Spotlight on AWS Cloud Security: AIM Driven Identity Security 

Across all computing platforms, identity-driven security has been thoroughly institutionalized. From the early beginnings of LDAP and AD, user profiles and service groupings paved the way for the identity model being used in cloud computing.

Having a comprehensive knowledge of how user account management drives cloud security is crucial for cloud security for IAM professionals. Many organizations have found that partnering with industry specialists in IAM identity monitoring and verification.

Importance of IAM Cloud Security

Organizations can more easily manage electronic or digital identities with the help of the identity and access management (IAM) framework of business procedures, guidelines, and technologies. IAM frameworks give IT managers the ability to limit user access to vital data inside their organizations.

Password management tools, single sign-on systems, two-factor authentication, multifactor authentication, privileged access management, and privileged identity management are all examples of AM technology (PIM). To make sure that only necessary and pertinent data is exchanged, these tools enable companies to securely store identity and profile data as well as data governance activities.

Principle of Least Privilege

According to the Principle of Least Privilege, an online identity should only be granted the privileges necessary for it to perform its function. An online identity should not be granted an access privilege if it is not necessary. Furthermore, the assignment of rights ought to be governed by the purpose of the online identity.

If a specific action calls for changing an online identity’s access privileges, those additional rights should be immediately revoked after the action is finished. The analog of the “need to know” principle is that if an online identity does not require access to a cloud item to carry out its function, it should not be granted access to that object.

More specifically, append privileges rather than write rights should be granted if an online identity wants to edit an object but not the information currently present in the object.

The Importance of Policies When Managing IAM Identities.

By setting policies and tying them to IAM identities (users, groups of users, or roles) or AWS resources, you may manage access in AWS. In AWS, a policy is an object that, when linked to an identity or resource, defines the rights of such objects. When an IAM principal (user or role) submits a request, AWS considers these rules. Whether a request is approved or rejected depends on the permissions in the policies. 

You can use numerous statements in a single policy to specify multiple permissions for an entity (user or role). Multiple policies may also be attached. Your policy might not allow the access you anticipate if you attempt to establish numerous permissions in a single sentence. Organize policies according to resource type as a recommended practice.

Clear policies improve both your understanding of what is required for compliance and aids threat hunters to detect suspicious behaviors during vulnerability scanning.

6 IAM Best Practices

There are best practices that need to be adhered to when utilizing IAM as a cloud security professional. Here we have listed six of the best practices when dealing with IAM.

  • Never use the root user access key for your AWS account. All your resources for all AWS services, including your billing data, are fully accessible with the root user access key for your AWS account. Your AWS account root user access key’s permissions cannot be decreased either, so take good care of it.
  • Give only the bare minimum of permissions at first, and then more as needed. Starting with too lax permissions and attempting to restrict them afterward is less secure than doing the opposite.
  • We advise requiring multi-factor authentication (MFA) for all users on your account as an added layer of security. Users of MFA own a device that produces a response in response to an authentication challenge. 
  • Make sure that all IAM users on your account are changing their passwords and access keys on a regular basis. By doing this, you can restrict how long someone can access your resources if a password or access key is compromised without your awareness. To make it mandatory for all IAM users to change their AWS Management Console passwords, you can add a custom password policy to your account. 
  • AWS access credentials enable programmatic access. Do not distribute these security credentials among users in your AWS account or insert access keys within unprotected code. Configure the program to retrieve temporary security credentials using an IAM role for applications that require access to AWS. Create an IAM user with private access keys to give each of your users their own programmatic access.
  • Access keys for redundant IAM user and service accounts should be removed routinely.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that IAM profiles can be effectively utilized by introducing healthy policies and practices. Diligent management of these profiles improves vulnerability discovery and reduces attack surface parameters and improves the effectiveness of the IAM cloud security professional. 

Jonathon Spire

Jonathon Spire

Tech Blogger at Jonathon Spire

My diverse background started with my computer science degree, and later progressed to building laptops and accessories. And now, for the last 7 years, I have been a social media marketing specialist and business growth consultant.

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Jonathon Spire

I blog about a range of tech topics.

For the last 7 years I have been a social media marketing specialist and business growth consultant, so I write about those the most.

Full transparency: I do review a lot of services and I try to do it as objectively as possible; I give honest feedback and only promote services I believe truly work (for which I may or may not receive a commission) – if you are a service owner and you think I have made a mistake then please let me know in the comments section.

– Jon