Enhancing AWS Security: A Comprehensive Guide to IAM Policies for Restricting Access by Source IP


In the realm of Amazon Web Services (AWS), managing access control is crucial to ensure security and compliance. AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) policies are used to define permissions for users, groups, and roles. One of the powerful features of IAM policies is the ability to restrict access based on conditions such as source IP addresses. This article delves into an IAM policy designed to restrict access by source IP address and explains its components and implications.

IAM Policy Overview

The IAM policy in question is structured to deny access to AWS resources unless the request originates from a specific IP address. This kind of policy is particularly useful in scenarios where you want to ensure that only requests from trusted IP addresses are allowed, enhancing the security posture of your AWS environment.

Here's the IAM policy:

 2    "Version": "2012-10-17",
 3    "Statement": [
 4        {
 5            "Sid": "RestrictBySrcIP",
 6            "Effect": "Deny",
 7            "Action": "*",
 8            "Resource": [
 9                "*"
10            ],
11            "Condition": {
12                "NotIpAddress": {
13                    "aws:SourceIp": [
14                        ""
15                    ]
16                },
17                "Bool": {
18                    "aws:ViaAWSService": "false"
19                }
20            }
21        }
22    ]

Breakdown of the IAM Policy


  • "Version": "2012-10-17": This specifies the version of the policy language. The date format indicates when this version was released, and "2012-10-17" is the latest stable version used in most policies today.


The Statement element is where the main logic of the policy is defined. It can include one or more individual statements, each describing a permission rule.

Sid (Statement ID)

  • "Sid": "RestrictBySrcIP": This is an optional identifier for the statement. It provides a way to differentiate between statements in a policy.


  • "Effect": "Deny": This indicates that the policy will deny actions that match the specified conditions. IAM policies can have either "Allow" or "Deny" effects. In this case, the policy explicitly denies access.


  • "Action": "*": This denotes that the policy applies to all actions. It means any action attempted on AWS resources will be evaluated against this policy.


  • "Resource": "*": This specifies that the policy applies to all resources. The wildcard * means the policy is not restricted to any specific resource and applies globally.


The Condition element defines specific criteria that must be met for the policy to take effect. In this policy, there are two conditions:

  1. NotIpAddress Condition

    1"NotIpAddress": {
    2    "aws:SourceIp": [
    3        ""
    4    ]
    • NotIpAddress: This condition ensures that the policy will deny access if the request does not originate from the specified IP address. The IP address is specified in CIDR notation, indicating a single IP address.
  2. Bool Condition

    1"Bool": {
    2    "aws:ViaAWSService": "false"
    • Bool: This condition checks whether the request is made directly to AWS services or through another AWS service. The condition aws:ViaAWSService set to false indicates that the request should be denied if it is not routed through an AWS service.

Implications of the Policy

The primary implication of this IAM policy is that it restricts access to all AWS actions and resources unless the request meets both conditions:

  1. The request must originate from the IP address
  2. The request must be made directly to AWS services, not through another AWS service.

This policy effectively ensures that only trusted IP addresses can interact with AWS resources, providing an additional layer of security by mitigating the risk of unauthorized access.

Use Cases

Securing Administrative Access

This policy is ideal for scenarios where administrative access needs to be tightly controlled. By restricting access to a specific IP address, administrators can ensure that only devices from a secure location can manage AWS resources.

Protecting Sensitive Data

For environments handling sensitive data, it's crucial to limit access points. This policy helps in ensuring that only known and trusted IP addresses can access or modify sensitive information.

Compliance and Regulatory Requirements

Organizations subject to regulatory compliance can use such policies to enforce strict access controls, ensuring that only authorized entities can interact with their AWS environment.


IAM policies are a foundational element of AWS security, providing fine-grained control over who can access resources and under what conditions. The policy discussed in this article showcases how access can be restricted based on source IP addresses, enhancing security by ensuring that only trusted sources can interact with AWS services. By understanding and implementing such policies, organizations can significantly bolster their security posture and maintain compliance with relevant standards and regulations.