You can use third-party identity providers (IdPs) such as Okta, Ping, or OneLogin to federate with the AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) service using SAML 2.0, allowing your workforce to configure services by providing authorization access to the AWS Management Console or Command Line Interface (CLI). When you federate to AWS, you assume a role through the AWS Security Token Service (AWS STS), which through the AssumeRole API returns a set of temporary security credentials you then use to access AWS resources. The use of temporary credentials can make it challenging for administrators to trace which identity was responsible for actions performed.

To address this, with AWS STS you set a unique attribute called SourceIdentity, which allows you to easily see which identity is responsible for a given action.

This post will show you how to set up the AWS STS SourceIdentity attribute when using Okta, Ping, or OneLogin as your IdP. Your IdP administrator can configure a corporate directory attribute, such as an email address, to be passed as the SourceIdentity value within the SAML assertion. This value is stored as the SourceIdentity element in AWS CloudTrail, along with the activity performed by the assumed role. This post will also show you how to set up a sample policy for setting the SourceIdentity when switching roles. Finally, as an administrator reviewing CloudTrail activity, you can use the source identity information to determine who performed which actions. We will walk you through CloudTrail logs from two accounts to demonstrate the continuance of the source identity attribute, showing you how the SourceIdentity will appear in both accounts’ logs.

For more information about the SAML authentication flow in AWS services, see AWS Identity and Access Management Using SAML. For more information about using SourceIdentity, see How to relate IAM role activity to corporate identity.

Configure the SourceIdentity attribute with Okta integration

You will do this portion of the configuration within the Okta administrative console. This procedure assumes that you have a previously configured AWS and Okta integration. If not, you can configure your integration by following the instructions in the Okta AWS Multi-Account Configuration Guide. You will use the Okta to SAML integration and configure an optional attribute to map as the SourceIdentity.

To set up Okta with SourceIdentity

  1. Log in to the Okta admin console.

  2. Navigate to Applications–AWS.

  3. In the top navigation bar, select the Sign On tab, as shown in Figure 1.

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    Figure 1 – Navigate to attributes in SAML settings on the Okta applications page

  4. Under Sign on methods, select SAML 2.0, and choose the arrow next to Attributes (Optional) to expand, as shown in Figure 2.

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    Figure 2 – Add new attribute SourceIdentity and map it to Okta provided attribute of your choice

  5. Add the optional attribute definition for SourceIdentity using the following parameters:

    Note: The Name format options are the following:Unspecified – can be any format defined by the Okta profile and must be interpreted by your application.URI Reference – the name is provided as a Uniform Resource Identifier string.Basic – a simple string; the default if no other format is specified.

The examples shown in Figure 1 and Figure 2 show how to map an email address to the SourceIdentity attribute by using an on-premises Active Directory sync. The SourceIdentity can be mapped to other attributes from your Active Directory.

Configure the SourceIdentity attribute with PingOne integration

You do this portion of the configuration in the Ping Identity administrative console. This procedure assumes that you have a previously configured AWS and Ping integration. If not, you can set up the PingFederate AWS Connector by following the Ping Identity instructions Configuring an SSO connection to Amazon Web Services.

You’re using the Ping to SAML integration and configuring an optional attribute to map as the source identity.

Configuring PingOne as an IdP involves setting up an identity repository (in this case, the PingOne Directory), creating a user group, and adding users to the individual groups.

To configure PingOne as an IdP for AWS

  1. Navigate to **https://admin.pingone.com/** and log in using your administrator credentials.

  2. Choose the My Applications tab, as shown in Figure 3.

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    Figure 3. PingOne My Applications tab

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