IAM, or AWS Identity and Access Management, is a service provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS) that allows you to manage access to AWS resources securely. IAM enables you to create and manage AWS users and groups, and it provides fine-grained control over their permissions to access AWS services and resources.

Key concepts in IAM include:

  1. Users: Individuals or entities that interact with AWS resources. Each user has unique security credentials.
  2. Groups: A collection of users. Instead of attaching policies directly to users, you can attach policies to groups, and users inherit the permissions of the group.
  3. Roles: Similar to users, but they are not associated with a specific person. Roles are often used for temporary permissions, such as when an application running on an EC2 instance needs to access other AWS services.
  4. Policies: JSON documents that define permissions. Policies are attached to users, groups, or roles to grant or deny access to AWS resources.

Now, let’s look at a live example of creating an IAM user with programmatic access (access keys) using the AWS Management Console:

  1. Log in to the AWS Management Console:
  • Open your web browser and navigate to the AWS Management Console: https://aws.amazon.com/.
  • Click on “Sign in to the Console” and enter your AWS account credentials.
  1. Navigate to IAM:
  • In the AWS Management Console, search for “IAM” or find it under “Security, Identity, & Compliance.”
  1. Create a new IAM user:
  • In the IAM dashboard, click on “Users” in the left navigation pane.
  • Click the “Add user” button.
  1. Configure user details:
  • Enter a username for the new user.
  • Select the “Programmatic access” checkbox to generate access keys for API access.
  • Optionally, you can also select “AWS Management Console access” if the user needs console access.
  • Click “Next: Permissions.”
  1. Add permissions:
  • On the permissions page, you can add the user to existing groups or attach policies directly.
  • For this example, let’s attach a policy directly. Click “Attach existing policies directly.”
  • Search for and select a policy, such as “AmazonS3FullAccess” to grant full access to Amazon S3.
  • Click “Next: Tags” (optional).
  1. Add tags (optional):
  • You can add tags for better organization. Click “Next: Review.”
  1. Review and create the user:
  • Review the configuration, and if everything looks correct, click “Create user.”
  1. View access key and secret key:
  • On the final page, you will see a success message. Be sure to download the CSV file containing the access key ID and secret access key. These credentials are needed for programmatic access.

This is a basic example, and in a real-world scenario, you should follow security best practices, including the principle of least privilege, by assigning only the necessary permissions to each user or group. Additionally, ensure that access keys are securely stored and managed.

Categories: AWS

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