AWSUnderstanding Identity-based Policies in AWS IAM

Understanding Identity-based Policies in AWS IAM

Organizations increasingly turn to Amazon Web Services (AWS) for their computing needs as cloud computing becomes more widespread. To ensure the security and privacy of AWS resources, AWS provides Identity and Access Management (IAM) service to manage user identities and access policies. One of the most important policy types in IAM is Identity-Based Policies. This blog post will discuss Identity-Based Policies in AWS and their importance.

What are Identity-Based Policies in AWS IAM?

Identity-based policies in AWS are a type of policy that controls access to AWS resources based on the identity of the user or group. These policies are used to grant or restrict access to specific AWS resources, such as EC2 instances, S3 buckets, or RDS databases, based on the user’s identity.

Identity-based policies are created in AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), a service that provides centralized control over access to AWS resources. With IAM, users can create and manage AWS users and groups and assign permissions to those users and groups using identity-based policies.

Identity-based policies are created using JSON syntax and can be attached to users, groups, or roles. These policies can grant permissions to perform specific actions on resources, such as read, write, or delete, and can also restrict access to resources based on conditions such as time of day, IP address, or MFA authentication.

Identity-based policies are an important part of AWS security. They allow administrators to control access to resources based on user identity rather than relying on network security controls. By using identity-based policies, administrators can ensure that only authorized users have access to AWS resources and can monitor and audit user activity to ensure compliance with security policies and regulations.

Here is an example of an Identity-Based Policy in AWS:

    "Version": "2012-10-17",
    "Statement": [
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": [
            "Resource": [
            "Condition": {
                "IpAddress": {
                    "aws:SourceIp": ""

This policy allows a specific user or group to access an Amazon S3 bucket named “example-bucket” and perform actions such as listing, getting, putting, or deleting objects within that bucket. The policy is also restricted to a specific IP address range (, ensuring access only from a specific network.


  • Version: The version of the policy language in use.
  • Statement: The set of permissions being granted or denied by the policy.
  • Effect: Whether the statement allows or denies access to the resource.
  • Action: The policy grants or denies access to the set of steps.
  • Resource: The AWS resource(s) the policy grants or denies access to.
  • Condition: Additional conditions must be met for the policy to be enforced. In this case, the policy only applies to requests from a specific IP address range.

This policy grants a specific user or group permission to perform actions on an S3 bucket and restricts access based on the source IP address. Using Identity-Based Policies, organizations can implement fine-grained access controls and enforce security policies based on user identity.

Final Thoughts

Identity-Based Policies are a critical component of AWS security and compliance. They allow organizations to manage access to AWS resources based on user identity, preventing unauthorized access and providing an audit trail of user activity. By following best practices and creating policies that adhere to the principle of least privilege, organizations can ensure the security and privacy of their AWS resources.


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