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Authentication, Authorization & Accounting
3m 20s

The course is part of these learning paths

Solutions Architect – Professional Certification Preparation for AWS
course-steps 48 certification 6 lab-steps 19 quiz-steps 4 description 2
SysOps Administrator – Associate Certification Preparation for AWS
course-steps 35 certification 5 lab-steps 30 quiz-steps 4 description 5
Security - Specialty Certification Preparation for AWS
course-steps 23 certification 2 lab-steps 12 quiz-steps 5
AWS Advanced Networking – Specialty Certification Preparation
course-steps 20 certification 2 lab-steps 8 quiz-steps 4
AWS Access & Key Management Security
course-steps 6 certification 2 lab-steps 2 quiz-steps 2
more_horiz See 3 more
Duration1h 26m
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Cloud Security is a huge topic, mainly because it has so many different areas of focus. This course focuses on three areas that are fundamental, AWS Authentication, Authorisation and Accounting.

These three topics can all be linked together and 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. Once an identity has been authenticated and is authorised to perform specific functions it's then important that this access can be tracked with regards to usage and resource consumption so that it can be audited, accounted and billed for.

The course will define and discuss each area, and iron out any confusions of meaning between various security terms. Some people are unaware of the differences between authentication, authorization and access control, this course will clearly explain the differences here allowing you to use the correct terms to describe your security solutions.

From an AWS authentication perspective, a number of different mechanisms are explained, such as Multi-Factor AWS Authentication (MFA), Federated Identity, Access Keys and Key Pairs. With the help of demonstrations, you can learn how to apply access keys to your AWS CLI for programmatic access and understand the differences between Linux and Windows authentication methods using AWS Key Pairs.

When we dive into understanding authorization we cover IAM Users, Groups, Roles and Policies, providing examples and demonstrations. Within this section, S3 authorization is also discussed, looking at access control lists (ACLs) and Bucket Policies. Moving on from S3, we look at network and instance level authorization with the help of Network Access Control Lists (NACLs) and Security Groups.

Finally, the Accounting section will guide you through the areas of Billing & Cost Management that you can use to help identify potential security threats. In addition to this, we explain how AWS CloudTrail can be used to track API calls to analyse what users are doing and when. This makes CloudTrail a strong tool in tracking, identifying and monitoring a user's actions within your AWS environment.


Hello and welcome to this course, where I shall be discussing authentication, authorization and accounting, and the variety of these three mechanisms that are available to you within AWS.

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. Once an identity has been authenticated and is authorized to perform specific functions, then it's important that this access can be tracked with regards to usage and resource consumption, so that it can be audited, accounted, and billed for.

Before we start, I'd like to introduce myself. My name is Stuart Scott. I am one of the trainers here at Cloud Academy, and I specialize in AWS, Amazon Web Services. Feel free to connect with me with any questions using the details shown on the screen. Alternatively, you can always get in touch with us here at Cloud Academy, using the community form where one of our cloud experts will reply to your question.

This course has been created for an audience who have an interest in cloud security, and may be in a position of a cloud solutions architect, or cloud security specialist, or similar. This course will cover a range of topics, including authentication, authorization and access control. Here I shall be looking at the differences between these three terms that often get confused. Then we'll look at authentication mechanisms, and in this lecture, I will examine the different authentication mechanisms available within AWS. Following this, we'll take a look at authorization in AWS. There are a variety of methods to authorize an identity in AWS, so in this section I'll cover some of those most common. Finally, we'll take a look at AWS accounting. When looking at accounting, I will define what this is and dive into AWS billing and cost management, along with an overview of the AWS cloud trail service.

As a student of this course, the content will provide you with the following: clarification of the differences between authentication, authorization and access control; an understanding of the different authentication mechanisms used by AWS; an understanding of the different methods of granting authorized access to different AWS resources; how a combination of authentication and authorization mechanisms can be used to create solid security policies; an overview of how AWS billing can be used to help spot security breaches; and then finally, how to track a user within AWS and monitor their actions through audited APR call requests.

The pre-requisites for this course require a basic understanding of: identity and access management, IAM; EC2; S3; some networking fundamentals; and the virtual private cloud service.

Feedback on our courses here at Cloud Academy are valuable to both us as trainers, and any students looking to take the same course in the future. If you have any feedback, positive or negative, it would be greatly appreciated if you could use the comments section found on the landing page of this course.

That brings us to the end of this lecture. Next, I shall explain the differences between authorization, access control, and authentication.

About the Author

Learning paths42

Stuart has been working within the IT industry for two decades covering a huge range of topic areas and technologies, from data centre and network infrastructure design, to cloud architecture and implementation.

To date, Stuart has created 60++ courses relating to Cloud, most within the AWS category with a heavy focus on security and compliance

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.