This section of the AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional learning path introduces the key identity management, security, and encryption services within AWS relevant to the AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional exam. Core to security is AWS Identity & Access Management commonly referred to as IAM. This service manages identities and their permissions that can access your AWS resources, so understanding how this service works and what you can do with it will help you to maintain a secure AWS environment. IAM is an important service in ensuring your resources are secure.
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- Learn about identity and access management on AWS, including users, groups & roles, IAM policies, MFA, identity federation, and cross-account access
- Learn the fundamentals of AWS Web Application Firewall (WAF), including what it is, when to use it, how it works, and why use it
- Understand how to configure and monitor AWS WAF
- Learn about AWS Firewall Manager and its components
- Learn how to configure AWS Shield
- Learn the fundamentals of AWS Cognito
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.
- 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.
- 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.
Danny has over 20 years of IT experience as a software developer, cloud engineer, and technical trainer. After attending a conference on cloud computing in 2009, he knew he wanted to build his career around what was still a very new, emerging technology at the time — and share this transformational knowledge with others. He has spoken to IT professional audiences at local, regional, and national user groups and conferences. He has delivered in-person classroom and virtual training, interactive webinars, and authored video training courses covering many different technologies, including Amazon Web Services. He currently has six active AWS certifications, including certifications at the Professional and Specialty level.