Tag: AWS IAM


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

The Top 20 AWS IAM Documentation Pages so Far in 2017

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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

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.

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Greater Transparency into Actions AWS Services Perform on Your Behalf by Using AWS CloudTrail

To make managing your AWS account easier, some AWS services perform actions on your behalf, including the creation and management of AWS resources. For example, AWS Elastic Beanstalk automatically handles the deployment details of capacity provisioning, load balancing, auto-scaling, and application health monitoring. To make these AWS actions more transparent, AWS adds an AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) service-linked role to your account for each linked service you use. Service-linked roles let you view all actions an AWS service performs on your behalf by using AWS CloudTrail logs. This helps you monitor and audit the actions AWS services perform on your behalf. No additional actions are required from you and you can continue using AWS services the way you do today.

To learn more about which AWS services use service-linked roles and log actions on your behalf to CloudTrail, see AWS Services That Work with IAM. Over time, more AWS services will support service-linked roles. For more information about service-linked roles, see Role Terms and Concepts.

In this blog post, I demonstrate how to view CloudTrail logs so that you can more easily monitor and audit AWS services performing actions on your behalf. First, I show how AWS creates a service-linked role in your account automatically when you configure an AWS service that supports service-linked roles. Next, I show how you can view the policies of a service-linked role that grants an AWS service permission to perform actions on your behalf. Finally, I use the configured AWS service to perform an action and show you how the action appears in your CloudTrail logs.
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AWS Earns Department of Defense Impact Level 5 Provisional Authorization

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The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has granted the AWS GovCloud (US) Region an Impact Level 5 (IL5) Department of Defense (DoD) Cloud Computing Security Requirements Guide (CC SRG) Provisional Authorization (PA) for six core services. This means that AWS’s DoD customers and partners can now deploy workloads for Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) exceeding IL4 and for unclassified National Security Systems (NSS).

We have supported sensitive Defense community workloads in the cloud for more than four years, and this latest IL5 authorization is complementary to our FedRAMP High Provisional Authorization that covers 18 services in the AWS GovCloud (US) Region. Our customers now have the flexibility to deploy any range of IL 2, 4, or 5 workloads by leveraging AWS’s services, attestations, and certifications. For example, when the US Air Force needed compute scale to support the Next Generation GPS Operational Control System Program, they turned to AWS.

In partnership with a certified Third Party Assessment Organization (3PAO), an independent validation was conducted to assess both our technical and nontechnical security controls to confirm that they meet the DoD’s stringent CC SRG standards for IL5 workloads. Effective immediately, customers can begin leveraging the IL5 authorization for the following six services in the AWS GovCloud (US) Region:

AWS has been a long-standing industry partner with DoD, federal-agency customers, and private-sector customers to enhance cloud security and policy. We continue to collaborate on the DoD CC SRG, Defense Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) and other government requirements to ensure that policy makers enact policies to support next-generation security capabilities.

In an effort to reduce the authorization burden of our DoD customers, we’ve worked with DISA to port our assessment results into an easily ingestible format by the Enterprise Mission Assurance Support Service (eMASS) system. Additionally, we undertook a separate effort to empower our industry partners and customers to efficiently solve their compliance, governance, and audit challenges by launching the AWS Customer Compliance Center, a portal providing a breadth of AWS-specific compliance and regulatory information.

We look forward to providing sustained cloud security and compliance support at scale for our DoD customers and adding additional services within the IL5 authorization boundary. See AWS Services in Scope by Compliance Program for updates. To request access to AWS’s DoD security and authorization documentation, contact AWS Sales and Business Development. For a list of frequently asked questions related to AWS DoD SRG compliance, see the AWS DoD SRG page.

To learn more about the announcement in this post, tune in for the AWS Automating DoD SRG Impact Level 5 Compliance in AWS GovCloud (US) webinar on October 11, 2017, at 11:00 A.M. Pacific Time.

– Chris Gile, Senior Manager, AWS Public Sector Risk & Compliance

 

 

Now Available: Improvements to How You Sign In to Your AWS Account

Today, AWS made improvements to the way you sign in to your AWS account. Whether you sign in as your account’s root user or an AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) user, you can now sign in from the AWS Management Console’s homepage. This means that if you sign in as an IAM user, you no longer have to use an account-specific URL. However, the account-specific URL you have used in the past to sign in will continue to work.

In the new sign-in experience, you can sign in from the home page using either your root user’s or IAM user’s credentials. In the first step, root users enter their email address; IAM users enter their account ID (or account alias). In the second step, root users enter their password; IAM users enter their user name and password.

In this blog post, I explain the improvements to the way you sign in to your AWS account as a root user or IAM user. If you use a password manager to help you sign in to your account, you may need to make updates so that it will work with the new sign-in experience. (more…)

New AWS DevOps Blog Post: How to Help Secure Your Code in a Cross-Region/Cross-Account Deployment Solution on AWS

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You can help to protect your data in a number of ways while it is in transit and at rest, such as by using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or client-side encryption. AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS) is a managed service that makes it easy for you to create, control, rotate, and use your encryption keys. AWS KMS allows you to create custom keys, which you can share with AWS Identity and Access Management users and roles in your AWS account or in an AWS account owned by someone else.

In a new AWS DevOps Blog post, BK Chaurasiya describes a solution for building a cross-region/cross-account code deployment solution on AWS. BK explains options for helping to protect your source code as it travels between regions and between AWS accounts.

For more information, see the full AWS DevOps Blog post.

– Craig

How to Establish Federated Access to Your AWS Resources by Using Active Directory User Attributes

To govern federated access to your AWS resources, it’s a common practice to use Microsoft Active Directory (AD) groups. When using AD groups, establishing federation requires the number of AD groups to be equal to the number of your AWS accounts multiplied by the number of roles in each of your AWS accounts. As you can imagine, this can result in the creation of a very large number of AD groups to manage federated access.

However, some organizations have limits on how many AD groups they can create. For example, an organization might need to keep its AD group hierarchy reasonably flat and avoid a deep nesting of groups. Such a situation needs a solution that doesn’t require you to create exponentially more AD groups while still allowing you to use access control and automated user integration.

In this blog post, I provide step-by-step instructions for integrating AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) with Microsoft Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) by using AD user attributes, allowing you to establish federated access without expanding your total number of AD groups. Your organization’s enterprise administrator probably has existing processes in place for managing AD group memberships and provisioning, and you can extend these processes to the management of AD user attributes and the reduction of your organization’s dependency on AD groups. (more…)

Newly Updated: Example AWS IAM Policies for You to Use and Customize

To help you grant access to specific resources and conditions, the Example Policies page in the AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) documentation now includes more than thirty policies for you to use or customize to meet your permissions requirements. The AWS Support team developed these policies from their experiences working with AWS customers over the years. The example policies cover common permissions use cases you might encounter across services such as Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon EC2, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Amazon RDS, Amazon S3, and IAM.

In this blog post, I introduce the updated Example Policies page and explain how to use and customize these policies for your needs.

The new Example Policies page

The Example Policies page in the IAM User Guide now provides an overview of the example policies and includes a link to view each policy on a separate page. Note that each of these policies has been reviewed and approved by AWS Support. If you would like to submit a policy that you have found to be particularly useful, post it on the IAM forum. (more…)