This post is written by Rahul Popat, Specialist SA, Serverless and Dhiraj Mahapatro, Sr. Specialist SA, Serverless

AWS Lambda is a serverless compute service that runs your code in response to events and automatically manages the underlying compute resources for you. These events may include changes in state or an update, such as a user placing an item in a shopping cart on an ecommerce website. You can use AWS Lambda to extend other AWS services with custom logic, or create your own backend services that operate at AWS scale, performance, and security.

You may have multiple AWS accounts for your application development, but may want to keep few common functionalities in one centralized account. For example, have user authentication service in a centralized account and grant permission to other accounts to access it using AWS Lambda.

Today, AWS Lambda launches improvements to resource-based policies, which makes it easier for you to control access to a Lambda function by using the identifier of the AWS Organizations as a condition in your resource policy. The service expands the use of the resource policy to enable granting cross-account access at the organization level instead of granting explicit permissions for each individual account within an organization.

Before this release, the centralized account had to grant explicit permissions to all other AWS accounts to use the Lambda function. You had to specify each account as a principal in the resource-based policy explicitly. While that remains a viable option, managing access for individual accounts using such resource policy becomes an operational overhead when the number of accounts grows within your organization.

In this post, I walk through the details of the new condition and show you how to restrict access to only principals in your organization for accessing a Lambda function. You can also restrict access to a particular alias and version of the Lambda function with a similar approach.

Overview

For AWS Lambda function, you grant permissions using resource-based policies to specify the accounts and principals that can access it and what actions they can perform on it. Now, you can use a new condition keyaws:PrincipalOrgID, in these policies to require any principals accessing your Lambda function to be from an account (including the management account) within an organization. For example, let’s say you have a resource-based policy for a Lambda function and you want to restrict access to only principals from AWS accounts under a particular AWS Organization. To accomplish this, you can define the aws:PrincipalOrgID condition and set the value to your Organization ID in the resource-based policy. Your organization ID is what sets the access control on your Lambda function. When you use this condition, policy permissions apply when you add new accounts to this organization without requiring an update to the policy, thus reducing the operational overhead of updating the policy every time you add a new account.

Condition concepts

Before I introduce the new condition, let’s review the condition element of an IAM policy. A condition is an optional IAM policy element that you can use to specify special circumstances under which the policy grants or denies permission. A condition includes a condition key, operator, and value for the condition. There are two types of conditions: service-specific conditions and global conditions. Service-specific conditions are specific to certain actions in an AWS service. For example, the condition key ec2:InstanceType supports specific EC2 actions. Global conditions support all actions across all AWS services.

AWS:PrincipalOrgID condition key

You can use this condition key to apply a filter to the principal element of a resource-based policy. You can use any string operator, such as StringLike, with this condition and specify the AWS organization ID as its value.

Condition key Description Operators Value
aws:PrincipalOrgID Validates if the principal accessing the resource belongs to an account in your organization. All string operators Any AWS Organization ID

Restricting Lambda function access to only principals from a particular organization

Consider an example where you want to give specific IAM principals in your organization direct access to a Lambda function that logs to the Amazon CloudWatch.

Step 1 – Prerequisites

Once you have an organization and accounts setup, on the AWS Organization looks like this:

Organization accounts example

Organization accounts example

This example has two accounts in the AWS Organization, the Management Account, and the MainApp Account. Make a note of the Organization ID from the left menu. You use this to set up a resource-based policy for the Lambda function.

Step 2 – Create resource-based policy for a Lambda function that you want to restrict access to

Now you want to restrict the Lambda function’s invocation to principals from accounts that are member of your organization. To do so, write and attach a resource-based policy for the Lambda function:

{ "Version": "2012-10-17", "Id": "default", "Statement": [ { "Sid": "org-level-permission", "Effect": "Allow", "Principal": "*", "Action": "lambda:InvokeFunction", "Resource": "arn:aws:lambda:<REGION>:<ACCOUNT_ID >:function:<FUNCTION_NAME>", "Condition": { "StringEquals": { "aws:PrincipalOrgID": "o-sabhong3hu" } } } ]
}

In this policy, I specify Principal as *. This means that all users in the organization ‘o-sabhong3hu’ get function invocation permissions. If you specify an AWS account or role as the principal, then only that principal gets function invocation permissions, but only if they are also part of the ‘o-sabhong3hu’ organization.

Next, I add lambda:InvokeFunction as the Action and the ARN of the Lambda function as the resource to grant invoke permissions to the Lambda function. Finally, I add the new condition key aws:PrincipalOrgID and specify an Organization ID in the Condition element of the statement to make sure only the principals from the accounts in the organization can invoke the Lambda function.

You could also use the AWS Management Console to create a resource-based policy. Go to Lambda function page, click on the Configuration tab. Select Permissions from the left menu. Choose Add Permissions and fill in the required details. Scroll to the bottom and expand the Principal organization ID – optional submenu and enter your organization ID in the text box labeled as PrincipalOrgID and choose Save.

Add permissions

Add permissions

Step 3 – Testing

The Lambda function ‘LogOrganizationEvents’ is in your Management Account. You configured a resource-based policy to allow all the principals in your organization to invoke your Lambda function. Now, invoke the Lambda function from another account within your organization.

Sign in to the MainApp Account, which is another member account in the same organization. Open AWS CloudShell from the AWS Management Console. Invoke the Lambda function ‘LogOrganizationEvents’ from the terminal, as shown below. You receive the response status code of 200, which means success. Learn more on how to invoke Lambda function from AWS CLI.

Console example of access

Console example of access

Conclusion

You can now use the aws:PrincipalOrgID condition key in your resource-based policies to restrict access more easily to IAM principals only from accounts within an AWS Organization. For more information about this global condition key and policy examples using aws:PrincipalOrgID, read the IAM documentation.

If you have questions about or suggestions for this solution, start a new thread on the AWS Lambda or contact AWS Support.

For more information, visit Serverless Land.