IAM Interview Question and Answers [ TOP & MOST ASKED ]
IAM-Interview-Question-and-Answers

IAM Interview Question and Answers [ TOP & MOST ASKED ]

Last updated on 10th Nov 2021, Blog, Interview Questions

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Pramoot Prakash (AWS Cloud Architect )

Pramoot Prakash is an AWS Cloud Architect Senior Manager and has 8+ years of experience in controlling cloud-based information and cloud-Architect inside the process of making hardware and software recommendations, and handling audit logs, AWS Cloud trial.

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    IAM stands for Identity and Access Management (IAM) enables users to access the right type of technology, be it networks, databases, or applications. All of it is done at the right time. However, when it comes to hiring an employee to handle this technological aspect, how can aspirants put their best foot forward? An array of organizations and companies come up with plenty of jobs in IAM, including third-party service providers, medium and small-sized businesses, and enterprises.?

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    1. What is importance of IAM?

    Ans:

    With an increase in security threats and user privacy preferences turning a more difficult to handle, IAM has started to play the crucial role for organizations, irrespective of industry and size. IAM is vital at a time when passwords get hacked within a seconds, data breaches turn the frequent occurrence and intruders infiltrate government as well as an organizational agencies.

    2.What is an identity directory service?

    Ans:

    Most of the IAM projects comprise the working with active directory and other kinds of a repositories that are compliant with the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP). Accordingly, LDAP skills are the required throughout the project for a directory consolidation, QA testing, data conversions, and other tasks.

    3. What is method of getting IP address of a computer?

    Ans:

    To get an IP address, first, go to Start > cmd—systeminfo. The other way is to go to the Start > Powershell—systeminfo.

    4. What is method of providing access to user into server with Active Directory?

    Ans:

    To give access to the user, first, browse the server in Active Directory and look for a relevant Access groups in the Server properties. After that, add user to the preferred group that offers the access to specific service. On contrary, to disable somebody, look for user in the Organizational Unit (OU) and right-click, choose Disable Account.

    5. Define cryptography?

    Ans:

    cryptography can be defined as a study of secured and safeguarded communication techniques that let sender and recipient see the contents. The concept is taken from the set of calculations based on the rules, known as algorithms, and mathematical concepts. This helps to convert plaintext into the ciphertext and then again into plaintext. The entire process is known as the decryption.

    6. What is objective of cryptography?

    Ans:

    Cryptography keeps an information concealed and confidential. In case storage or transmission medium is a Compromised, encrypted information will render useless to unauthorized people without any key for a decryption. And then, with help of message digests and hashing algorithms, cryptography makes sure the information is accurate. Additionally, digital certificates, Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), and digital signatures can be used for purpose of validation.

    7. How does IAM work?

    Ans:

    IAM works by creating and managing the users, groups, and roles. Each user is individual identity with the unique credentials (Username and Password). Groups are the collections of users with the similar permissions and roles are groups of permissions that user or aws services can take on. IAM uses the policies (sets of permissions) attached to these entities to control access to the specific AWS resources.

    8. What are IAM users, groups, and roles?

    Ans:

    • IAM Users – IAM users are the individual identities with unique credentials used for an authentication.
    • Groups – Groups are the collections of users with the same permissions making it simpler to manage permissions for the multiple users at once.
    • Roles – An IAM Roles are the exactly similar to IAM users because both are identities with the specific permissions which are defined by the policies and these policies basically say what role can or can’t do within AWS.

    9. Difference between Authentication and Authorization?

    Ans:

    Authentication is a process of verifying the identity of the user or system to access a particular AWS resource. In IAM, this involves the validating usernames and passwords or the other factors like multi-factor authentication (MFA). Authorization, on other hand, is the process of determining what a user can do once know who they are.

    10. What are attributes of IAM policy?

    Ans:

    • Version: It specifies a version of IAM policy language being used.
    • Statement(s): Contains the one or more statements, each defining the set of permissions.

