Tag: AWS IAM


Introducing an Easier Way to Delegate Permissions to AWS Services: Service-Linked Roles

by Abhishek Pandey | on | in Announcements, How-to guides | | Comments

Some AWS services create and manage AWS resources on your behalf. To do this, these services require you to delegate permissions to them by using AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) roles. Today, AWS IAM introduces service-linked roles, which give you an easier and more secure way to delegate permissions to AWS services. To start, you can use service-linked roles with Amazon Lex, a service that enables you to build conversational interfaces in any application by using voice and text. Over time, more AWS services will use service-linked roles as a way for you to delegate permissions to them to create and manage AWS resources on your behalf. In this blog post, I walk through the details of service-linked roles and show how to use them.

Creation and management of service-linked roles

Each service-linked role links to an AWS service, which is called the linked service. Service-linked roles provide a secure way to delegate permissions to AWS services because only the linked service can assume a service-linked role. Additionally, AWS automatically defines and sets the permissions of service-linked roles, depending on the actions that the linked service performs on your behalf. This makes it easier for you to manage the permissions you delegate to AWS services. AWS allows only those changes to service-linked roles that do not remove the permissions required by the linked service to manage your resources, preventing you from making any changes that would leave your AWS resources in an inconsistent state. Service-linked roles also help you meet your monitoring and auditing requirements because all actions performed on your behalf by an AWS service using a service-linked role appear in your AWS CloudTrail logs.

When you work with an AWS service that uses service-linked roles, the service automatically creates a service-linked role for you. After that, whenever the service must act on your behalf to manage your resources, it assumes the service-linked role. You can view the details of the service-linked roles in your account by using the IAM console, IAM APIs, or the AWS CLI.

Service-linked roles follow a specific naming convention that includes a mandatory prefix that is defined by AWS and an optional suffix defined by you. The examples in the following table show how the role names of service-linked roles may appear. (more…)

Join Us for AWS IAM Day on Thursday, March 23, in San Francisco

by Craig Liebendorfer | on | in Announcements | | Comments

AWS IAM Day image

Join us in San Francisco for AWS IAM Day on Thursday, March 23, from 9:30 A.M.–4:15 P.M. At this free technical event, we will introduce you to AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) concepts using easy-to-follow examples, and tools and strategies you can use for controlling access to your AWS environment. We will also cover how to integrate Active Directory with AWS workloads and how to enable your federated users to authenticate into AWS by using your organization’s identity provider. You can attend one session or stay for the full day.

Learn more and register!

– Craig

Easily Replace or Attach an IAM Role to an Existing EC2 Instance by Using the EC2 Console

by Sankaran Mariappan | on | in Announcements, How-to guides, Security | | Comments

AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) roles enable your applications running on Amazon EC2 to use temporary security credentials. IAM roles for EC2 make it easier for your applications to make API requests securely from an instance because they do not require you to manage AWS security credentials that the applications use. Recently, we enabled you to use temporary security credentials for your applications by attaching an IAM role to an existing EC2 instance by using the AWS CLI and SDK. To learn more, see New! Attach an AWS IAM Role to an Existing Amazon EC2 Instance by Using the AWS CLI.

Starting today, you can attach an IAM role to an existing EC2 instance from the EC2 console. You can also use the EC2 console to replace an IAM role attached to an existing instance. In this blog post, I will show how to attach an IAM role to an existing EC2 instance from the EC2 console. (more…)

New! Attach an AWS IAM Role to an Existing Amazon EC2 Instance by Using the AWS CLI

by Apurv Awasthi | on | in Announcements, How-to guides, Security | | Comments

AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) roles enable your applications running on Amazon EC2 to use temporary security credentials that AWS creates, distributes, and rotates automatically. Using temporary credentials is an IAM best practice because you do not need to maintain long-term keys on your instance. Using IAM roles for EC2 also eliminates the need to use long-term AWS access keys that you have to manage manually or programmatically. Starting today, you can enable your applications to use temporary security credentials provided by AWS by attaching an IAM role to an existing EC2 instance. You can also replace the IAM role attached to an existing EC2 instance.

In this blog post, I show how you can attach an IAM role to an existing EC2 instance by using the AWS CLI. (more…)

The Top 20 Most Viewed AWS IAM Documentation Pages in 2016

by Dave Bishop | on | in Announcements | | Comments

The following 20 pages were the most viewed AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) documentation pages in 2016. I have included a brief description with each link to give you a clearer idea of what each page covers. Use this list to see what other people have been viewing and perhaps to pique your own interest about a topic you’ve been meaning to research. (more…)

The Most Viewed AWS Security Blog Posts in 2016

by Craig Liebendorfer | on | in Announcements, Best Practices, Compliance, Encryption, Federation, How-to guides, Security | | Comments

The following 10 posts were the most viewed AWS Security Blog posts that we published during 2016. You can use this list as a guide to catch up on your blog reading or even read a post again that you found particularly useful.

