Smart Ways to Ensure AWS IAM Security

Pallavi Varanasi Cloud Security Expert - CloudCodes Software
  • September 30th, 2020

AWS IAM Security

The Amazon team has done a wonderful job of providing efficient data security to all its services on the cloud. Its AWS (Amazon Web Services) clients have been given robust service of access control. By the IAM (Identity and Access Management) service they get to manage groups, permissions, roles, and users. AWS IAM security help enterprises to unleash the actual strength of the cloud to their advantage.

Ways to Ensure AWS IAM Security

  • Not to Access AWS Root Account: AWS root account is the initial account of the user-created during AWS registration. This is the most privileged user account and has full permission to use every resource that is provided by the AWS services. The administrators are suggested to restrict the root account access from performing the tasks. The individuals have to create a user account in IAM which has administrative privileges. Thus the admin will use this account to manage the AWS environment on a daily routine basis.
  • Enable MFA and Rotate the AWS Root Account Access Keys: A security information page is to be created to rotate the root account access keys. This is done because the AWS root account will be used frequently and also Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is to be activated for the root account usage.
  • Credentials of AWS Root Account Shouldn’t Be Shared: The AWS root account is the most important from the security perspective and its credentials are not to be shared with anyone even to enable them for the use of resources. If the AWS resources are to be shared or accessed, then the admin has to create a common IAM user for that individual. Thus the admin can assign a unique set of permissions to different persons to access and use the AWS resources based on the job requirements.
  • Use AWS Managed Policies to Assign Permissions: AWS services offer some inbuilt set of policies that is under the control of the Amazon cloud security team. The customers cannot edit those permissions. This serves as a unique set of use cases. So rather than creating its own set of policies from the scratch, it is easier to enforce the policies of built-in AWS access control.
  • Allot Rights at IAM Group Level: Whenever a new group/user/role is created, the permissions have to be granted at the IAM user/role/group level. The customer can add customer-managed policies in the account of the IAM roles, groups, or users and this is the AWS IAM best practice. At the time of creating the IAM group, the admin can allow policies to a group of IAM users or even mention a set of inline policies. Enforcing such security measures will help enterprises to reduce the chances of data loss from the AWS account.
  • Privileges Are Not to be Granted beyond the Minimum Set of Rules: The admin, mostly, when creating users in AWS, allots all the privileges to the employees. This is done mostly because creating an IAM user account without filtering privileges is an easy and fast task. But, such activity greatly enhances the chance of stolen account credentials and hence causes potential damage.
  • Stay Constantly Updated with the AWS Policies: The enterprises should always be updated on IAM policies in the AWS account. Each of the policy comes out with a valid summary. This is an accurate location for the audit of IAM policies. AWS provides four levels of data access control for each of the services. These are read, write, list, and permission management. The best AWS IAM security practice is to stay updated on the policies on a daily, weekly/ monthly basis.
  • Policy Conditions Act as an Added Security Measure: The policy situations check for the proper match between the request and the policy guidelines. There are limitless conditions that can be used for AWS IAM security policies. This also helps when working with third-party CASB vendors and business partners.

CloudCodes Security Blanket

CloudCodes offers CASB solutions that help enterprises acquire cross-cloud visibility. The best-in-class cloud security solution also supports comprehensive task monitoring and offers real-time threat protection for the data held on the cloud storage; thus facilitating AWS IAM security as well.

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