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Identity Pools

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AWS Web Application Firewall
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Description

This course looks at the key Security services within AWS relevant to the SysOps Administrator - Associate exam. The core to security is Identity & Access Management, commonly referred to as IAM. This service manages identities and their permissions that are able to access your AWS resources and so understanding how this service works and what you can do with it will help you to maintain a secure AWS environment.  In addition to IAM, this course covers a range of other security services covering encryption and access control

Learning Objectives

  • Learn about identity and access management on AWS including users, groups & roles, IAM policies, MFA, 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
  • Learn how to manage data protection through encryption services such as the Key Management Service (KMS) and CloudHSM
  • Learn how to secure your AWS accounts using AWS Organizations
  • Understand how to configure and monitor AWS WAF, Firewall Manager, and Shield
  • Learn the fundamentals of access control via federation using AWS Cognito and AWS SSO
Transcript

The Amazon Cognito Identity pools - also known as Federated Identities, Helps to provide temporary access AWS Credentials for your users or guests that need access to AWS services.

Identity pools can work in tandem with Amazon Cognito user pools, allowing your users to operate and access whatever specific feature they need from AWS. 

Additionally, just like with User pools, you can federate with public providers such as Amazon, Facebook, and Google.

The Identity pools help to define two types of identities - Authenticated identities and unauthenticated identities.

Each identity within your identity pool has to be in one of these two states. 

To gain the authenticated state, a user must be authenticated by a public login provider. This can be your Amazon Cognito user pool from early, or can also be any of those other public ID providers like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, SAML, and even an Open ID connect provider.

You can also have Unauthenticated identities. This can be useful for a number of reasons, but the primary ones might be for allowing users to see various AWS resources before they are completely logged in. Giving them some visibility into dashboards for example - so they could at a glance see if something was wrong.

You can also use Unauthenticated identities to act as a sort of guest pass for when you want people to have some access to basic services and later prompting them to sign in or sign up.

Each type of identity has a role that goes along with it. Roles have policies attached to them, that set the permissions for what that user is allowed to do within AWS. Roles help to define boundaries and allow you to explicitly state what an authenticated or unauthorized user can, and can not, modify or even see.

If you need a refresher on roles beyond what I’ve just described, please take a look over here for an in-depth look at this feature: 

https://cloudacademy.com/course/overview-of-aws-identity-and-access-management-iam/users-groups-and-roles/

The big thing I want you to think about when differentiating between Identity pools and User pools is that Identity pools are used for authentication and access control ( specifically for AWS services). While user pools are designed for sign-up and sign-in type operations.

 

About the Author
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Stuart Scott
AWS Content Director
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Stuart has been working within the IT industry for two decades covering a huge range of topic areas and technologies, from data center and network infrastructure design, to cloud architecture and implementation.

To date, Stuart has created 90+ courses relating to Cloud reaching over 140,000 students, mostly within the AWS category and with a heavy focus on security and compliance.

Stuart is a member of the AWS Community Builders Program for his contributions towards AWS.

He is AWS certified and accredited in addition to being a published author covering topics across the AWS landscape.

In January 2016 Stuart was awarded ‘Expert of the Year Award 2015’ from Experts Exchange for his knowledge share within cloud services to the community.

Stuart enjoys writing about cloud technologies and you will find many of his articles within our blog pages.