How is identity access management

Identity and access management for Amazon Inspector

AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) is an AWS service that enables an administrator to securely control access to AWS resources. IAM administrators control whoauthenticated(registered) andauthorized(have permissions) to use Amazon Inspector resources. IAM is an AWS service that you can use at no additional cost.


How you use AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) depends on what you do in Amazon Inspector.

Service user- If you are using the Amazon Inspector service to perform tasks, your administrator will provide you with the credentials and permissions you need. If you use other Amazon Inspector features to perform tasks, you may need additional permissions. Understanding how access control works can help you obtain the correct permissions from your administrator. For more information on when you don't have access to a feature in Amazon Inspector, go to Troubleshooting Amazon Inspector.

Service administrator- If you are responsible for Amazon Inspector in your company, you likely have full access to Amazon Inspector. Your job is to determine the Amazon Inspector features and resources that employees should be able to access. You must then request changes to the permissions of your service users from your IAM administrator. Read the information on this page to understand the basic concepts of IAM. For more information about how your company can use IAM with Amazon Inspector, see How Amazon Inspector Works with IAMaus.

IAM administratorIf you are the IAM administrator, you should understand the details of how to write policies to manage access to Amazon Inspector. For examples of Amazon Inspector identity-based policies that you can use in, see Examples of Identity-Based Policies for Amazon Inspector.

Authentication with identities

Authentication is the way you use your credentials to sign in to AWS. For more information about how to log in to the AWS Management Console, see Logging in to the AWS Management Console as an IAM User or a Root User in the IAM User Guide.

You must be the account's root AWS user or an IAM user authenticated (signed in to AWS) or accept an IAM role. You can also use your company's single sign-on authentication or even sign in using Google or Facebook. In these cases, your administrator has previously set up an identity federation using IAM roles. When you access AWS with another company's credentials, you indirectly assume a role.

To log in directly to the AWS Management Console, use your password with your root user's email address or the name of your IAM user. You can use the access keys of your root user or IAM user to access AWS programmatically. AWS provides SDKs and command line tools that you can use to encrypt your request with your credentials. If you are not using AWS tools, you must self-sign the request. To do this, use Signature version 4, a protocol for authenticating incoming API requests. For more information on authenticating requests, see Signing Process with Signature Version 4 in the AWS General Reference.

Regardless of the authentication method you use, you may also need to provide additional security information. For example, AWS recommends that you use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to increase the security of your account. For more information, see Using Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) in AWS in the IAM User Guide.

Root user of the AWS account

When you create an AWS account, it initially contains only a single login identity that has full access to all AWS services and resources in the account. This identity is used as the AWS accountRegular user designated. To access the root user, you will need to log in with the email address and password used to create the account. We strongly advise against using the root user for everyday tasks including administrative tasks. Instead, stick to the best practice of only using the root user to create your first IAM user. You then put the credentials for the root user in a safe place and only use them to perform some account and service administration tasks.

IAM users and groups

A IAM user is an entity in your AWS account with specific permissions for a single person or application. An IAM user can have long-term credentials such as username and password or a set of access keys. For information about generating access keys, see Managing Access Keys for IAM Users in the IAM User Guide. When generating access keys for an IAM user, be sure to view the key pair and store it securely. You cannot restore the secret access key later. Instead, you need to generate a new access key pair.

A IAM group is an identity that identifies a collection of IAM users. You cannot register as a group. You can use groups to specify permissions for multiple users at the same time. Groups make it easier to manage permissions when there are many users. For example, you could name a group IAMAdmins Grant permissions to manage IAM resources.

Users are different from roles. A user is uniquely assigned to a single person or application. A role can be accepted by anyone who needs it. Users have permanent long-term credentials. Roles provide temporary credentials. For more information, see Creating an IAM User (Instead of a Role) in the IAM User Guide.

IAM roles

A IAM role is an identity in your AWS account with specific permissions. It is similar to an IAM user, but is not associated with a specific person. You can temporarily assume an IAM role in the AWS Management Console by switching roles. You can assume a role by calling an AWS CLI or AWS API operation, or by using a custom URL. For more information about methods for using roles, see Using IAM Roles in the IAM User Guide.

IAM roles with temporary credentials are useful in the following situations:

  • Temporary IAM user permissions - An IAM user can assume an IAM role to temporarily receive different permissions for a specific task.

  • Associated user access - Instead of creating an IAM user, you can use pre-existing identities from AWS Directory Service, your company's user directory, or from a web identity provider. These are called connected users designated. AWS assigns a role to a connected user when access is requested through an identity provider. For more information on connected users, see Connected Users and Roles in IAM User Guide.

  • Cross-account access - You can use an IAM role to allow a trusted principal in another account to access resources in your account. Roles are the primary way to provide cross-account access. However, in some AWS services, you can attach a policy directly to a resource (instead of using a role as a proxy). For information about the differences between roles and resource-based policies for cross-account access, see How IAM Roles Differ from Resource-Based Policies in the IAM User Guide.

  • Cross-service access - Some AWS services use functionality in other AWS services. For example, when you make a call to a service, it is common for that service to run applications on Amazon EC2 or store objects in Amazon S3. A service can do this with the calling principal permissions with a service role or with a service-linked role.

    • Principal permissions - If you use an IAM user or role to perform actions on AWS, you are considered a principal. Policies grant permissions to a principal. If you are using some services, you could take one action which then triggers another action in another service. In this case, you must have permissions to perform both actions. For information about whether an action requires additional dependent actions in a policy, see Actions, Resources, and Condition Keys for Amazon Inspector in theService authorizationout.

