Category: Announcements


Join Us for AWS IAM Day on Monday, October 16, in New York City

Join us in New York City at the AWS Pop-up Loft for AWS IAM Day on Monday, October 16, from 9:30 A.M.–4:15 P.M. Eastern Time. At this free technical event, you will learn AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) concepts from IAM product managers, as well as tools and strategies you can use for controlling access to your AWS environment, such as the IAM policy language and IAM best practices. You also will take an IAM policy ninja dive deep into permissions and how to use IAM roles to delegate access to your AWS resources. Last, you will learn how to integrate Active Directory with AWS workloads.

You can attend one session or stay for the full day.

Learn more about the available sessions and register!

– Craig

Join Us for AWS IAM Day on Monday, October 9, in San Francisco

Join us in San Francisco at the AWS Pop-up Loft for AWS IAM Day on Monday, October 9, from 9:30 A.M.–4:15 P.M. Pacific Time. At this free technical event, you will learn AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) concepts from IAM product managers, as well as tools and strategies you can use for controlling access to your AWS environment, such as the IAM policy language and IAM best practices. You also will take an IAM policy ninja dive deep into permissions and how to use IAM roles to delegate access to your AWS resources. Last, you will learn how to integrate Active Directory with AWS workloads.

You can attend one session or stay for the full day.

Learn more about the available sessions and register!

– Craig

Join AWS Security on October 4 for a Night of Trivia at Grace Hopper Celebration 2017

AWS Security Jam image

If you’re attending this year’s Grace Hopper Celebration in Orlando, AWS is inviting all attendees to join us for a free evening of learning and networking. This AWS Security Jam will feature an opportunity to learn more about the AWS Security team (and about AWS security), socialize with peers, and engage in a night of trivia with your fellow conference friends. We will provide light appetizers and drinks. RSVP today.

  • Day: Wednesday, October 4, 2017
  • Time: 5:30–8:00 P.M. Eastern Time
  • Location: Rosen Centre Hotel Executive Ballroom, 9840 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819 (next to the Orange County Convention Center)

The first 150 attendees will win a door prize, and we will give additional prizes as part of a raffle at the end of the event. Follow us on Twitter @AWSSecurityInfo for more information and updates about all things AWS Security and Compliance.

– Sara

The Top 20 AWS IAM Documentation Pages so Far in 2017

AWS IAM image

The following 20 pages have been the most viewed AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) documentation pages so far this year. I have included a brief description with each link to explain what each page covers. Use this list to see what other AWS customers have been viewing and perhaps to pique your own interest about a topic you’ve been meaning to learn about.

  1. What Is IAM?
    Learn more about IAM, a web service that helps you securely control access to AWS resources for your users. You use IAM to control who can use your AWS resources (authentication) and how they can use resources (authorization).
  2. Creating an IAM User in Your AWS Account
    You can create one or more IAM users in your AWS account. You might create an IAM user when someone joins your organization, or when you have a new application that needs to make API calls to AWS.
  3. IAM Policy Elements Reference
    Learn more about the elements that you can use when you create a policy. View additional policy examples and learn about conditions, supported data types, and how they are used in various services.
  4. Managing Access Keys for IAM Users
    Users need their own access keys to make programmatic calls to AWS from the AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI), Tools for Windows PowerShell, the AWS SDKs, or direct HTTP calls using the APIs for individual AWS services. To fill this need, you can create, modify, view, or rotate access keys (access key IDs and secret access keys) for IAM users.
  5. IAM Best Practices
    To help secure your AWS resources, follow these best practices for IAM.
  6. Tutorial: Delegate Access to the Billing Console
    Learn how to delegate access to specific IAM users who need to view or manage AWS Billing and Cost Management data for an AWS account.
  7. The IAM Console and the Sign-in Page
    Learn about the IAM-enabled AWS Management Console sign-in page and how to sign in as an AWS account root user or as an IAM user. To help your users sign in easily, create a unique sign-in URL for your account.
  8. How Users Sign In to Your Account
    After you create IAM users and passwords for each, your users can sign in to the AWS Management Console for your AWS account using your account ID or alias, or from a special URL that includes your account ID.
  9. Using Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) in AWS
    For increased security, AWS recommends that you configure MFA to help protect your AWS resources. MFA adds extra security because it requires users to enter a unique authentication code from an approved authentication device or SMS text message when they access AWS websites or services.
  10. Working with Server Certificates
    Some AWS services can use server certificates that you manage with IAM or AWS Certificate Manager (ACM). ACM is the preferred tool to provision, manage, and deploy your server certificates. Use IAM as a certificate manager only when you must support HTTPS connections in a region that is not supported by ACM.
  11. Enabling a Virtual MFA Device
    Learn how to enable and manage virtual MFA devices from the AWS Management Console.
  12. Overview of IAM Policies
    Read an overview of IAM policies, which define permissions.
  13. Your AWS Account ID and Its Alias
    Learn how to find your AWS account ID and its alias.
  14. IAM Roles
    You can delegate access to AWS resources using an IAM role. A role is similar to a user because it is an AWS identity with permission policies that determine what the identity can and cannot do in AWS. However, instead of being uniquely associated with one person, a role is intended to be assumable by anyone who needs it.
  15. Example Policies
    This collection of policies can help you define permissions for your IAM identities.
  16. Using an IAM Role to Grant Permissions to Applications Running on Amazon EC2 Instances
    Use an IAM role to manage temporary credentials for applications that run on an EC2 instance. When you use a role, you do not have to distribute long-term credentials to an EC2 instance. Instead, the role supplies temporary permissions that applications can use when they make calls to other AWS resources.
  17. Tutorial: Delegate Access Across AWS Accounts Using IAM Roles
    Learn how to use an IAM role to delegate access to resources that are in different AWS accounts that you own.
  18. Creating Your First IAM Admin User and Group
    Learn how to create an IAM group, grant the group full permissions for all AWS services, and then create an administrative IAM user for yourself by adding the user to the IAM group.
  19. Using Instance Profiles
    An instance profile is a container for an IAM role that you can use to pass role information to an EC2 instance when the instance starts. Use the commands on this page to work with instance profiles in an AWS account
  20. Temporary Security Credentials
    You can use the AWS Security Token Service (AWS STS) to create and provide trusted users with temporary security credentials that can control access to your AWS resources. Temporary security credentials work almost identically to the long-term access key credentials that your IAM users can use.

