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Cloud Identity Governance Spotlight On AWS Cognito

cloud apps It was not too long ago that most online identities were isolated to online email clients and social media applications and services. What was true then and hasn’t changed since is that online identity governance is crucial. Governance of these identities has become a major business concern to many organizations as authorized access and segregation of duties between users and services must be curated correctly to be secure.

Many organizations have been moving towards outsourcing the role of Cloud Identity governance to specialist third-party vendors. Especially because identity management in cloud computing is essential for cloud security. A misconfigured cloud infrastructure entitlement can bring a whole application down or lead to a major security compromise. These vendors are often compatible with all of the major cloud vendors.

In this article, we would like to put the spotlight on the AWS Cognito cloud identity and authentication solution.

AWS Cognito

Amazon Cognito lets you add user sign-up, sign-in, and access management to your online and mobile apps fast and efficiently. Its key features include the ability to save users and passwords, manage sessions, and recover forgotten passwords. All you have to do now is connect to its endpoints and your configured services will work synchronously, in perfect harmony.

AWS Cognito Benefits

  • Secured Credentials:

AWS relieves the developers of the burden of ensuring that their databases are adequately protected, and credentials are securely saved. They don’t even have access to the passwords of the users. This is fantastic in terms of security. Cognito also keeps passwords that meet HIPPA compliance guidelines.

  • Utilization of OAuth, SAML:

Cognito not only securely stores your data, but it also has all the necessary features for OAuth and Security Assertion Markup Language integration. To manage user sessions and authentication tokens, there’s no need to build your code. You can utilize AWS APIs to make simple requests to Cognito to validate or obtain fresh tokens. It can also handle password reset requests and account validation.

  • Effortless API Integration:

Using AWS Cognito with API Gateway is a common scenario. Setting up your API to validate against the Cognito pool takes very little effort. This validation will occur before your API passes the call on to the next function, lowering the cost of session validation. This simplifies the process of securing your endpoints.

  • Short startup timeframe:

When you consider all Cognito’s features, you’ll see that you can set up secure authentication in your application quickly and efficiently. Set up your Cognito Pool, connect to the APIs, and you’re ready to go. When you want to prototype an application or focus on offering rapid functionality in your cloud application, this is usually a great value.

AWS Cognito Downsides

  • Limited Configurability

Cognito does include a list of non-adjustable platform variables and quotas that cannot be changed. In some scenarios, this is a disadvantage.

  • Better Setup Your Pool Correctly

Once the Cognito pool has been configured and utilized, changing its core parameters becomes a problem. After a pool is created, some fields cannot be changed. And the solution isn’t so straightforward. This rigidity makes it challenging to develop custom apps with changing requirements.

  • Integration with Outside Services

Cognito works well with other AWS services. This is convenient for an easy out-of-the-box setup. But what happens when you want to move your messaging service, for example, away from AWS? While technically possible, it’s not very straightforward. Making a solution work with new services becomes a complex task. In the end, all this complexity translates into added cost.

  • Disaster Recovery

AWS experienced a major outage in the US-east-1 region in November of 2020. As a result, Cognito and many applications that rely on it were crippled. As a result, you couldn’t authenticate or validate any cloud sessions, so apps became non-functional. This reinforced the necessity for cloud-based disaster recovery plans for organizations.

Amazon Cognito makes it simple to integrate user sign-up, sign-in, and access management into your cloud and mobile apps. Amazon Cognito enables sign-in with all the main online social identity providers and scales to millions of users along with AWS hosting. It enables organizations who are new to cloud computing to get off to a good start.

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