If you already have an AWS organization, where you can centrally manage different AWS accounts, having Service Control Policies (SCPs) will likely make it worth the while.
Some permissions come with managing different accounts in an AWS organization; with SCPs, you can centrally control these available permissions.
What are AWS SCPs, and how can they help improve your cloud security?
AWS SCPs are “policies” that you put in place or establish to help manage resources within your AWS organization’s accounts.
However, the SCPs, unlike Identity and Access Management (IAM), don’t give permissions to AWS accounts. It, however, helps to manage the already granted permissions.
How can it help you?
With SCPs, you’re assured of more secure and cost-effective access to AWS features and services; this is especially useful to grow organizations with many accounts for teams and workloads.
Even with IAM, you’d need SCP as an additional layer of security to help control the permissions IAM has given.
What are the key services provided by AWS SCPs?
A statement is the container that carries the policy elements. SCPs can carry various statements.
Statement ID (Sid)
Sid is optional; however, it offers a name for the statement (usually friendly).
The effect is responsible for defining the allowance or denial to the IAM user and roles in an account.
Action specifies the service and actions of AWS.
This specifies the service and actions of AWS that are not included in the SCP.
The resource specifies the resources that SCP applies to.
Specifies conditions for the statement’s effect
What are the main examples of AWS SCPs use cases and implementation?
AWS SCPs vs. IAM Policies: How do they differ, and which is better?
While IAM and SCPs work to ensure your AWS accounts are properly secured, there are quite a number of differences between them. You’ll find them in the table below:
Only used with IAM
Can be used independently
Works for all account in an AWS organization
Only works with roles and users within an account
Manages permissions that have been granted by IAM.
Grants security permissions to roles and users within accounts
Which is better?
Well, considering that IAM and SCPs work to provide security for AWS accounts, it’s best to work with both options to obtain the optimum security services.
A step-by-step guide on how to set up and monitor Your AWS SCPs?
How do you set up an AWS SCP? Well, this article wouldn’t be complete without a way to help with that. So, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you:
Be sure to enable all features in your AWS organization. Then proceed to enable SCPs through the organization console.
In the console, click the “policies tab” at the top right, then select the “create policy option.”
Name and describe your policy according to the role you’d like it to perform or anything else to help with easy identification.
In the policy editor, find the empty statement in the text editor. Then, to add relevant resources, conditions, and actions, you’d first position your cursor inside the policy statement bar for the editor to detect the content of the policy statement.
Change your statement ID to describe the function of your statement. For example, you can reuse the policy name as your statement ID if the policy has one statement.
Through the left panel, select the IAM service and add the actions you want to restrict.
At this step, change from “action” by selecting the “nonAction” option.
Using the “resource policy” element, apply controls to the policy you’re setting up.
Click the “save changes” option to set up your policy.
Attach your policy to the AWS organization which you are applying for the permissions.
To implement SCPs, use the policy editor. It’s located in the AWS organization console. It helps to guide you through adding actions, conditions, and resources, making it easier for you to author SCPs.
Common Mistakes when using AWS SCPs and how to avoid them?
What are the pros and cons of using AWS SCPs?
Tips for Making the most out of AWS SCPs for your organization
To achieve the most through AWS SCPs, there are some best practices to adhere to, and we’ll be looking at some of them briefly.
To use AWS Service Control Policies, it’s necessary to have an AWS Organization because the policies can only work in a multi-account environment.
In addition, companies have been plagued with data breaches, running AWS services even when they’re not wanted, etc. However, with AWS SCPs, you’re assured of significant reductions in these catastrophic events.