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AWS IAM

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AWS IAM vs Oathkeeper: What are the differences?

Developers describe AWS IAM as "Securely control access to AWS services and resources for your users". AWS Identity and Access Management. On the other hand, Oathkeeper is detailed as "A cloud native Identity & Access Proxy". A cloud native Identity & Access Proxy (IAP) which authenticates and authorizes incoming HTTP requests. Inspired by the BeyondCorp / Zero Trust white paper. Written in Go.

AWS IAM and Oathkeeper can be primarily classified as "Cloud Access Management" tools.

Some of the features offered by AWS IAM are:

  • Manage IAM users and their access - You can create users in IAM, assign them individual security credentials (i.e., access keys, passwords, and Multi-Factor Authentication devices) or request temporary security credentials to provide users access to AWS services and resources.
  • Manage IAM roles and their permissions - You can create roles in IAM, and manage permissions to control which operations can be performed by the entity, or AWS service, that assumes the role. You can also define which entity is allowed to assume the role.
  • Manage federated users and their permissions - You can enable identity federation to allow existing identities (e.g. users) from your corporate directory or from a 3rd party such as Login with Amazon, Facebook, and Google to access the AWS Management Console, to call AWS APIs, and to access resources, without the need to create an IAM user for each identity.

On the other hand, Oathkeeper provides the following key features:

  • Identify the user and provide the user session to API backends
  • Restrict access to certain resources based on a set of rules
  • Transform access credentials (e.g. OAuth2 Access Tokens, SAML Assertions, ...) to a format (e.g. JSON Web Token, Plaintext, Basic Authorization, ...) consumable by your API services

Oathkeeper is an open source tool with 1.41K GitHub stars and 62 GitHub forks. Here's a link to Oathkeeper's open source repository on GitHub.

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Pros of AWS IAM
Pros of Oathkeeper
  • 23
    Centralized powerful permissions based access
  • 3
    Straightforward SSO integration
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    Cons of AWS IAM
    Cons of Oathkeeper
    • 1
      Cloud auth limited to resources, no apps or services
    • 1
      No equivalent for on-premise networks, must adapt to AD
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      - No public GitHub repository available -

      What is AWS IAM?

      It enables you to manage access to AWS services and resources securely. Using IAM, you can create and manage AWS users and groups, and use permissions to allow and deny their access to AWS resources.

      What is Oathkeeper?

      A cloud native Identity & Access Proxy (IAP) which authenticates and authorizes incoming HTTP requests. Inspired by the BeyondCorp / Zero Trust white paper. Written in Go.

      Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

      Jobs that mention AWS IAM and Oathkeeper as a desired skillset
      Pinterest
      Palo Alto, CA, US; San Francisco, CA, US; New York City, NY, US; Seattle, WA, US
      Pinterest
      Palo Alto, CA, US; San Francisco, CA, US; New York City, NY, US; Seattle, WA, US
      Pinterest
      San Francisco, CA, US; Palo Alto, CA, US; Seattle, WA, US
      Pinterest
      San Francisco, CA, US; Palo Alto, CA, US; Seattle, WA, US
      What companies use AWS IAM?
      What companies use Oathkeeper?
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        What tools integrate with AWS IAM?
        What tools integrate with Oathkeeper?

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        What are some alternatives to AWS IAM and Oathkeeper?
        Azure Active Directory
        It is a comprehensive identity and access management solution that gives you a robust set of capabilities to manage users and groups. You can get the reliability and scalability you need with identity services that work with your on-premises, cloud, or hybrid environment.
        Okta
        Connect all your apps in days, not months, with instant access to thousands of pre-built integrations - even add apps to the network yourself. Integrations are easy to set up, constantly monitored, proactively repaired and handle authentication and provisioning.
        Auth0
        A set of unified APIs and tools that instantly enables Single Sign On and user management to all your applications.
        OAuth2
        It is an authorization framework that enables a third-party application to obtain limited access to an HTTP service, either on behalf of a resource owner by orchestrating an approval interaction between the resource owner and the HTTP service, or by allowing the third-party application to obtain access on its own behalf.
        Teleport
        Teleport makes it easy for users to securely access infrastructure and meet the toughest compliance requirements.
        See all alternatives