    11. How do create and manage IAM roles?

    Ans:

    • Step 1: Sign in to the AWS Management Console
    • Step 2: Select “Roles” from a left navigation pane.
    • Step 3: Click on “Create role” button.
    • To manage IAM roles,:
    • Modify the Policies- Modify a Trust Relationships- Rotate a Credentials.

    12.What are features of IAM?

    Ans:

    • Shared Access to Account helps in sharing resources with the help of shared access features.
    • Free of cost – AWS IAM is free to use and also all charges are added when access the other Amazon web services using IAM user.
    • Centralized control over Aws account – Helps in a new creation of users and grops of any form of cancellation.
    • Grant permission to the user – It holds administrative rights and users can grant permission to access.

    13. What are different identities provided by IAM?

    Ans:

      IAM Users is the resource in IAM that has associated credentials and permissions. IAM Roles is IAM identity that can create in account that has a specific permissions.

    14. What is IAM Manager?

    Ans:

      IAM managers is the responsible for overseeing, It is technical background for understanding a projects employees are responsible for. They are responsible for making a decisions about access related security practices.

    15. What are most important factors to consider designing an IAM system?

    Ans:

      When designing IAM system, there are several important factors to be consider. First and foremost is more security. An IAM system should be designed with the utmost security in mind, taking into the account potential threats like malicious actors or data breaches. The system should also have the robust authentication process that requires the users to provide valid credentials before gaining access to be sensitive information.

    16. How would go about troubleshooting IAM issue?

    Ans:

      When troubleshooting IAM issue, first step is to understand a problem. This includes the gathering as much information as possible about environment and the issue itself. Once this done, it’s important to identify a root cause of issueOnce the root cause has been identified, then work on resolving the issue by making necessary changes to configuration or code.

    17. What is single sign-on ?

    Ans:

      Single sign-on (SSO) is the type of authentication process that allows the users to access multiple applications or services with the one set of credentials. It simplifies a login process by eliminating need for users to remember and enter a different usernames and passwords for the each application they use.

    18. Define example of when would use role-based access control system?

    Ans:

      Role-based access control (RBAC) systems are an important part of the any Identity and Access Management system. Used RBAC in the variety of situations, including when the managing user access to sensitive data or systems. For example, implemented an RBAC system for the large financial institution. The goal was to ensure that only can authorized personnel had access to certain areas of network.

    19. If user’s password expired, what is process to update it?

    Ans:

      When the user’s password expires, the process would use to update it is as follows. First, would contact the user and verify identity by asking them for personal information like name, date of birth, or address. Once this has been verified, would provide a user with the instructions on how to reset their password. This could be done through the email link or the secure web page. Once user has successfully updated password, ensure that they are able to access all the systems and applications associated with account.

    20. Differences between LDAP, Kerberos and Active Directory?

    Ans:

      LDAP is the open source protocol used to access and manage directory services over the network. It provides authentication and authorization for the users on the network. Kerberos is the secure authentication protocol that uses a tickets to provide single sign-on capabilities. Finally, Active Directory is a Microsoft’s implementation of LDAP and Kerberos. It is used to store the user information, such as passwords and group memberships, in the central repository.

    21. What is MFA support for IAM?

    Ans:

      MFA stands for the Multi-Factor Authentication. IAM MFA provides the additional layer of security by prompting the user for username and password (the first factor, intellectual information) and additionally requiring user to also enter a code by the MFA device associated with user account for entering the AWS management console. To setup the MFA for an account, one simply needs to buy the hardware device or simply install the free virtual MFA app on his mobile, other than this no extra cost is associated.

    22. What is IAM Role?

    Ans:

      IAM Role is the IAM Identity similar to IAM user, created in the AWS account with specific permission policies assigned to it. These policies define what IAM role can and cannot do in AWS account. IAM roles do not hold the authentication credentials like login passwords or access keys, instead a temporary security credential is generated for every individual role session. These are normally meant to be delegate access to users, services or applications that don’t have an explicit allow on AWS resource.

