What Is Aws Sts

How To Articles

Amazon Web Services (AWS) Security Token Service (STS) is a powerful tool that allows me to manage temporary security credentials for my AWS resources. As someone who works extensively with AWS, STS has been an invaluable addition to my toolkit, providing an extra layer of security and control over my resources.

Understanding AWS STS

AWS STS is designed to address the security concerns associated with accessing AWS services and resources. It enables me to request temporary security credentials that can be used to access AWS resources, and these credentials have a limited lifetime. This means that even if these credentials are compromised, their impact is limited by their short lifespan. Furthermore, STS offers support for multi-factor authentication (MFA), adding an extra layer of security to the temporary credentials.

How It Works

When I make a request to STS for temporary security credentials, it validates my request based on the policies and permissions attached to my IAM user or role. Once the request is approved, STS returns the temporary credentials, including an access key, a secret key, and a session token. These credentials are then used to access the specified AWS resources.

Use Cases

From my experience, AWS STS has been extremely useful in various scenarios. For instance, when I need to grant temporary access to AWS resources to a third-party application or service, I can make use of STS to generate temporary security credentials with specific permissions, and these credentials are then provided to the third party. This ensures that the third party only has access to the resources they need for a limited time, reducing the risk of unauthorized access.

Moreover, STS plays a crucial role in enabling cross-account access. By leveraging STS, I can assume a role in another AWS account and access resources in that account without having to create a new IAM user. This simplifies the process of managing access across multiple AWS accounts.


In conclusion, AWS STS is a fundamental component of my AWS security strategy, providing me with the ability to manage temporary security credentials effectively. Its support for MFA, limited lifespan of credentials, and versatility in enabling cross-account access make it an essential tool for securing and managing access to AWS resources.