AWS Parameters and Secrets Lambda Extension Demo Using AWS CDK

AWS Parameters and Secrets Lambda Extension Demo Using AWS CDK


3 min read


  • The story: AWS launched the AWS Parameters and Secrets Lambda Extension, a convenient method for AWS Lambda users to retrieve parameters from AWS Systems Manager Parameter Store and secrets from AWS Secrets Manager. AWS Lambda customers can leverage this extension to improve their application performance as it decreases the latency and the cost of retrieving parameters and secrets.

  • What makes you happy? Until now, parameters and secrets were obtained in the Lambda function process using the AWS SDK or other means. With this extension, these values can be cached and reused during the lifecycle of a Lambda function. This reduces the latency and cost of retrieving parameters and secrets.

  • This post uses AWS CDK Typescript to create a lambda function URL where its handler gets SecureString value of the parameter store.

Table Of Contents

๐Ÿš€ Pre-requisite

  • You need slack workspace (free) to create slack incoming-webhooks

  • Getting started with AWS CDK

๐Ÿš€ How lambda handler gets Parameter/Secret value through the extension layer

  • To authorize and authenticate Parameter Store requests, the extension uses the same credentials as those used to run the Lambda function itself, so the lambda role need to have permission ssm:GetParameter and kms:Decrypt

  • To use the AWS Parameters and Secrets Lambda Extension, we add the extension to the Lambda function as a layer. The layer ARN differs from the region which we can get in retrieving-secrets_lambda_ARNs

  • With the above setup, the lambda hander just calls to the GetParameter API to retrieve the value with the following input

    • Host: localhost

    • Port: 2773

    • Header: X-Aws-Parameters-Secrets-Token with AWS_SESSION_TOKEN environment variable

    • Encode the queryStringParameters

  • Source code: Here we get the secureString parameter store of slack incoming webhook SSM_SLACK_WEBHOOK_PRAMETER_NAME='/slack/webhook/url/devops'

      def get_ssm_parameter_store():
          SSM_SLACK_WEBHOOK_PRAMETER_NAME = os.getenv(
          url = 'http://localhost:2773'
          header = {'X-Aws-Parameters-Secrets-Token': os.getenv('AWS_SESSION_TOKEN')}
          parameter_encode = requests.utils.quote(SSM_SLACK_WEBHOOK_PRAMETER_NAME)
          path = f'systemsmanager/parameters/get?name={parameter_encode}&withDecryption=true'
          res = requests.get(f'{url}/{path}', headers=header)
          if res.status_code == 200:
              data = res.json()
              return data['Parameter']['Value']
                  f"Failed to get SSM parameter store {SSM_SLACK_WEBHOOK_PRAMETER_NAME}")
              return None

๐Ÿš€ Dive deep into CDK code

  • The cdk is not much, just includes the following stacks:

    • CMK (custom managed key): This key is to encrypt the parameter store value

    • Lambda role: Provides the function lambda basic execution, ssm:GetParameter and kms:Decrypt restrict to the above CMK only

    • Lambda function with enable function URL (AuthType: AWS_IAM)

  • Source code: main.ts

๐Ÿš€ Deploy and Demo

  • Run cdk deploy we will have our resources. Note the output of the lambda function URL

      โœจ hotswapping resources:
        โœจ Lambda Function 'sin-d1-parameters-secrets-extension-test'
      โœจ Lambda Function 'sin-d1-parameters-secrets-extension-test' hotswapped!
      โœ…  aws-parameters-secrets-lambda-extension-cdk-dev
      โœจ  Deployment time: 10.76s
      aws-parameters-secrets-lambda-extension-cdk-dev.sind1parameterssecretsextensiontesturl =
      Stack ARN:
      โœจ  Total time: 15.56s

  • The function URL uses AWS_IAM auth type so we must sign each HTTP request using AWS Signature Version 4 (SigV4). Here we use the tool awsculr to sign the request

  • Call request to send HelloCdkServerless slack message

      ~ $ awscurl --profile mfa --region ap-southeast-1 --service lambda

๐Ÿš€ Conclusion

  • We now have another option to get secret values from parameter store or secret by using AWS Parameters and Secrets Lambda Extension.

  • Hope this will be of help to someone else and remember to destroy the stacks after testing cdk destroy