Authenticate Gmail™ Users with AWS® Servers

Written by Ryan Squires on January 16, 2019

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Is it possible to authenticate Gmail™ users with AWS® servers? Said another way, can somebody use their Gmail or G Suite™ credentials to login to AWS® Linux®, and Windows® servers? These services exemplify two of the most widely used in their respective IT fields. AWS is the market leader in cloud infrastructure, and while Gmail trails Microsoft’s Office as a productivity platform (which includes Outlook), it is still a very popular email solution. So, it is easy to surmise that organizations and their users are most likely leveraging both on a day-to-day basis.

Is Authenticating Gmail Credentials with AWS Servers Possible?

Gmail AWS authentication

With the proper tooling, authenticating Gmail users with AWS servers is a very real possibility. A modern cloud directory, called JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service®, is doing exactly that and much more for tens of thousands of organizations. Resulting, IT admins have the ability to manage user access to a plethora of on-prem and web-based resources because the directory services is platform neutral and delivered from the cloud. 

How Does It Work and Why Is It Helpful?

G suite integration

Because JumpCloud is tightly integrated with G Suite, Google Cloud™ Platform, and other Google Apps™, this modern approach to identity and access management (IAM) is changing the game for IT organizations. Instead of requiring multiple identity stores or an on-prem Microsoft® Active Directory® instance, IT admins can centralize their identity management in the cloud. That means there is no need for VPNs, and IT admins can also enforce system management tasks in the form of GPO-like Policies from anywhere there is a network connection.

This is all very helpful as it gives IT admins the ability to simply integrate their cloud directory with on-prem and cloud IT resources like G Suite, AWS, Office 365, systems (Windows, Mac, Linux), WiFi, file servers like Box™ and Samba/NAS devices plus more with one set of credentials used to access all of their resources. Those credentials can include a username and password, SSH keys, and multi-factor authentication (MFA).

Takeaways of Authenticating Gmail with AWS

AWS authentication with Gmail

So, the net result is that a user’s Gmail credentials can then be leveraged to login to AWS servers, greatly simplifying the identity management problem to the end user and IT admin alike. This is a great advantage, because cloud infrastructure services like AWS generally require the usage of SSH keys for authentication. SSH keys are difficult to manage because they require secure vaulting.

If improperly stored, SSH keys present a huge security risk to organizations. Especially when you consider that some organizations have upwards of 3 million SSH keys, many of which still enable access to critically important cloud servers. JumpCloud securely stores SSH keys, so IT admins can rest easy knowing their users’ data is protected.

The ability to log in to solutions from competing companies seems nearly too good to be true, but with JumpCloud you can authenticate Gmail users with AWS servers and a whole lot more.

G Suite AWS

Learn More about JumpCloud

If you want to give cloud-based directory services a try for free, be sure to sign up for a free JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service account. A free JumpCloud account gives you the ability to manage up tp 10 users for free, forever. In order to get the most out of your account, we recommend that you visit our Knowledge Base. Also, feel free to subscribe to our YouTube channel so you can stay up to date with new JumpCloud features.  

Ryan Squires

Ryan Squires is a content writer at JumpCloud, a company dedicated to connecting users to the IT resources they need securely and efficiently. He has a degree in Journalism and Media Communication from Colorado State University.

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