    23. What are access keys for IAM Users?

    Ans:

    Access keys can be created for the IAM users or AWS account root users. These are the long term credentials, used to sign the programmatic requests to AWS API or AWS CLI. Access Key is composed of the 2 parts:

    • Access Key ID
    • Secret Access Key

    24. What is principle of least privilege, and why important in IAM?

    Ans:

      The principle of least privilege means that individuals or the systems should have minimum level of access necessary to perform job functions. It reduces the the risk of unauthorized access and potential security breaches.

    25.Difference between (RBAC) and (ABAC)?

    Ans:

      Feature Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) Attribute-Based Access Control (ABAC)
    Definition

    Access permissions are associated with roles, and users are assigned to roles.

    Access control decisions are based on various attributes, such as user attributes, resource attributes, and environmental attributes.
    Granularity Role-centric; access is granted based on predefined roles. Attribute-centric; access is granted based on various attributes associated with users, resources, and the environment.
    Flexibility Less flexible in handling complex access scenarios. More flexible in handling complex access scenarios due to the use of multiple attributes.

    26. How can IAM help organizations with compliance and auditing?

    Ans:

      IAM systems can be track and log user activities, providing a trail of who accessed what resources and when. This information is crucial for the compliance with regulations and for an auditing purposes.

    27. Explain identity federation?

    Ans:

      Identity federation allows the users to access resources in a one domain using credentials from another domain. It establishes the trust between different identity providers and simplifies access for the users across organizational boundaries.

    28. What is IAM in cloud computing?

    Ans:

    In cloud computing, IAM ensures a secure access to cloud resources. It helps to manage user identities, control access to the cloud services, and enforce security policies within cloud environment.

    29. How do handle account provisioning and de-provisioning in IAM?

    Ans:

      Account provisioning involves the creating, updating, or disabling a user accounts based on roles or the organizational changes. De-provisioning ensures that accounts are disabled or removed when the users leave organization or change roles.

    30. Explain privilege escalation and how to prevent it in IAM.

    Ans:

      Privilege escalation occurs when the user gains higher-level access than originally assigned. To prevent it, IAM systems should enforce principle of least privilege, conduct a regular access reviews, and monitor for the unusual activities.

    31.How do ensure strong password policies in IAM?

    Ans:

      Strong password policies include the requirements for minimum length, complexity, and regular expiration. Additionally, encouraging the use of the passphrase and implementing a multi-factor authentication enhances security.

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    32. Explain IAM integration with DevOps (DevSecOps)?

    Ans:

      IAM integration with the DevOps involves automating identity and access management processes within development and deployment lifecycle. This ensures that security is embedded in a development process from the start.

    33. How do handle identity lifecycle management in IAM?

    Ans:

      Identity lifecycle management involves the processes such as onboarding, changes in the roles, and offboarding. Automation, role-based provisioning, and de-provisioning help manage the identities efficiently throughout lifecycle.

    34.Explain Access Control Lists (ACLs) in IAM?

    Ans:

      ACLs are lists of the permissions attached to an object, specifying which users or the system processes are granted access to objects, as well as what operations are allowed on given objects.

    35. How handle challenge of managing privileged access in IAM?

    Ans:

      Privileged Access Management (PAM) solutions can be employed to the control and monitor access to privileged accounts. This includes the implementing just-in-time access, session monitoring, and a regular access reviews.

    36. What is Identity Governance in IAM,?

    Ans:

      Identity Governance focuses on the policies and processes related to the identity and access, ensuring the compliance and reducing risks. Access Management is concerned with the granting or denying access based on the policies and user roles.

    37. Explain risk-based authentication in IAM?

    Ans:

    Risk-based authentication assesses a risk associated with a login attempt by considering the various factors such as location, device, and behavior. Based on the risk level, it may prompt for the additional authentication steps.

    38. How do manage authentication tokens securely in IAM systems?

    Ans:

      Authentication tokens should be encrypted during the transmission and storage. Token revocation mechanisms should be in the place, and token lifetimes should be appropriately configured to the minimize security risks.

