The AWS IAM service lets you control access to your Amazon resources
Here are the five things you should know
In 2015, Gartner named Amazon Web Services as the leader in cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IAAS). Why? Because AWS services are highly scalable, elastic, available truly on-demand, reasonably priced, and accessible by customers using a web-based UI, APIs, and CLI automation. More importantly: AWS leads the way in providing security to end users. And which service lies at the very center of Amazon security?
AWS IAM (Identity and Access Management).
Using IAM, you can create users, groups, and roles to which you can apply permissions to allow and deny their access to AWS resources such as EC2, RDS, and VPC. IAM lets you grant unique credentials to every user within your AWS account, allowing access only to the AWS services and resources required.
Let’s explore five tools you should use to make the most of everything that IAM has to offer:
1. Simulate your settings using the AWS IAM Policy Simulator
In order to intelligently assign permissions to users, group, and resources, you create policy documents in JSON format specifying the precise access needed. But without properly testing your policies, it’s difficult to be sure that your application and services will behave exactly the way you want. AWS allows you to safely simulate your configuration so you can test and validate your policies.
You can test existing and new policies attached to IAM users, groups, or roles in your AWS account, simulate real-world scenarios by providing condition keys such as IP address or dates, and test your policies against selected services and selected actions. For example, you can test your policy to ensure that it allows a user to launch or stop an instance, but not terminate instances.
2. Know when your AWS IAM access key was last used
Access keys consist of an access id and secret access key. You need these keys when you want to access AWS services using an API, command line or SDK. In the AWS IAM console, you can see when these keys were last used. AWS will show you timestamps, regions and the AWS services that were accessed:
AWS IAM console also displays the date and time when an IAM user or root account last accessed the AWS Management Console, forums, Support Center, or Marketplace. Finally, you can Download an access key’s “last used” report for your entire account:
3. AWS IAM Managed Policies
Managed policies allow you to attach a single access control policy to multiple entities (IAM users, groups, and roles). You can create administrators with limited authority in order to precisely delegate management responsibilities. These administrators might, for instance, have the ability to create users, groups, and roles, but could only grant access using a restricted set of managed policies.
4. Autoformat and review your policy error
You can enable autoformatting for your JSON policies. Navigate to any policy editing page and make sure that the “Use autoformatting for policy editing” check-box is selected. When you then click the Validate Policy button, your policy formatting will be checked, displaying error messages identifying the line number where a JSON error occurs.
Suppose you use separate AWS accounts for Development and Productions environments. If you need to give access to users or roles in one account to an S3 bucket or Ec2 instances in the other, Cross Account Access can do it. You establish trust between AWS accounts by creating a new IAM role, and modifying an attached IAM policy by adding the customer account number of the client resource.
Besides other IAM best practices available in the official AWS documentation, you can also find more on IAM in Cloud Academy’s Introduction to IAM course, and in this AWS IAM: user access control and user management post.
New Content: AWS Terraform, Java Programming Lab Challenges, Azure DP-900 & DP-300 Certification Exam Prep, Plus Plenty More Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Big Data Courses
This month our Content Team continues building the catalog of courses for everyone learning about AWS, GCP, and Microsoft Azure. In addition, this month’s updates include several Java programming lab challenges and a couple of courses on big data. In total, we released five new learning...
Where Should You Be Focusing Your AWS Security Efforts?
Another day, another re:Invent session! This time I listened to Stephen Schmidt’s session, “AWS Security: Where we've been, where we're going.” Amongst covering the highlights of AWS security during 2020, a number of newly added AWS features/services were discussed, including: AWS Audit...
AWS re:Invent: 2020 Keynote Top Highlights and More
We’ve gotten through the first five days of the special all-virtual 2020 edition of AWS re:Invent. It’s always a really exciting time for practitioners in the field to see what features and services AWS has cooked up for the year ahead. This year’s conference is a marathon and not a...
WARNING: Great Cloud Content Ahead
At Cloud Academy, content is at the heart of what we do. We work with the world’s leading cloud and operations teams to develop video courses and learning paths that accelerate teams and drive digital transformation. First and foremost, we listen to our customers’ needs and we stay ahea...
Excelling in AWS, Azure, and Beyond – How Danut Prisacaru Prepares for the Future
Meet Danut Prisacaru. Danut has been a Software Architect for the past 10 years and has been involved in Software Engineering for 30 years. He’s passionate about software and learning, and jokes that coding is basically the only thing he can do well (!). We think his enthusiasm shines t...
New Content: AWS Data Analytics – Specialty Certification, Azure AI-900 Certification, Plus New Learning Paths, Courses, Labs, and More
This month our Content Team released two big certification Learning Paths: the AWS Certified Data Analytics - Speciality, and the Azure AI Fundamentals AI-900. In total, we released four new Learning Paths, 16 courses, 24 assessments, and 11 labs. New content on Cloud Academy At any ...
New Content: Azure DP-100 Certification, Alibaba Cloud Certified Associate Prep, 13 Security Labs, and Much More
This past month our Content Team served up a heaping spoonful of new and updated content. Not only did our experts release the brand new Azure DP-100 Certification Learning Path, but they also created 18 new hands-on labs — and so much more! New content on Cloud Academy At any time, y...
AWS Certification Practice Exam: What to Expect from Test Questions
If you’re building applications on the AWS cloud or looking to get started in cloud computing, certification is a way to build deep knowledge in key services unique to the AWS platform. AWS currently offers 12 certifications that cover major cloud roles including Solutions Architect, De...
Overcoming Unprecedented Business Challenges with AWS
From auto-scaling applications with high availability to video conferencing that’s used by everyone, every day — cloud technology has never been more popular or in-demand. But what does this mean for experienced cloud professionals and the challenges they face as they carve out a new p...
Constant Content: Cloud Academy’s Q3 2020 Roadmap
Hello — Andy Larkin here, VP of Content at Cloud Academy. I am pleased to release our roadmap for the next three months of 2020 — August through October. Let me walk you through the content we have planned for you and how this content can help you gain skills, get certified, and...
New Content: Alibaba, Azure AZ-303 and AZ-304, Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) Foundation, Python 3 Programming, 16 Hands-on Labs, and Much More
This month our Content Team did an amazing job at publishing and updating a ton of new content. Not only did our experts release the brand new AZ-303 and AZ-304 Certification Learning Paths, but they also created 16 new hands-on labs — and so much more! New content on Cloud Academy At...
Blog Digest: Which Certifications Should I Get?, The 12 Microsoft Azure Certifications, 6 Ways to Prevent a Data Breach, and More
This month, we were excited to announce that Cloud Academy was recognized in the G2 Summer 2020 reports! These reports highlight the top-rated solutions in the industry, as chosen by the source that matters most: customers. We're grateful to have been nominated as a High Performer in se...