Gartner Research

Identity and Access Management Within Amazon Web Services' Public Cloud

Published: 06 March 2014

ID: G00261157

Analyst(s): Nick Nikols


Amazon Web Services has amplified its IAM capabilities, providing better management and security for AWS offerings. IAM professionals will appreciate features like the improved federation support, but will still need to reconcile the management of AWS with their existing enterprise IAM processes.

Table Of Contents

Summary of Findings


  • What AWS Brings to the Table
    • Improved Support for Federated SSO
    • Support for MFA
    • Comprehensive API
    • Reporting on Account Usage and Activity
  • Challenges That IAM Professionals Face With AWS
    • Challenges With PAM
    • Challenges With User Management
    • Challenges With Working With Existing Enterprise Authorization Infrastructure
    • Challenges With Access Governance
  • Bridging the Gap
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Limit the Use of the AWS Root Administrative Account
  • Use a PAM Tool to Lock Down the AWS Root Administrative Account
  • Follow a Least-Privilege Approach to AWS Entitlements
  • Employ MFA for Privileged AWS IAM Users
  • Utilize AWS CloudTrail to Monitor IAM Operations in AWS
  • Leverage Third-Party IAM Tools That Integrate With AWS

The Details

  • The Evolution of AWS IAM
  • Accounts, Users and Roles — Oh, My!
    • AWS Root
    • IAM User
    • Federated Users
    • Permissions
    • Roles
  • User Identification and Authentication
    • User Identifiers
    • Security Credentials
    • Authentication Methods
  • Authorization
    • Policy Statements
    • Groups in AWS
    • Authorization With Federated Users
  • Managing Entitlements Within AWS
  • Tracking AWS IAM Activities With AWS CloudTrail


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