In the “Comments” section below, let us know if you would like to see anything on these or other IAM documentation pages expanded or updated to make it more useful to you.

– Stephenie

AWS EU (London) Region Selected to Provide Services to Support UK Law Enforcement Customers

AWS Compliance image

The AWS EU (London) Region has been selected to provide services to support UK law enforcement customers. This decision followed an assessment by Home Office Digital, Data and Technology supported by their colleagues in the National Policing Information Risk Management Team (NPIRMT) to determine the region’s suitability for addressing their specific needs.

The security, privacy, and protection of AWS customers are AWS’s first priority. We are committed to supporting Public Sector, Blue Light, Justice, and Public Safety organizations. We hope that other organizations in these sectors will now be encouraged to consider AWS services when addressing their own requirements, including the challenge of providing modern, scalable technologies that can meet their ever-evolving business demands.

– Oliver

Amazon Cognito User Pools Now Integrates with Amazon Pinpoint to Add Analytics for User Pools

Amazon Cognito User Pools image

Amazon Cognito User Pools now integrates with Amazon Pinpoint to provide analytics for user pools and to enrich the user data for Amazon Pinpoint campaigns. Amazon Cognito User Pools provides user directories that make it easy to add sign-up and sign-in to your mobile or web application. Amazon Pinpoint provides analytics and targeted campaigns to drive user engagement in mobile apps by using push notifications. Using Amazon Pinpoint analytics, you can track user pool sign-ups, sign-ins, failed authentications, daily active users, and monthly active users.

To learn more, see the What’s New post, the Amazon Cognito Developer Guide, and the Amazon Pinpoint Developer Guide.

– Craig

How to Enable LDAPS for Your AWS Microsoft AD Directory

Starting today, you can encrypt the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) communications between your applications and AWS Directory Service for Microsoft Active Directory, also known as AWS Microsoft AD. Many Windows and Linux applications use Active Directory’s (AD) LDAP service to read and write sensitive information about users and devices, including personally identifiable information (PII). Now, you can encrypt your AWS Microsoft AD LDAP communications end to end to protect this information by using LDAP Over Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)/Transport Layer Security (TLS), also called LDAPS. This helps you protect PII and other sensitive information exchanged with AWS Microsoft AD over untrusted networks.

To enable LDAPS, you need to add a Microsoft enterprise Certification Authority (CA) server to your AWS Microsoft AD domain and configure certificate templates for your domain controllers. After you have enabled LDAPS, AWS Microsoft AD encrypts communications with LDAPS-enabled Windows applications, Linux computers that use Secure Shell (SSH) authentication, and applications such as Jira and Jenkins.

