AWS Vault is an open-source tool by 99Designs that enables developers to store AWS credentials in their machine keystore securely. After using it for a while at Jit, I decided to dig deeper into how it works and learned a lot along the way. In this article, I will summarize and simplify the information I learned to help others with their AWS Vault adoption and lower the barrier to usage.

I will start with a basic explanation of AWS access keys, the Session Token Service, and its helpful API calls. Then I will show how AWS Vault uses it to provide a secure way to access AWS resources, reducing the risk of exposing AWS credentials. In addition, I will represent a typical AWS account pattern, and again we’ll see how AWS Vault works perfectly with it.

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