    39. What is Single Logout (SLO) in IAM, and how does it work?

    Ans:

      Single Logout allows the users to log out from all the connected services with a single action. When user initiates logout, the identity provider notifies all connected service providers to log user out, enhancing the security.

    40. Explain attribute-based access control (ABAC) in IAM?

    Ans:

      ABAC is the access control model that evaluates the attributes associated with the user, the resource, and environment to make access decisions. It provides the more flexible and dynamic approach to the access control.

    41. What is Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) system in IAM?

    Ans:

      SIEM systems collect and analyze a log data from various sources, including the IAM systems, to detect and respond to the security events. They play a crucial role in monitoring and mitigating a security threats.

    42. Explain Federated Identity Management?

    Ans:

    Federated Identity Management allows the users to access resources across the multiple organizations using single set of credentials. It establishes trust relationships between the identity providers and service providers to be enable seamless authentication.

    Federated Identity Management

    43. What is significance of continuous monitoring in IAM?

    Ans:

      Continuous monitoring involves the real-time tracking of user activities, allowing the organizations to promptly detect and respond to the security incidents, unauthorized access, or policy violations.

    44. Explain Delegated Administration in IAM?

    Ans:

      Delegated Administration allows the administrators to assign the specific administrative tasks or roles to the non-administrative users. This helps distribute administrative responsibilities and ensures the appropriate access controls.

    45 How can IAM systems help prevent social engineering attacks?

    Ans:

      IAM systems can enforce the strong authentication methods, educate the users about social engineering tactics, and implement the policies that require verification for a certain actions, reducing risk of unauthorized access.

    46. Explain Dynamic Access Control in IAM?

    Ans:

      Dynamic Access Control involves the dynamically adjusting the access permissions based on the contextual factors, such as user attributes, device characteristics, and the environmental conditions.

    47. How can IAM systems help prevent insider threats?

    Ans:

      IAM systems can mitigate the insider threats by implementing a strict access controls, conducting a regular access reviews, monitoring user activities for anomalies, and promptly revoking the access upon termination.

    48. What is Certificate Authority (CA) in IAM?

    Ans:

      A Certificate Authority issues and manages the digital certificates, which are used in the authentication processes, such as SSL/TLS for a secure communication and client authentication.

    49. Explain Identity as a Service (IDaaS).

    Ans:

      IDaaS is the cloud-based service that provides the identity and access management capabilities. It allows an organizations to manage user identities and access policies without hosting IAM infrastructure on-premises.

    50. How can IAM systems contribute to Zero Trust Security models?

    Ans:

      IAM systems in Zero Trust model authenticate and authorize the users continuously, regardless of location or network. They implement the least privilege access and monitor for the anomalies in user behavior.

    51. What is IAM in securing APIs (Application Programming Interfaces)?

    Ans:

      IAM ensures the secure access to APIs by authenticating and authorizing API requests. It helps to manage API keys, implements the OAuth 2.0 for access tokens, and enforces the access policies based on the user roles and permissions.

    52. How do handle access reviews and certifications in IAM?

    Ans:

    Access reviews involve the periodically reviewing and validating the user access rights. Certification processes ensure that access rights are accurate, up-to-date, and comply with the security policies. Automation tools can streamline processes.

    53. What are challenges associated with managing IAM in (BYOD) environment?

    Ans:

      Challenges include the ensuring secure device authentication, implementing the policies for BYOD access, addressing diverse device platforms, and maintaining control over sensitive data on the personal devices.

    54 How does IAM contribute to concept of “Least Privilege”?

    Ans:

      IAM enforces the principle of the least privilege by granting users minimum level of access necessary for roles or responsibilities. This helps reduce the risk of unauthorized access or the misuse.

    55. Explain Immutable Infrastructure and its relationship with IAM?

    Ans:

      Immutable Infrastructure involves the replacing or updating infrastructure components rather than a modifying them. IAM ensures that only authorized entities can deploy or modify the infrastructure components, contributing to the security and compliance.

