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Designing Secure solutions in AWS - Level 1

What is Identity and Access Management?
Overview
Difficulty
Beginner
Duration
1h 34m
Students
2
Description

This course covers the core learning objective to meet the requirements of the 'Designing Network & Data Transfer solutions in AWS - Level 1' skill

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the AWS shared responsibility model
  • Understand AWS access management capabilities to enforce security at different levels (IAM, AWS Organizations, Control Tower, Service Catalog, Amazon Cognito)
  • Understand where to find AWS compliance information (AWS Artifact)
Transcript

Hello and welcome to this lecture where I shall provide an overview of what the Identity & Access Management service is, and what IAM actually means.

Firstly I want to define what is meant by Identity & Access Management and I shall break this down into two parts, starting with Identity Management. 

Identities, such as AWS usernames are required to authenticate you to your AWS account, and this authentication process is managed in 2 stages.

  1. The first part of this process is to define who you are, effectively presenting your identity, so for example your AWS username.  This identification is a unique value within IAM for your account, so this means IAM would prevent you from having 2 identical user accounts with the same name within the same AWS account.
  2. The second part of the authentication process is to verify that you are who you say you are. This is achieved by supplying additional data, and when using our AWS usernames we can verify this by supplying a password

Now, Access Management relates to authorization and access control.  Authorization determines what an identity can access within your AWS account once it’s been authenticated to it.  An example of this authorization would be the user’s list of permissions to access specific AWS resources, for example, they might have Full Access to EC2 or Read Only to RDS.

Access Control can be classed as the mechanism of accessing a secured resource.  For example, using the following:

  • Username and password (Authentication and Verification)
  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA, used as an additional verification step following a valid password)
  • Or Federated Access, which allows users external to AWS to access resources securely without having to supply AWS user credentials from a valid IAM user account.  Instead, these credentials are supplied from identity providers.  For more information on Identity Federation, please see our existing course here: https://cloudacademy.com/course/using-aws-identity-federation-simplify-access-scale-1549/

So essentially IAM can be defined by its ability to manage, control, and govern authentication, authorization, and access control mechanisms of identities to your resources within your AWS Account.

Having an understanding of the different security controls from an authentication and authorization perspective can help you design the correct level of security for your infrastructure.

About the Author

William Meadows is a passionately curious human currently living in the Bay Area in California. His career has included working with lasers, teaching teenagers how to code, and creating classes about cloud technology that are taught all over the world. His dedication to completing goals and helping others is what brings meaning to his life. In his free time, he enjoys reading Reddit, playing video games, and writing books.