  1. How to Set Up DNS Resolution Between On-Premises Networks and AWS Using AWS Directory Service and Amazon Route 53
  2. How to Control Access to Your Amazon Elasticsearch Service Domain
  3. How to Restrict Amazon S3 Bucket Access to a Specific IAM Role
  4. Announcing AWS Organizations: Centrally Manage Multiple AWS Accounts
  5. How to Configure Rate-Based Blacklisting with AWS WAF and AWS Lambda
  6. How to Use AWS WAF to Block IP Addresses That Generate Bad Requests
  7. How to Record SSH Sessions Established Through a Bastion Host
  8. How to Manage Secrets for Amazon EC2 Container Service–Based Applications by Using Amazon S3 and Docker
  9. Announcing Industry Best Practices for Securing AWS Resources
  10. How to Set Up DNS Resolution Between On-Premises Networks and AWS Using AWS Directory Service and Microsoft Active Directory

(more…)

SAML Identity Federation: Follow-Up Questions, Materials, Guides, and Templates from an AWS re:Invent 2016 Workshop (SEC306)

by Quint Van Deman | on | in Best Practices, Federation, How-to guides | | Comments

As part of the re:Source Mini Con for Security Services at AWS re:Invent 2016, we conducted a workshop focused on Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) identity federation: Choose Your Own SAML Adventure: A Self-Directed Journey to AWS Identity Federation Mastery. As part of this workshop, attendees were able to submit their own federation-focused questions to a panel of AWS experts. In this post, I share the questions and answers from that workshop because this information can benefit any AWS customer interested in identity federation.

I have also made available the full set of workshop materials, lab guides, and AWS CloudFormation templates. I encourage you to use these materials to enrich your exploration of SAML for use with AWS.

Q: SAML assertions are limited to 50,000 characters. We often hit this limit by being in too many groups. What can AWS do to resolve this size-limit problem?

A: Because the SAML assertion is ultimately part of an API call, an upper bound must be in place for the assertion size.

On the AWS side, your AWS solution architect can log a feature request on your behalf to increase the maximum size of the assertion in a future release. The AWS service teams use these feature requests, in conjunction with other avenues of customer feedback, to plan and prioritize the features they deliver. To facilitate this process you need two things: the proposed higher value to which you’d like to see the maximum size raised, and a short written description that would help us understand what this increased limit would enable you to do. (more…)

How to Assign Permissions Using New AWS Managed Policies for Job Functions

by Joy Chatterjee | on | in How-to guides | | Comments

Today, AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) made 10 AWS managed policies available that align with common job functions. AWS managed policies enable you to set permissions using policies that AWS creates and manages, and with a single AWS managed policy for job functions, you can grant the permissions necessary for network or database administrators, for example.

You can attach multiple AWS managed policies to your users, roles, or groups if they span multiple job functions. As with all AWS managed policies, AWS will keep these policies up to date as we introduce new services or actions. You can use any AWS managed policy as a template or starting point for your own custom policy if the policy does not fully meet your needs (however, AWS will not automatically update any of your custom policies). In this blog post, I introduce the new AWS managed policies for job functions and show you how to use them to assign permissions. (more…)

How to Enable MFA Protection on Your AWS API Calls

by Zaher Dannawi | on | in How-to guides | | Comments

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) provides an additional layer of security for sensitive API calls, such as terminating Amazon EC2 instances or deleting important objects stored in an Amazon S3 bucket. In some cases, you may want to require users to authenticate with an MFA code before performing specific API requests, and by using AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) policies, you can specify which API actions a user is allowed to access. In this blog post, I show how to enable an MFA device for an IAM user and author IAM policies that require MFA to perform certain API actions such as EC2’s TerminateInstances.

Let’s say Alice, an AWS account administrator, wants to add another layer of protection over her users’ access to EC2. Alice wants to allow IAM users to perform RunInstances, DescribeInstances, and StopInstances actions. However, Alice also wants to restrict actions such as TerminateInstances to ensure that users can only perform such API calls if they authenticate with MFA. To accomplish this, Alice must follow the following process’s two parts. (more…)

IAM Service Last Accessed Data Now Available for the Asia Pacific (Mumbai) Region

by Zaher Dannawi | on | in Announcements | | Comments

In December, AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) released service last accessed data, which helps you identify overly permissive policies attached to an IAM entity (a user, group, or role). Today, we have extended service last accessed data to support the recently launched Asia Pacific (Mumbai) Region. With this release, you can now view the date when an IAM entity last accessed an AWS service in this region. You can use this information to identify unnecessary permissions and update policies to remove access to unused services.

The IAM console now shows service last accessed data in 11 regions: US East (N. Virginia), US West (Oregon), US West (N. California), EU (Ireland), EU (Frankfurt), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), Asia Pacific (Seoul), Asia Pacific (Singapore), Asia Pacific (Sydney), Asia Pacific (Mumbai), and South America (Sao Paulo).

Note: IAM began collecting service last accessed data in most regions on October 1, 2015. Information about AWS services accessed before this date is not included in service last accessed data. If you need historical access information about your IAM entities before this date, see the AWS CloudTrail documentation. Also, see Tracking Period Regional Differences to learn the start date of service last accessed data for supported regions.

For more information about IAM and service last accessed data, see Service Last Accessed Data. If you have a comment about service last accessed data, submit it below. If you have a question, please start a new thread on the IAM forum.

– Zaher