    56. What is Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) in IAM?

    Ans:

      SAML is the XML-based standard for exchanging authentication and authorization data between the parties, such as an identity provider (IdP) and service provider (SP). It is commonly used for a single sign-on (SSO) scenarios.

    57. How can IAM systems support multi-cloud environments?

    Ans:

      IAM systems in the multi-cloud environments should provide the centralized identity management, support federation across the cloud providers, and enable consistent access policies. Integration with the cloud-native IAM services is also essential.

    58. What does IAM play in securing Internet of Things (IoT) devices?

    Ans:

      IAM helps secure IoT devices by managing the user identities, enforcing the access controls, and authenticating devices. It ensures that only authorized entities can interact with and control IoT devices.

    59. Explain Biometric Authentication in IAM?

    Ans:

      Biometric authentication uses the unique physical or behavioral characteristics of individuals, like fingerprints, facial recognition, or voice patterns, to verify their identity.

    60. How can IAM contribute to achieving GDPR compliance?

    Ans:

      IAM supports GDPR compliance by providing the mechanisms for managing and protecting the user data, ensuring the proper access controls, and facilitating the right to be forgotten through an effective de-provisioning processes.

    61. What is Session Management System in IAM?

    Ans:

      Session management involves the controlling user sessions after authentication. IAM systems handle the session creation, maintenance, and termination, ensuring secure and well-managed user sessions.

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    62. Explain Risk-Based Access Control in IAM?

    Ans:

      Risk-Based Access Control dynamically adjusts access controls based on perceived risk associated with the user’s behavior, location, or device. It helps organizations respond to security threats in a real-time.

    63. What is Session Tokens in IAM, and how secured?

    Ans:

      Session tokens are used to maintain the user’s authenticated state during a session. They should be securely generated, transmitted over the encrypted channels, and have limited lifespan to reduce a risk of unauthorized access.

    64. Explain Just-In-Time Provisioning in IAM?

    Ans:

    Just-In-Time Provisioning involves the automatically creating a user accounts and provisioning access rights when the user attempts to log in for first time. This ensures that accounts are the only created when needed.

    Just-In-Time Provisioning in IAM

    65. What does IAM play in securing containerized environments?

    Ans:

      IAM in containerized environments involves the managing access to containers, orchestrators, and related resources. It ensures that only an authorized entities can deploy, access, or modify the containerized applications.

    66. How can IAM be integrated with PAM solutions?

    Ans:

      IAM and PAM integration involves using the IAM for user authentication and authorization and PAM solutions for managing the privileged accounts and controlling access to the critical systems.

    67.What are key-pairs in AWS?

    Ans:

      Passwordless authentication eliminates the traditional passwords and relies on alternative methods like biometrics, security tokens, or mobile device authentication to verify the user identity.

    68. What is Identity Provider (IdP) in IAM?

    Ans:

      An Identity Provider (IdP) is responsible for the authenticating users and providing an identity information to service providers. It serves as the trusted source for user authentication within federated identity framework.

    69. How can IAM systems help prevent and detect account takeovers?

    Ans:

      IAM systems prevent account takeovers by implementing the strong authentication, monitoring for the unusual login patterns, and using adaptive authentication mechanisms to detect and respond to the suspicious activities.

    70. Explain Self-Service Password Reset in IAM?

    Ans:

      Self-Service Password Reset allows the users to reset their passwords without need for IT assistance. It often involves the security measures such as multi-factor authentication to verify user’s identity.

    71. How does IAM contribute to securing remote access and telecommuting?

    Ans:

      IAM ensures secure remote access by an enforcing strong authentication, authorization policies, and session management. It helps an organizations manage the user identities and access controls for a remote workers.

    72. Explain Identity Correlation in IAM?

    Ans:

      Identity Correlation involves the linking multiple identities (such as accounts on the different platforms) belonging to a same individual. IAM systems use correlation to create the unified view of user’s identity.

    73. Explain Multi-Tenancy in IAM and its challenges?

    Ans:

      Multi-Tenancy in IAM involves the managing identities and access controls for the multiple independent entities (tenants) within single system. Challenges include the ensuring isolation, data privacy, and compliance for the each tenant.

