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Api Key Authentication for Accessing Serverless API at AWS API Gateway

3sanket3 profile image Sanket Patel ・3 min read

Any REST API should set up some or the other authentication mechanism to secure from unintended uses. The AWS console and Serverless configuration provide an easy way to secure the API endpoints by setting up the API keys.

I am assuming you already have basic idea about the Serverless Framework and setting up API Gateways for Serverless functions. If not, please quickly check my relevant post once.

First, make the endpoints private

Set private: true in the http section of individual functions as follow.

functions:
  hello:
    handler: handler.hello
    events:
      - http:
          path: hello
          method: get
          private: true

List the API key names in serverless.yml

List all the API key names for which we want to generate the api keys, in provider section of serverless.yml as shown below.

apiKeys:
  - myClientOne
  - myClientTwo

The AWS will generate the actual keys for for each names we provided. The keys will be displayed in the output of sls deploy command.

specifying only api key names

If you explicitly want to specify the API key

You set your own API key value by specifying value property as below. It should be a string with a minimum length of 20. Optionally you can also provide a description to the value.

apiKeys:
  - myClientOne
  - myClientTwo
  - value: myClientThirdValueOfMinLength20
    description: This is explicitly provided api key

Deploy the changes by running sls deploy, the AWS will auto-generate the name of the api key and set the provided value

explicitly assigned value

The below example will set both name and value explicitly

apiKeys:
  - name: myClientFour
    value: myClientFourValueOfR@n0mStr1n6

Append the stage to the API key name

The API keys are stored globally. So, it is advisable to append the stage name with API key name, if clients are allowed to access the multiple stages.

apiKeys:
  - ${self:provider.stage}-myClientFive

specify stage in api key name

The same way if you want to use the environment variable you can do it by ${self:provider.environment.YOUR_ENV_VARIABLE}

Each time we make any change in serverless.yml, we should deploy using sls deploy to have its effect on AWS.

Tip: You can use sls print command to review the compiled yaml configuration file before running sls deploy

Set quota limits

We can set the quota limits to the API as follow

provider:
  ...
  usagePlan:
    quota:
      limit: 5000
      offset: 2
      period: MONTH
    throttle:
      burstLimit: 200
      rateLimit: 100

We can even categorize the quota, for example, free and paid. We should assign the api keys to the respective categories.

apiKeys:
  - free:
      - myClientOne
      - myClientTwo
  - paid:
      - value: myClientThirdValueOfMinLength20
        description: This is explicitly provided api key
      - ${self:provider.stage}-myClientFive

usagePlan:
  - free:
      quota:
        limit: 5000
        offset: 2
        period: MONTH
      throttle:
        burstLimit: 200
        rateLimit: 100
  - paid:
      quota:
        limit: 50000
        offset: 1
        period: MONTH
      throttle:
        burstLimit: 2000
        rateLimit: 1000

All the configuration we did here, can be seen at API Gateway service of AWS Console

I hope you find the same helpful.

The code

You can find the code explained here at https://github.com/3sanket3/serverless-aws-api-gateway

Credits

Reference: https://serverless.com/framework/docs/providers/aws/events/apigateway/#setting-api-keys-for-your-rest-api

Image Credits : Three Six Five and https://worldvectorlogo.com/downloaded/aws-api-gateway

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