- IAM JSON policy elements reference
- Identity-based policies and resource-based policies
In this seciton, we will cover identity-based policy and resource-based policy.
Reference of this section:
Identity-based policies are JSON permissions policy documents that control what actions an identity (users, groups of users, and roles) can perform, on which resources, and under what conditions. Identity-based policies can be further categorized:
- Managed policies – Standalone identity-based policies that you can attach to multiple users, groups, and roles in your AWS account. There are two types of managed policies:
- AWS managed policies – Managed policies that are created and managed by AWS.
- Customer managed policies – Managed policies that you create and manage in your AWS account. Customer managed policies provide more precise control over your policies than AWS managed policies.
- Inline policies – Policies that you add directly to a single user, group, or role. Inline policies maintain a strict one-to-one relationship between a policy and an identity. They are deleted when you delete the identity.
Resource-based policies are JSON policy documents that you attach to a resource such as an Amazon S3 bucket. These policies grant the specified principal permission to perform specific actions on that resource and defines under what conditions this applies. Resource-based policies are inline policies. There are no managed resource-based policies.
To enable cross-account access, you can specify an entire account or IAM entities in another account as the principal in a resource-based policy. Adding a cross-account principal to a resource-based policy is only half of establishing the trust relationship. When the principal and the resource are in separate AWS accounts, you must also use an identity-based policy to grant the principal access to the resource. However, if a resource-based policy grants access to a principal in the same account, no additional identity-based policy is required.
The IAM service supports only one type of resource-based policy called a role trust policy, which is attached to an IAM role. An IAM role is both an identity and a resource that supports resource-based policies. For that reason, you must attach both a trust policy and an identity-based policy to an IAM role. Trust policies define which principal entities (accounts, users, roles, and federated users) can assume the role.
To check which services support resource-based policies, please refer to article AWS services that work with IAM.
About Principal and Resource in Policy
- Principal (Required in only some circumstances) – If you create a resource-based policy, you must indicate the account, user, role, or federated user to which you would like to allow or deny access. If you are creating an IAM permissions policy to attach to a user or role, you cannot include this element. The principal is implied as that user or role.
- Resource (Required in only some circumstances) – If you create an IAM permissions policy, you must specify a list of resources to which the actions apply. If you create a resource-based policy, this element is optional. If you do not include this element, then the resource to which the action applies is the resource to which the policy is attached.
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