In this blog post, I show how to enable LDAPS for your AWS Microsoft AD directory in six steps: 1) Delegate permissions to CA administrators, 2) Add a Microsoft enterprise CA to your AWS Microsoft AD directory, 3) Create a certificate template, 4) Configure AWS security group rules, 5) AWS Microsoft AD enables LDAPS, and 6) Test LDAPS access using the LDP tool. (more…)

Now Use AWS IAM to Delete a Service-Linked Role When You No Longer Require an AWS Service to Perform Actions on Your Behalf

Earlier this year, AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) introduced service-linked roles, which provide you an easy and secure way to delegate permissions to AWS services. Each service-linked role delegates permissions to an AWS service, which is called its linked service. Service-linked roles help with monitoring and auditing requirements by providing a transparent way to understand all actions performed on your behalf because AWS CloudTrail logs all actions performed by the linked service using service-linked roles. For information about which services support service-linked roles, see AWS Services That Work with IAM. Over time, more AWS services will support service-linked roles.

Today, IAM added support for the deletion of service-linked roles through the IAM console and the IAM API/CLI. This means you now can revoke permissions from the linked service to create and manage AWS resources in your account. When you delete a service-linked role, the linked service no longer has the permissions to perform actions on your behalf. To ensure your AWS services continue to function as expected when you delete a service-linked role, IAM validates that you no longer have resources that require the service-linked role to function properly. This prevents you from inadvertently revoking permissions required by an AWS service to manage your existing AWS resources and helps you maintain your resources in a consistent state. If there are any resources in your account that require the service-linked role, you will receive an error when you attempt to delete the service-linked role, and the service-linked role will remain in your account. If you do not have any resources that require the service-linked role, you can delete the service-linked role and IAM will remove the service-linked role from your account.

In this blog post, I show how to delete a service-linked role by using the IAM console. To learn more about how to delete service-linked roles by using the IAM API/CLI, see the DeleteServiceLinkedRole API documentation.

Note: The IAM console does not currently support service-linked role deletion for Amazon Lex, but you can delete your service-linked role by using the Amazon Lex console. To learn more, see Service Permissions. (more…)

Reset Your AWS Root Account’s Lost MFA Device Faster by Using the AWS Management Console

To help secure your AWS resources, AWS recommends that you follow the AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) best practice of enabling multi-factor authentication (MFA) for the root user of your account. With MFA turned on, the root user of your account is required to submit one form of authentication, which is the account password, and another form of authentication, such as a one-time password (OTP) from an MFA device. If you have MFA enabled on your root account and you lose or misplace your root MFA device, you can now reset it by using the AWS Management Console.

Now, your root user can use the AWS sign-in page to verify your root account’s email address and phone number. Then, the root user can deactivate the lost MFA device and set up a new MFA device in its place. Note that this information verification feature is available only for AWS root users with a phone number associated with their root account. If your root user does not have a valid phone number associated with your root account, the root user must call AWS Support to reset the lost MFA device.

In this blog post, I demonstrate how to reset a lost MFA device faster by using the AWS Management Console to verify your root user’s email address and phone number. I then demonstrate how to set up a virtual MFA device that you can use in place of the lost MFA device.

Note: This feature is available only to AWS accounts created before September 14, 2017. If you created your account after September 14, 2017, contact AWS Support to reset your lost MFA device.

(more…)

How to Enable Your Users to Access Office 365 with AWS Microsoft Active Directory Credentials

You can now enable your users to access Microsoft Office 365 with credentials that you manage in AWS Directory Service for Microsoft Active Directory, also known as AWS Microsoft AD. You can accomplish this by deploying Microsoft Azure Active Directory (AD) Connect and Active Directory Federation Services for Windows Server 2016 (AD FS 2016) with AWS Microsoft AD. AWS Microsoft AD makes it possible and easy for you to build a Windows environment in the AWS Cloud, synchronize your AWS Microsoft AD users into Microsoft Azure AD, and use Office 365, all without needing to create and manage AD domain controllers. Now you can also benefit from the broad set of AWS Cloud services for compute, storage, database, and Internet of Things (IoT) while continuing to use Office 365 business productivity apps—all with a single AD domain.

Office 365 provides different options to support user authentication with identities that come from AD. One common way to do this is to use Azure AD Connect and AD FS together with your AD directory. In this model, you use Azure AD Connect to synchronize user names from AD into Azure AD so that Office 365 can use those identities. To complete this solution, you use AD FS to enable Office 365 to authenticate the identities against your AD directory. Good news: AWS Microsoft AD now supports this model!

In this blog post, we show how to use Azure AD Connect and AD FS with AWS Microsoft AD so that your employees can access Office 365 by using their AD credentials. (more…)