Multi Factor Authentication is the most important security feature for your AWS users. Statistics from Microsofts shows that MFA alone blocks 99,9% of all hostile sign in attempts. That’s 999 out of 1000 attempts!
What is MFA?
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is a security feature that requires users to provide multiple forms of verification before granting access to their accounts or resources. In the context of AWS, it typically involves something you know (your password) and something you have (a temporary MFA code from a device or app). MFA will give you the following advantages:
–Stronger Access Control
MFA adds an additional layer of security to your AWS account. Even if someone manages to obtain your password, they won’t be able to access your account without the MFA code from your registered device. This makes it significantly harder for unauthorized users to gain access to your AWS resources.
-Protection Against Phishing
Phishing attacks are a common tactic used by cybercriminals to steal login credentials. MFA mitigates the effectiveness of phishing because even if a user unwittingly provides their password in response to a phishing email or website, the attacker would still need the MFA code to access the account.
Many industries and organizations are subject to regulatory requirements that mandate strong authentication measures. Implementing MFA in AWS helps you meet these compliance requirements, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).
-Securing Sensitive Operations
AWS allows you to enforce MFA for specific actions or operations, such as changing security settings or accessing critical resources. This ensures that only authorized personnel can perform sensitive tasks, reducing the risk of accidental or malicious changes.
-Versatile MFA Options
AWS offers several MFA options, including hardware tokens, virtual MFA devices (like mobile apps), and Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) devices. You can choose the option that best fits your organization’s needs and user preferences.
Enabling MFA in AWS is a straightforward process. Users can link their AWS accounts to MFA devices or apps, and administrators can enforce MFA on IAM users or roles through policy settings.
Now what? Well, if you have IAM (root user!) users without MFA, implement it right away. There will be some step-by-step instruction for different things later on at this blog, feel free to follow.