    • Service role - A service role is an IAM role that a service assumes to perform actions on your behalf. Service roles only provide access within your account and cannot be used to grant access to services in other accounts. An IAM administrator can create, modify, and delete a service role in IAM. For more information, see Create a Role to Delegate Permissions to an AWS Service in the IAM User Guide.

    • Service-linked role - A service-linked role is a type of service role that is linked to an AWS service. The service can take on the role of taking some action on your behalf. Service-linked roles appear in your IAM account and belong to the service. An IAM administrator can view but not edit the permissions for service-linked roles.

  • Applications in Amazon EC2 - You can leverage an IAM role to manage temporary credentials for applications running on an EC2 instance that make AWS CLI or AWS API requests. This is better than storing the access key within the EC2 instance. Create an instance profile that is attached to the instance to assign an AWS role to an EC2 instance and to make the role available to all applications on the instance. An instance profile contains the role and enables programs running on the EC2 instance to receive temporary credentials. For more information, see Using an IAM Role to Grant Permissions to Applications Running on Amazon EC2 Instances IAM User Guide.

For information about when to use IAM roles or IAM users, see Creating an IAM Role (Instead of a User) in the IAM User Guide.

Manage access with policies

To manage access in AWS, you create policies and attach them to the IAM identities or AWS resources. A policy is an object in AWS that is associated with an identity or resource and defines its permissions. You can log in as the root user, IAM user, or assume an IAM role. Then when you make a request, AWS evaluates the associated identity-based or resource-based policies. Permissions in the policies determine whether the request is allowed or denied. Most policies are stored in AWS as JSON documents. For more information about the structure and content of JSON policy documents, see Overview of JSON Policies in the IAM User Guide.

Administrators can use AWS JSON policies to determine who can access what. That is, which one Principal can Actions for which resources and under which conditions To run.

Initially, an IAM entity (user or role) does not have any permissions. In other words, by default, users cannot take any action or even change their password. In order to grant a user permission for an action, an administrator must assign a permission policy to a user. Alternatively, the administrator can add the user to a group that has the desired permissions. When an administrator grants permissions to a group, all users in that group receive those permissions.

IAM policies define permissions for an action regardless of the method you use to perform the action. For example, suppose there is a policy that grants permissions for the action. A user with this policy can get role information through the AWS Management Console, the AWS CLI, or the AWS API.

Identity-Based Policies

Identity-based policies are JSON permission policy documents that you can attach to an identity, such as: B. IAM users, user groups or roles. These policies control what actions users and roles can take on what resources and under what conditions. For information about creating identity-based policies, see Creating IAM Policies in the IAM User Guide.

Identity-based policies can go beyond Inline guidelines or managed policies be categorized. Inline policies are embedded directly into a single user, group, or role. Managed policies are standalone policies that you can attach to multiple users, groups, and roles in your AWS account. Managed policies include AWS managed and customer managed policies. For information on how to choose between a managed policy and an inline policy, see Choosing Between Managed and Inline Policies in IAM User Guide.

Resource-based guidelines

Resource-based policies are JSON policy documents that you attach to a resource. Examples of resource-based policies are IAM-Role Trust Policies and Amazon S3Bucket Policies. In services that support resource-based policies, service administrators can use them to control access to a specific resource. For the resource to which the policy is attached, the policy determines what actions a particular principal can take on that resource and under what conditions. You must specify a principal in a resource-based policy. Principals can include accounts, users, roles, federated users, or AWS services.

Resource-based policies are built-in policies that reside in this service. You cannot use AWS managed policies from IAM in a resource-based policy.

Access Control Lists (ACLs)

Access control lists (ACLs) control which principals (account members, users, or roles) can access a resource. ACLs are similar to resource-based policies, but they do not use the JSON policy document format.

Amazon S3, AWS WAF, and Amazon VPC are examples of services that support ACLs. For more information about ACLs, see Access Control List (ACL) Overview in Amazon Simple Storage Service Developer Guide.

More policy types

AWS supports additional, less commonly used policy types. These policy types can determine the maximum permissions that the more commonly used policy types can give you.

  • Authorization Limits - A privilege limit is an advanced feature that allows you to set the maximum permissions that an identity-based policy can grant to an IAM entity (IAM user or role). You can set an authorization limit for an entity. The resulting permissions are an intersection of the entity's identity-based policies and their permissions limits. Resource-based policies that specify the user or role in the field are not restricted by permission limits. An explicit denial of access in one of these policies invalidates an access permit. For more information about authorization limits, see Authorization Limits for IAM Entities in the IAM User Guide.

  • Service Control Policies (SCPs) - SCPs are JSON policies that specify the maximum permissions for an organization or organizational unit (OU) in AWS Organizations. AWS Organizations is a service for grouping and centrally managing multiple AWS accounts that your company has. If you enable all functions within an organization, you can apply Service Control Policies (SCPs) to all or some of your accounts. An SCP restricts permissions to entities in member accounts, including all AWS account root users. For more information about organizations and SCPs, see How SCPs Work in AWS Organizations User Guide.

  • Session Policies - Session policies are advanced policies that you pass as parameters when you programmatically create a temporary session for a role or connected user. The resulting session permissions are an intersection of the policies based on the identity of the user or role and the session policies. Permissions can also come from a resource-based policy. An explicit denial of access in one of these policies invalidates an access permit. For more information, see Session Policies in IAM User Guide.

Multiple policy types

If more than one type of policy can be applied to a requirement, the corresponding permissions are more complicated. For information about how AWS determines whether a request is allowed when multiple types of policies are involved, see Policy Evaluation Logic in the IAM User Guide.

Encryption in transit
How Amazon Inspector Works with IAM