Ensure excessive permissions are not granted for IAM groups

Error: Excessive permissions are granted for IAM groups

Bridgecrew Policy ID: BC_AWS_IAM_51
Severity: HIGH

Excessive permissions are granted for IAM groups


When creating and changing IAM groups in AWS, we recommend you follow the principle of least privilege (POLP). This security principle focuses on granting only the permissions required to perform a task. Practicing this principle requires developers to determine what groups (and roles) will need to do, and then to build IAM policy documents that allow only those tasks.

To ensure only required privileges are entitled to existing IAM entities, Bridgecrew:

  • Pulls data from AWS Access Advisor including information about the actions last accessed for services defined in the policy.
  • Compares service-level permission grants with the permissions that each user/role/group or policy has actually used during the past 90 days.

For example, if a group was attached to a policy, and that policy does not use all of that group's permissions, then we recommend you revoke the group.

When you click on an insight and select an IAM entity it shows a color- and symbol-coded list of permissions. This list indicates how the member's permissions will change if you apply the recommendation.

Fix - Runtime

AWS Console

  1. Log in to the AWS Management Console at https://console.aws.amazon.com/.
  2. Open the Amazon IAM console.
    In the navigation pane, choose Groups.
  3. Choose the name of the group with the policy that you want to modify. Then choose the Permissions tab.
  4. To edit an inline policy, click Edit Policy.
  5. After you have modified your JSON policy, click Save .

CLI Command

To detach a managed policy from a group identity use one of the following commands:
aws iam detach-group-policy

Fix - Buildtime


  • Resource:aws_iam_group_policy
  • Argument: policy - (Required) The policy document. This is a JSON formatted string.
resource "aws_iam_group_policy" "my_developer_policy" {
  name  = "my_developer_policy"
  group = aws_iam_group.my_developers.name

  policy = <<EOF
  "Version": "2012-10-17",
  "Statement": [
      "Action": [
      "Effect": "Allow",
      "Resource": "*"


  • Resource: AWS::IAM::Group
  • Argument: Policies - Adds or updates an inline policy document that is embedded in the specified IAM group. To view AWS::IAM::Group snippets, see Declaring an IAM Group Resource.
Type: AWS::IAM::Group
  GroupName: String
    - String
  Path: String
    - Policy