AWS IAM: Best practices to follow

Evaluating the best practices to follow with AWS IAM.


What is IAM?

IAM is an AWS service that stands for Identity and Access Management. It is used to define the identity of our users. By default, we are given a root account when we first set up our AWS account. It is through IAM that we can create user accounts for accessing AWS instead and perform certain actions.


So, what are the best practices to follow with IAM?

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Tip 1:

Never use the root account, always create a user account and use that account instead. The root account is simply used for account setup, and nothing else.


Tip 2:

Enable MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication) for your root account and for your IAM users. An extra layer of security always goes a long way


Tip 3:

Create an effective password policy for your users. You can decide on the number of characters that a user must have in their password, how often they must rotate their password, and set up many other characteristics


Tip 4:

Never share your user's access and secret access keys with anyone! Each IAM user that you create will come with access keys, be sure to keep it private.


Tip 5:

Be sure to add your IAM users to groups, and attach permissions to those groups. You can add permission directly to a user, but this can get chaotic and get disorganized, especially if you have a lot of users. So, be sure to group them accordingly... and assign permissions to those groups. Examples of groups may be "Administrators" or "Developers" or "Managers".