Why CloudWatch Alarms Are Not Triggering Your SNS Topics?

Anirudh Duggal
1 min readDec 28, 2020


Recently I set up a cloudwatch alarm to receive notifications via mail and on a slack channel. But even after 3 days there were no alarms triggered.

This could mean one of the following things

  1. Either the application is performing exceptionally great — because the alarm was supposed to be triggered at least once daily
  2. Something was wrong with the alarm

To confirm which of the above are true, I went see the cloudwatch alarm. The alarm clearly showed that it had been triggered once daily, but I’ve not received any alerts for it.

It also gave a glimpse of the error, which was, in my case very helpful. That was basically a permissions issue for the SNS topic.

My cloudwatch alarm was not authorized to publish notifications to that topic. Seems trivial, right?

Yes, it was just this thing.

To fix it, I edited the alarm and added the following to the access policy

"Sid": "Allow_Publish_Alarms",
"Effect": "Allow",
"Service": [
"Action": "sns:Publish",
"Resource": "arn:aws:sns:<region>:<account-id>:<topic-name>"

That was it. It solved the problem and I started receiving the alerts.