AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM)

IAM is a global service (no need to set a region) that completely manages all AWS Security "in the cloud" (as opposed to "of the cloud").

IAM Consists of:

  • Users are intended to represent an actual person. Users can be part of a Group or have policies attached directly.
  • Groups are collections of users, typically by function (dev, dba, etc), with a set of policies attached
  • Roles are for internal usage within AWS (assigned to AWS objects, e.g. an EC2 instance, though users can assume roles as well)
  • Policies are sets of access permissions to AWS resources

IAM Federation allows a company to integrate its identity provider (e.g. Active Directory) with IAM to supply identity/authentication.

IAM does not include Security Groups. Security Groups are part of EC2 and act as a firewall around your EC2 instances by defining the ports, protocols, and IP addresses that can be used to access the instance.

IAM Best Practices

  • Never us root account
  • Follow the Principle of Least Privilege
  • One user per person - Don't share
  • On role per application - don't reuse
  • Never put credentials in code
  • Never use root IAM credentials (create an admin user instead)

Broader Topics Related to AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM)

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

The hosted cloud platform provided by Amazon

Cybersecurity

Methods for protecting information systems from unauthorized and malicious use

AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) Knowledge Graph