Skip to main content


Ensure routing tables for Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) peering are "least access" (Manual)

Profile Applicability

• Level 2


After establishing a VPC peering connection, update routing tables to establish any connections between the peered VPCs. These routes can be as specific as desired - even peering a VPC to only a single host on the other side of the connection.


Being highly selective in peering routing tables is a very effective way of minimizing the impact of breach as resources outside of these routes are inaccessible to the peered VPC.


Review routing tables of peered VPCs for whether they route all subnets of each VPC and whether that is necessary to accomplish the intended purposes for peering the VPCs.

From Command Line

  1. List all the route tables from a VPC and check if "GatewayId" is pointing to a <peering_connection_id> (e.g. pcx-1a2b3c4d) and if "DestinationCidrBlock" is as specific as desired.
aws ec2 describe-route-tables --filter "Name=vpc-id,Values=<vpc_id>" --query "RouteTables[*].{RouteTableId:RouteTableId, VpcId:VpcId, Routes:Routes, AssociatedSubnets:Associations[*].SubnetId}"


Remove and add route table entries to ensure that only the required subnets or hosts to accomplish the purpose for peering are routable.

From Command Line

  1. For each <route_table_id> containing routes non compliant with your routing policy (which grants more than desired "least access"), delete the non compliant route:
aws ec2 delete-route --route-table-id <route_table_id> --destination-cidr-block <non_compliant_destination_cidr>
  1. Create a new compliant route:
aws ec2 create-route --route-table-id <route_table_id> --destination-cidr-block <compliant_destination_cidr> --vpc-peering-connection-id <peering_connection_id>


Additional Information

If an organization has AWS transit gateway implemented in their VPC architecture they should look to apply the preceding recommendation for "least access" routing architecture at the AWS transit gateway level in combination with required implementations at the standard VPC route table. More specifically, to route traffic between two or more VPCs via a transit gateway VPCs must have an attachment to a transit gateway route table as well as a route, therefore to avoid routing traffic between VPCs only add an attachment to the transit gateway route table where there is an intention to route traffic between the VPCs. As transit gateways are able to host multiple route tables it is possible to group VPCs by attaching them to a common route table.