AWS IAM Best Practices for Security As Well As Compliance Too

Debasish Pramanik Cloud Security Expert - CloudCodes Software
  • May 11th, 2021

It has been observed that Amazon service provider considers their security concerns very seriously. Let it be the offered services or resources, Amazon has a dedicated team to render an automated access control service for its AWS clients. The IAM (identity and access management) solution enables consumers to manage groups, users, permissions, and roles in a systematic manner. But it is completely dependent upon AWS clients to carefully configure the IAM setting to fulfill their current security and compliance demands. Today’s CloudCodes post is going to aware users of the actual use of most of the inbuilt controls, which are provided by Amazon web services. In today’s post, you are going to read about AWS IAM best practices for security and compliance demands of enterprises.

AWS IAM Best Practices – Let’s Read Them Out

  1. Restrict The AWS Account Use – When a person registers an account with Amazon web services, the initial user tenant is titled as the root tenant. This newly created tenant has full access to use each and every resource of AWS, causing it the major privileged end-user account. It is suggested that the use of the root tenant should be restricted because permissions for the root account credentials cannot be restricted. The restriction should be enforced on the tasks that could only be fulfilled via the root tenant. For rest tasks, develop an IAM individual, which has administrative rights and, use that tenant for the management of the AWS environment on the daily basis.
  2. Activate MFA Security Feature – Regardless of how rarely the root account of AWS is being accessed, it is strongly suggested that the core access keys of the account should be rotated periodically through the security credentials page. Also, people should activate the feature of multi-factor authentication in their root account to overcome the risk of unauthorized account access.
  3. Never Ever Share Credentials – Rather than the sharing of AWS tenants, create a single IAM user for officials who need to use Amazon services and resources. This will permit the account administrator to allocate a unique set of rights to different persons on the basis of their job needs.
  4. Prefer Use of Managed Policies – A pre-defined set of standards is provided by Amazon that is entirely managed via AWS and clients are not permitted to modify the existing permissions. These managed policies are coded to help common scenarios while making it simpler to enforce access standards than developing standards yourself from the scratch.
  5. Don’t Allow Maximum Privileges – One of the most common faults made by individuals at the time of provisioning AWS users is allocating them rights that go out of the limit from what is minimally required. While it might be quicker to create IAM end-users without inspecting the provided rights, free access to Amazon web services significantly grows the potential harm in the incident of stolen or lost user’s account credentials.
    The Data Breach Investigations Report 2017 of Verizon underscores the attack from compromised tenants. This report observes that a warning 81% of data breach incidents have resulted from insecure or stolen security passwords in the year 2016. Therefore, it is much important for the IT security team to make sure that the AWS administrators do their adequate amount of research to defined the correct set of permissions.
  6. Timely Review IAM Permission – Being one of the best AWS IAM best practices, it is essential to timely review AWS IAM standards of your particular company. This is required to ensure that officials are provided with the least privileges. Each standard comes with a ‘policy summary’ that is an appropriate location to begin at the time of logging IAM standards. AWS offers 4 major access levels for each of its services – list, write, read, and permissions management.
    The access level of permissions and write management should be allotted with a warning. The write permission enables users to modify, delete, and create resources. On the other hand, permission management enables users to restrict or provide resource permissions for complete industry and its AWS individuals. For this cause, permission management should be activated to as many IAM users as possible.
  7. Real-time Monitoring Process – AWS platform supports the activity monitoring system with CloudTrail. However, industries should continuously observe and investigate AWS activities alongside all other online services for attaining a consolidated view of Cyber operations. This would help to properly separate an actual attack from a wrong positive alert and, also render insight into the cross-cloud issues that will go unidentified by only seeing at each cloud service in isolation.

Organizations Can Opt for A CASB Solution Too

A CASB solution provides cross-cloud visibility into the user activity to support all-in-one activity monitoring and threat security. It is the best means to achieve all AWS IAM best practices all in one place. If organizations are unable to afford a Cybersecurity expert, the can outsource their security responsibilities by opting for cloud access security broker solutions.