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IAM Access Analyzer vs Access Advisor

Are you tired of trying to keep track of all the different access policies for your AWS resources? Do you often find yourself wondering whether a particular user or group has the appropriate permissions to access a specific resource? If so, you're in luck! AWS has two great tools that can help you manage access to your resources: IAM Access Analyzer and IAM Access Advisor.

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But what's the difference between the two, and when should you use each one? Let's take a look.

IAM Access Analyzer is a fully managed service that continuously monitors your resource policies to identify any public or cross-account access to your resources. This means that it can help you identify whether your resources are accessible to anyone outside of your own AWS account, as well as whether they're accessible to other accounts within your organization.

The analyzer uses a combination of automated reasoning and machine learning to analyze your resource policies and identify potential security risks. It then provides you with a detailed report of its findings, including which resources are potentially accessible, who has access to them, and what actions they're allowed to perform.

On the other hand, IAM Access Advisor is a feature within the IAM console that provides you with insights into the access patterns for your IAM users and roles. It shows you which resources are most frequently accessed by each user or role, as well as which actions are performed on those resources.

This can be particularly useful for identifying unused permissions and reducing the attack surface of your AWS environment. For example, if you see that a particular user only accesses a single S3 bucket and never performs any other actions, you can safely remove all of their other permissions to reduce the potential for misuse.

So, when should you use each of these tools? If you're looking to identify potential security risks and improve the overall security of your AWS environment, IAM Access Analyzer is the way to go. It provides a comprehensive view of your resource policies and can help you identify and address potential vulnerabilities.

On the other hand, if you're focused on optimizing your IAM permissions and reducing the attack surface of your environment, IAM Access Advisor is the tool for you. It provides insights into access patterns for your IAM users and roles, making it easier to identify and remove unused permissions.

Overall, both IAM Access Analyzer and IAM Access Advisor are powerful tools that can help you manage access to your AWS resources. Whether you're looking to improve security or optimize your IAM permissions, these tools have got you covered. So why not give them a try and see how they can help you?

For more detail from AWS themselves, see:

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