August 17, 2017

AWS borrows tech from startup for new cloud security tool

The Amazon Macie security tool for AWS is designed to proactively alert customers to vulnerabilities in sensitive data.

Earlier this week, Amazon revealed a new security tool for its AWS cloud platform called Amazon Macie, which was developed using technology from US based startup and Amazon subsidiary, Harvest.ai. The launch is viewed as Amazon’s response to rival Microsoft’s latest Azure database security feature.

According to Amazon, the Amazon Macie tool actively looks for sensitive data such as passwords that a customer might store in AWS, assigns a risk rating to different collections of data and then provides alerts to any unusual access patterns that may be indicative of a security threat.

AI plays a key role in the efficiency of Amazon Macie, with the company claiming a highly accurate, machine learning-based detection of over 70 data types related to Personally Identifiable Information (PII), Personal Health Information (PHI), regulatory documents, API keys and secret key material.

While introducing Amazon Macie, an AWS spokesman mentioned:

Amazon Macie is an entirely new service that combines the concepts established by Harvest.AI with AWS’s machine learning technology and expertise.

Amazon says that the Macie tool will currently work with data stored in Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), while support for additional data stores is due later in the year. Amazon Macie can be enabled through the AWS Management Console, and its cost is determined by the amount of content that is classified as secure.

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