Best practices in implementing Cognito

By: | Hemant Sharma

Publish Date: December 24, 2019

What is Amazon Cognito?

Amazon Cognito is a medium which provides authentication, authorization & user management for the web & mobile applications. The users can sign in directly using a username and password or through a third-party authentication such as Facebook, Google, Amazon or Apple. There are two important components involved in Amazon Cognito:

  • User pools These are directories which dispense sign-up & sign-in choices to the application users.
  • Identity pools These enable you to grant your users access to other AWS services.

Both these components can either be used separately or together.

How Amazon Cognito fosters security?

As we all know how important today security is, especially in the digital world. To have a secure sign-in into the application is the core requirement in this day and age. This is something which cannot be overlooked by the development teams. It may also become unvaryingly tiresome to create custom codes for these User Interfaces. Thus, to simplify the whole process, Amazon Cognito came into the picture.

  • Developers use this managed service that already offers an in-built sign-on interface with the indigenous AWS security features to monitor and manage the activities.
  • Cognito creates a plug-and-play option for developers.
  • With Cognito, developers also now have the liberty to maintain the application state, which could be otherwise taxing when end users access apps from multiple devices.

How does Amazon Cognito work?

Amazon Cognito is a managed service that enables you to add users quickly for your mobile and web applications by providing in-built sign-in screens and authentication functionality. Amazon Cognito plays a vital role in application development on the AWS cloud.

  • Amazon Cognito has three basic functionalities:
    • User management
    • Authentication
    • Synchronization
  • Cognito takes care of security, authorization, and synchronization for your user management process across devices for all your users.
  • Cognito can also be used for authenticating your users through external identity providers counting social identity providers, like Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, and so on.
  • Cognito can also be used to authenticate identities for any solution that is accordant with SAML 2.0 standard. Temporary security credentials can be provided to these authenticated users with limited privileges to securely access your AWS resources.

Where is Amazon Cognito used?

The developers use Amazon Cognito service in mobile and web applications. Cognito enables developers with secure access to the application’s resources.

What are the best practices?

A user pool & a user directory is created & configured first, in the Amazon Cognito either through AWS Management Console, AWS CLI, or AWS SDK. Once this is done, you can download, install, and integrate AWS Mobile SDK through your app, whether on iOS or Android. You also have a choice to call Application Programming Interfaces directly for Cognito if you do not choose to use SDK, as it uncovers all control and data APIs as web services so that you can consume them through client library of your own.

You can monitor Cognito metrics and log Application Programming Interface activities in real-time as Amazon Cognito integrates with CloudTrail and CloudWatch. This also enables you to take necessary action for any suspicious activity or security threat.

To know more about Best practices in implementing Cognito, please reach out to us. We would be happy to serve you with more insights.

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