    74. Explain Least Common Mechanism (LCM) in IAM?

    Ans:

      Least Common Mechanism minimizes shared the components across the different security domains to reduce potential impact of security breaches. IAM applies LCM principles by limiting the shared access mechanisms.

    75. How can IAM systems help prevent and detect account sharing and misuse?

    Ans:

      IAM systems implement the policies and monitoring mechanisms to detect the unusual login patterns, enforce principle of least privilege, and promptly revoke access upon the policy violations.

    76. Explain Risk Scoring in IAM and its use in access decisions?

    Ans:

      Risk scoring assigns the numerical value to level of risk associated with the user or an access request. IAM systems can use the risk scores to dynamically adjust access the controls and authentication requirements.

    77.How can IAM contribute to securing data at rest and in transit?

    Ans:

      IAM plays the role in data security by controlling access to the data based on user permissions and roles. Additionally, it ensures that only authorized users and devices can access and transmit the sensitive data.

    78. Explain Access Certification in IAM and its significance?

    Ans:

      Access Certification involves the periodically reviewing and validating the user access rights. It ensures that access permissions are the accurate, up-to-date, and comply with the security policies and compliance requirements.

    79. Explain Access Brokering in IAM?

    Ans:

      Access Brokering involves the managing and mediating access the requests between users and various resources. IAM systems act as an intermediaries, ensuring proper authentication and authorization for the access to different services.

    80. Explain Fine-Grained Access Control in IAM?

    Ans:

      Fine-Grained Access Control involves the setting highly specific access permissions for the individual users or groups, allowing the organizations to define a granular control over resources.

    81. Explain Continuous Access Evaluation in IAM?

    Ans:

      Continuous Access Evaluation involves the dynamically assessing and re-evaluating user access rights based on a real-time changes in user attributes or environmental conditions. This helps maintain the up-to-date access controls.

    82. What is Session Fixation Protection in IAM and how is it implemented?

    Ans:

      Session Fixation Protection prevents the attacks where an attacker sets the user’s session ID. IAM systems implement the measures such as session ID rotation and validation to the counteract session fixation vulnerabilities.

    83. Explain Passwordless Multi-Factor Authentication and its advantages?

    Ans:

      Passwordless Multi-Factor Authentication replaces the traditional passwords with the alternative authentication methods like biometrics or secure tokens, enhancing security and the user convenience.

    84. Explain Access Policy Inheritance in IAM?

    Ans:

      Access Policy Inheritance involves an automatic application of access policies to the subcomponents based on policies assigned to the parent components. This streamlines the access management and ensures consistency.

    85. How do IAM systems support implementation of Time-of-Day Access Controls?

    Ans:

      IAM systems implement the Time-of-Day Access Controls by allowing the administrators to define the specific time ranges during which users are granted or denied access to the resources.

    86. Explain Password Rotation in IAM and its importance for security?

    Ans:

      Password Rotation involves the regularly changing user passwords to mitigate risk of unauthorized access. IAM systems often provide the automated mechanisms for enforcing the password rotation policies.

    87. Explain Identity Escrow in IAM and its use in recovery scenarios?

    Ans:

      Identity Escrow involves the securely storing and managing the recovery information for user accounts. This information can be used to assist the users in regaining access to accounts in event of lockout.

    88. How can IAM contribute to securing access for legacy systems and applications?

    Ans:

      IAM systems integrate with the legacy systems using protocols like a LDAP or SAML. They provide centralized way to manage access controls, even for older applications without any native IAM support.

    89. Explain Adaptive Authentication in IAM and its benefits?

    Ans:

    Adaptive Authentication adjusts level of authentication required based on the contextual factors, such as user location or device. It enhances the security by dynamically adapting to a perceived risk level.

    90. What is IAM in ensuring secure access to sensitive data in databases?

    Ans:

    IAM systems manage access controls for a database systems, ensuring that only authorized users or applications can interact with and retrieve sensitive data. This involves using the database roles and permissions.

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