Quick Start

Get started with Panther in 20 minutes


What you'll need:

  1. An AWS Account to deploy Panther into

  2. An IAM user or role with permissions to create and manage the necessary resources

Use the code samples below to create the deployment roles:

We recommend deploying Panther into a dedicated AWS account via AWS Organizations. This ensures that detection infrastructure is contained within a single place.


Get started with 3 quick steps!

Step 1

Clone the latest release of Panther:

git clone https://github.com/panther-labs/panther --depth 1 --branch v1.0.0
cd panther

Install and run Docker 17+, then verify the service is up:

docker info

The status bar will also display the Docker Icon (on macOS):

Docker Status

For customized deployment options, click here.

Step 2

Note: Your AWS credentials must be exported as environment variables before running the next command.

Start the development environment:


Step 3

Run the following command to deploy Panther:

mage setup:swagger deploy
  • The initial deployment will take ~10 minutes with a fast internet connection. If your credentials timeout, you can safely redeploy to pick up where you left off.

  • At the end of the deploy command, you'll be prompted for your first/last name and email to setup the first Panther user account.

  • You'll get an email from no-reply@verificationemail.com with your temporary password. If you don't see it, be sure to check your spam folder.

  • If you use aws-vault, you must be authenticated with MFA. Otherwise, IAM role creation will fail with InvalidClientTokenId

First Login

Now you can sign into Panther! The URL is sent in the welcome email and also printed in the terminal at the end of the deploy command.

By default, Panther generates a self-signed certificate, which will cause most browsers to present a warning page:

Self-Signed Certificate Warning

Your connection is encrypted, and it's generally safe to continue if the domain matches the output of the deploy command. However, the warning exists because self-signed certificates do not protect you from man-in-the-middle attacks; for this reason production deployments should provide their own ACM certificate in the deployments/panther_config.yml file.


Congratulations! You are now ready to use Panther.

Follow the steps below to complete your setup:

  1. Invite your team in Settings > Users > Invite User

  2. Configure destinations to receive generated alerts

  3. Onboard data for real-time log analysis

  4. Write custom detection rules based on internal business logic

  5. Onboard accounts for cloud security scans

  6. Write policies for supported AWS resources

  7. Query collected logs with historical search

Deployment Options

Rather than deploying from within a docker container, you can instead configure your development environment locally. This will take more time initially but will lead to faster deployments.

You can also deploy from an EC2 instance with Docker and git installed in the same region you're deploying Panther to. This is typically the fastest option since it minimizes the latency when communicating with AWS services. Instead of exporting your AWS credentials as environment variables, you will need to attach the deployment IAM role to your EC2 instance profile. Your EC2 instance needs at least 1 vCPU and 2GB of memory; the cheapest suitable instance type is a t2.small.

Supported Regions

Panther relies on dozens of AWS services, some of which are not yet available in every region. In particular, AppSync, Cognito, Athena, and Glue are newer services not available in us-gov, china, and other regions. At the time of writing, all Panther backend components are supported in the following:

  • ap-northeast-1 (tokyo)

  • ap-northeast-2 (seoul)

  • ap-south-1 (mumbai)

  • ap-southeast-1 (singapore)

  • ap-southeast-2 (sydney)

  • ca-central-1 (canada)

  • eu-central-1 (frankfurt)

  • eu-west-1 (ireland)

  • eu-west-2 (london)

  • us-east-1 (n. virginia)

  • us-east-2 (ohio)

  • us-west-2 (oregon)

Consult the AWS region table for the source of truth about service availability in each region.

AWS Credentials

Configure your AWS credentials and deployment region:

export AWS_REGION=us-east-1 # Choose your region from the list above
export AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID=...

If you've already configured your credentials with the AWS CLI (you have a ~/.aws/credentials file), you can easily add them to the environment:

export AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID=`aws configure get aws_access_key_id`
export AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY=`aws configure get aws_secret_access_key`

Remember to follow best security practices when handling access keys:

  • Avoid storing them in plaintext files

  • Use IAM roles with temporary session credentials

  • Rotate access keys every 90 days

  • Enforce MFA for key access

Tools like aws-vault can help with all of the above, check out our blog post to learn more!