Why Your Organization Should Implement Effective AWS IAM Policies

Why Implement Effective AWS IAM Policies | 3 min. read

What is IAM? Why is IAM so important? How to create an effective policy for your AWS IAM? Get your answers in this blog.

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What is IAM?

IAM stands for Identity and Access Management. It’s used to control who’s authenticated and authorized to use specific resources on the account.


When an AWS account is created, it's called the root user AWS account, which has access to all the AWS resources. Generally, it’s unwise to use this account for daily or even administrative tasks. The main task of the root account is to create the first IAM user, as well as perform minimal account and service management tasks as needed.


The credentials from the root user account should be stored in a safe place and used only when necessary.

AWS has a specific web service to control access to AWS resources: AWS IAM.

With AWS IAM, you define who can access what by specifying fine-grained permissions. AWS IAM then enforces those permissions for every request. Access is denied by default, and access is granted only when permissions specify an "Allow." Read more about AWS IAM here.

Why is IAM so Important?


A good IAM policy makes it difficult for an outside party to break into your company systems.
Currently, advances in technology are making it easier to hack networks and applications to harm or steal data. Identity and Access Management makes it more difficult to do so by adding an extra layer of security. Who has access to specific applications within the company can be controlled by managers or security professionals.


With IAM you ensure that people have access to what they're supposed to and don't have access to what they're not supposed to. Broken Access Control occurs when a user can act beyond the permissions of their role, being one of the most common security issues faced by companies. Read more about it in our white paper What are the OWASP Top 10 Vulnerabilities?

Be proactive with implementing IAM if your team consists of multiple members, or you have applications with numerous services that can be used to communicate with each other teammates while having the least privileged access.


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Learn More About it in Our Related Course!


Our Effective Creation and Deployment of AWS IAM Policies course teaches you and your team how to create AWS Identity and Access Management policies manually and generate them automatically. You'll use Policy Sentry to query AWS IAM database and cause the least privileged policies. Parliament will be used in a CI/CD pipeline to lint IAM policies.


By the end of the course, your team will be familiar with:

  • The core concepts of AWS IAM

  • Parliament (a tool for linting policies)

  • Policy Sentry (a tool for generating IAM policies)

"A good IAM policy makes it difficult for an outside party to break into your company systems."

 

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