Managing access with S3 Access Grants - Amazon Simple Storage Service
Services or capabilities described in Amazon Web Services documentation might vary by Region. To see the differences applicable to the China Regions, see Getting Started with Amazon Web Services in China (PDF).

Managing access with S3 Access Grants

To adhere to the principle of least privilege, you define granular access to your Amazon S3 data based on applications, personas, groups, or organizational units. You can use various approaches to achieve granular access to your data in Amazon S3, depending on the scale and complexity of the access patterns.

The simplest approach for managing access to small-to-medium numbers of datasets in Amazon S3 by Amazon Identity and Access Management (IAM) principals is to define IAM permission policies and S3 bucket policies. This strategy works, so long as the necessary policies fit within the policy size limits of S3 bucket policies (20 KB) and IAM policies (5 KB), and within the number of IAM principals allowed per account.

As your number of datasets and use cases scales, you might require more policy space. An approach that offers significantly more space for policy statements is to use S3 Access Points as additional endpoints for S3 buckets, because each access point can have its own policy. You can define quite granular access control patterns, because you can have thousands of access points per Amazon Web Services Region per account, with a policy up to 20 KB in size for each access point. Although S3 Access Points increases the amount of policy space available, it requires a mechanism for clients to discover the right access point for the right dataset.

A third approach is to implement an IAM session broker pattern, in which you implement access-decision logic and dynamically generate short-term IAM session credentials for each access session. While the IAM session broker approach supports arbitrarily dynamic permissions patterns and scales effectively, you must build the access-pattern logic.

Instead of using these approaches, you can use S3 Access Grants to manage access to your Amazon S3 data. S3 Access Grants provides a simplified model for defining access permissions to data in Amazon S3 by prefix, bucket, or object. In addition, you can use S3 Access Grants to grant access to both IAM principals and directly to users or groups from your corporate directory.

You commonly define permissions to data in Amazon S3 by mapping users and groups to datasets. You can use S3 Access Grants to define direct access mappings of S3 prefixes to users and roles within Amazon S3 buckets and objects. With the simplified access scheme in S3 Access Grants, you can grant read-only, write-only, or read-write access on a per-S3-prefix basis to both IAM principals and directly to users or groups from a corporate directory. With these S3 Access Grants capabilities, applications can request data from Amazon S3 on behalf of the application's current authenticated user.

When you integrate S3 Access Grants with the trusted identity propagation feature of Amazon IAM Identity Center, your applications can make requests to Amazon Web Services (including S3 Access Grants) directly on behalf of an authenticated corporate directory user. Your applications no longer need to first map the user to an IAM principal. Furthermore, because end-user identities are propagated all the way to Amazon S3, auditing which user accessed which S3 object is simplified. You no longer need to reconstruct the relationship between different users and IAM sessions. When you're using S3 Access Grants with IAM Identity Center trusted identity propagation, each Amazon CloudTrail data event for Amazon S3 contains a direct reference to the end user on whose behalf the data was accessed.

For more information about S3 Access Grants, see the following topics.