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Rotate access keys every 90 days or less (Automated)

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• Level 1


Access keys consist of an access key ID and secret access key, used to sign programmatic requests that you make to AWS. AWS users need their own access keys to make programmatic calls to AWS from the AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI), Tools for Windows PowerShell, the AWS SDKs, or direct HTTP calls using the APIs for individual AWS services. Best practices recommend that all access keys be regularly rotated.


Rotating access keys will reduce the window of opportunity for an access key that is associated with a compromised or terminated account to be used.

Access keys should be rotated to ensure that data cannot be accessed with an old key which might have been lost, cracked, or stolen.


Perform the following to determine if access keys are rotated as prescribed:

From Console

  1. Go to Management Console (
  2. Click on Users
  3. Click setting icon
  4. Select “Console last sign-in”
  5. Click Close
  6. Ensure that “Access key age” is less than 90 days ago. Note that "None" in the "Access key age" means the user has not used the access key.

From Command Line

aws iam generate-credential-report
aws iam get-credential-report --query 'Content' --output text | base64 -d

The access_key_1_last_rotated field in this file notes The date and time, in ISO 8601 date-time format, when the user's access key was created or last changed. If the user does not have an active access key, the value in this field is N/A (not applicable).


Perform the following to rotate access keys:

From Console

  1. Go to Management Console (
  2. Click Users.
  3. Click Security Credentials.
  4. As an Administrator:
    • Click Make Inactive for keys not rotated in 90 Days
  5. As an Identity and Access Management (IAM) User:
    • Click Make Inactive or Delete for keys not rotated or used in 90 Days
  6. Click Create Access Key.
  7. Update programmatic call with new Access Key credentials.

From Command Line

  1. While the first access key is still active, create a second access key, which is active by default. Run the following command:
aws iam create-access-key

At this point, the user has two active access keys.

  1. Update all applications and tools to use the new access key.
  2. Determine whether the first access key is still in use by using this command:
aws iam get-access-key-last-used
  1. One approach is to wait several days monitoring the old access key for any use before proceeding.

Even if step Step 3 indicates no use of the old key, do not immediately delete the first access key. Instead, change the state of the first access key to Inactive using this command:

aws iam update-access-key
  1. Use only the new access key to confirm that your applications are working. Any applications and tools that still use the original access key stop working at this point because they no longer have access to AWS resources. If you find such an application or tool, you can switch its state back to Active to re-enable the first access key. Then return to step Step 2 and update this application to use the new key.

  2. Allow all applications and tools time to update, then delete the first access key with this command:

aws iam delete-access-key