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User Pools Authentication Flow

Contents

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Key Management Service (KMS)
7
What is KMS?
PREVIEW8m 25s
8
Components of KMS
PREVIEW11m 6s
AWS Web Application Firewall
AWS Shield

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Overview
Difficulty
Beginner
Duration
5h 2m
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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

Now that we know a little bit more about User pools, let’s quickly examine how the authentication flow is handled by your application and the service.

Your user will be presented with a login screen or terminal of some sort from within your application. They will submit their credentials, either from having created an account directly or by logging into a third-party provider. 

The application will call the  InitiateAuth operation with those credentials. This API call kicks off the authentication flow. It directly indicates to amazon Cognito that you want to authenticate. 

If the call is successful - Cognito will respond either with a token or with a challenge.

A challenge can include CAPTCHAs or Dynamic challenge questions. These are normally used to help screen for bots. You can insert your own custom challenges if you wish. This will be sent back to the client and it now becomes Their problem.

When the client is ready to respond back to the server(cognito), they can reply with RespondToAuthChallenge and provide whatever information the challenge requires back. If the user fails the challenge, you can have Cognito set up to resend a new one. This can include multiple rounds until the user is successful or fails out.

If successful Cognito will shoot back some tokens for the client to use - Hurray authentication!

For a deeper dive into the process please take a look over here.

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.