feature requires integration with Sensitive Data Protection.
- Which cloud applications are vulnerable to cross-site-scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities?
- Are any of my Cloud Storage buckets open to the internet?
- Take actions to protect your assets:
- Implement verified remediation steps for asset misconfigurations and compliance violations.
- Combine threat intelligence from Google Cloud and third party providers, such as Palo Alto Networks, to better protect your enterprise from costly compute layer threats.
- Ensure the appropriate IAM policies are in place and get alerts when policies are misconfigured or unexpectedly changed.
- Integrate findings from your own or third-party sources for Google Cloud resources, or hybrid or multi-cloud resources. For more information, see Adding a third-party security service.
- Respond to threats in your Google Workspace environment and unsafe changes in Google Groups.
The IAM roles for Security Command Center can be granted at the organization, folder, or project level. Your ability to view, edit, create, or update findings, assets, and security sources depends on the level for which you are granted access. To learn more about Security Command Center roles, see Access control.
Cloud infrastructure entitlement management
Security Command Center supports cloud infrastructure entitlement management (CIEM). In the Google Cloud console, you can filter on findings that are related to principal accounts (identities) that are misconfigured or that are granted excessive or sensitive IAM permissions.
On the Vulnerability page in the Google Cloud console, you can select goal-based query presets (predefined queries) that show the vulnerability detectors or categories that are related to CIEM. For each detector, the number of active findings is displayed.
For more information about the query presets, see Goal-based query presets.
Remain compliant with industry standards
Most of Security Command Center's detectors are mapped to one or more of the following compliance standards:
- Center for Information Security (CIS) Google Cloud Computing Foundations Benchmark v2.0.0, v1.3.0, v1.2.0, v1.1.0, and v1.0.0
- CIS Kubernetes Benchmark v1.5.1
- Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard 3.2.1
- National Institute of Standards and Technology 800-53
- International Organization for Standardization 27001
- Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) Top Ten
CIS reviewed and certified the mappings of Security Command Center detectors to each supported version of the CIS Google Cloud Foundations Benchmark. Additional compliance mappings are included for reference purposes only.
Security Command Center frequently adds support for new benchmark versions and standards. Older versions of the CIS Benchmark remain supported, but are eventually deprecated. We recommend that you use the latest supported benchmark available.
Flexible platform to meet your security needs
Security Command Center includes customization and integration options that let you enhance the service's utility to meet your evolving security needs.
Customization options include the following:
- Create custom modules for Security Health Analytics to define your own detection rules for vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, or compliance violations.
- Create custom modules for Event Threat Detection to monitor your Logging stream for threats based on parameters that you specify.
Integration options include the following:
- Use Pub/Sub to export findings to Splunk or other SIEMs for analysis.
- Use Pub/Sub and Cloud Functions to quickly and automatically remediate findings.
- Access open-source tools to expand functionality and automate responses.
- Integrate with Google Cloud security services, including the following:
- Integrate with third-party partner security solutions:
- Google Cloud security insights from partner products are aggregated in Security Command Center, and you can feed them into existing systems and workflows.
When to use Security Command Center
The following table includes high-level product features, use cases, and links to relevant documentation to help you quickly find the content you need.
|Feature||Use cases||Related docs|
|Asset discovery and inventory||
||Optimize Security Command Center|
|Confidential data identification||
Sending Sensitive Data Protection results to Security Command Center
|SIEM and SOAR integration||
||Exporting Security Command Center data|
Security Health Analytics overview
|Access control monitoring||
||Event Threat Detection overview|
Security Command Center errors overview
||Overview of attack exposure scores and attack paths|
Investigating and responding to threats
|Third-party security tool inputs||
||Configuring Security Command Center|
||Setting up finding notifications|
|REST API and Client SDKs||
||Configuring Security Command Center|
- Learn about activating Security Command Center.
- Learn more about Security Command Center security sources.
- Learn how to use Security Command Center in the Google Cloud console.