AWS IAM, or Amazon Web Services Identity and Access Management, is a service that allows users to securely access and manage resources within the AWS platform. It enables users to create and manage users, groups, and permissions to control access to various AWS services and resources.
IAM allows users to create policies that define what actions and resources a user or group is allowed to access. For example, a policy may allow a user to read and write to an S3 bucket, but not delete any objects within it. These policies can be applied to individual users, groups, or even to an entire AWS account.
It also enables users to create and manage temporary access keys for AWS services that use access keys for authentication, such as the AWS SDKs and command line tools. These access keys allow users to access AWS services without the need for a password, which can be more secure and convenient when working with automated processes or scripts.
One of the key benefits of using IAM is the ability to enforce least privilege, which means that users are only given the permissions they need to complete their tasks. This helps to reduce the risk of unauthorized access and helps to ensure that users are only able to access the resources they need to do their job.
IAM also includes features such as multi-factor authentication, which requires users to provide additional proof of identity beyond a password, and integration with other security tools such as AWS Secrets Manager, which enables users to store, rotate, and manage secrets such as database passwords and access keys.