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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
Features with AWS SSO
2.1.
SSO access to your AWS accounts and cloud applications
2.2.
Integration with AWS Organizations
2.3.
Manage users and groups in AWS SSO
2.4.
Leverage your existing corporate identities
2.5.
Easy to set up and monitor
3.
Users, groups, and provisioning
4.
Security
4.1.
Security of the cloud
4.2.
Security in the cloud
5.
Frequently Asked Questions
5.1.
What is AWS used for?
5.2.
Why are AWS Organizations?
6.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

AWS Single Sign-On

Author Ayushi Poddar
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Ashwin Goyal
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Introduction

AWS Single Sign-On is a cloud-based single sign-on (SSO) service, making it a lot easier to manage Single Sign-On access to all your AWS accounts and cloud applications. It specifically helps you manage SSO access and other user permissions across all of your AWS accounts in the AWS organizations. It allows you to control the access and permissions to the commonly used third-party software as a service, which are widely known as SaaS applications, AWS SSO integrated applications, and custom applications that can support Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) 2.0. The AWS Single Sign-On also includes a user portal where the end users can find and access all of their assigned AWS accounts, cloud applications, and custom applications and all of these things in one place.

Features with AWS SSO

Following are the features that AWS SSO provides:

SSO access to your AWS accounts and cloud applications

It is straightforward for you to manage SSO across all your AWS accounts, cloud applications, AWS SSO integrated applications, and custom SAML 2.0-based applications without custom scripts or third-party Single Sign-On solutions. One can use the AWS SSO console to quickly assign which users should have one-click access to, particularly those applications that have been authorized for their personalized end-user portal.

Integration with AWS Organizations

AWS Single Sign-On is deeply integrated with AWS Organizations and AWS API operations, unlike the cloud-native SSO solutions. The AWS SSO natively integrates with the AWS Organizations and enumerates all of your AWS accounts together. You will see them displayed similarly within the AWS SSO console if you have organized all of your accounts under the organizational units (OUs).

Manage users and groups in AWS SSO

AWS SSO creates a default store for you in the AWS SSO. One can use this store to manage users and groups directly in the console. If you prefer, you can also connect to an existing AWS Managed Microsoft AD directory and then collect the users using the standard Active Directory management tools provided in the windows server. One can also provide users and groups from an external identity provider into the AWS SSO and then manage access permissions in the AWS Single Sign-On.

Leverage your existing corporate identities

AWS Single Sign-On is also deeply integrated with Microsoft AD through the AWS Directory Service. Your employees can sign in to your AWS SSO user portal using their corporate Active Directory credentials. Users added to the DevOps group are also automatically granted SSO access to these AWS accounts.

Easy to set up and monitor

The AWS SSO allows you to enable a highly available SSO service with just a few clicks, and you would be required no additional infrastructure to deploy or set up the AWS account. It is a highly available and completely secure infrastructure that helps you scale to your needs and does not require software or hardware to manage.

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Users, groups, and provisioning

When we work with AWS SSO, users must be identified uniquely. AWS SSO can implement a user name that behaves as the primary identifier for all your users. Though it is a fact that most people set their user name as their email address, AWS  SSO and the SAML do not require this in particular. A large percentage of SAML-based applications use an email address as the unique identifier for users.

Groups are a logically based combination of users that you can define. One can create groups and then add users to the groups. AWS SSO does not support adding one group to another group, known as nested groups. These groups are helpful when assigning access to the AWS accounts and applications.

In the case of AWS SSO, you can create users and groups directly and even work with different users and groups that you have in the Active Directory or an external identity provider. For the AWS SSO to assign users and groups for permissions in an AWS SSO account, AWS must first know the users and groups. Provisioning is making user and group information available for use by AWS SSO and AWS SSO-integrated applications.

Security

The highest priority is always given to Cloud security. As an AWS customer, one always benefits from the data center and network architecture built to meet the requirements of the most security-sensitive organizations.

The shared responsibility model of the AWS SSO is described below :

Security of the cloud

AWS shall be responsible for protecting the infrastructure which runs the AWS services in the AWS Cloud. AWS provides you with many benefits that you can use securely. The third-party auditors regularly test and verify the effectiveness of the system security.

Security in the cloud

It is the user's responsibility for other factors, including the sensitivity of your data, your company's requirements, and applicable laws and regulations.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is AWS used for?

AWS, or Amazon Web Services (AWS), is a cloud platform offered by Amazon.com, which provides servers, storage, networking, remote computing, email, mobile development, and security.

Why are AWS Organizations?

AWS Organizations helps users centrally manage and govern your environment as you grow and scale AWS resources.

Conclusion

This article extensively discussed the AWS Single Sign-On, a cloud-based service offered by AWS to centrally manage users. We hope that this blog has helped you enhance your knowledge regarding AWS SSO and if you would like to learn more, check out our articles on Coding Ninjas.

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