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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
Benefits of using Macie
3.
Features
4.
Use Cases of Amazon Macie
5.
Frequently Asked Questions
5.1.
What is Amazon Macie?
5.2.
What are the main benefits of using Amazon Macie?
5.3.
Where can Amazon Macie be used?
6.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024
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Amazon Macie

Author Aditi
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Introduction

Amazon Macie is a fully managed data protection and privacy service that uses pattern matching and machine learning to retrieve and protect your sensitive data in Amazon Web Services (AWS).

As organizations control the growing amount of data, identifying and protecting their sensitive data on a scale can be extremely difficult, costly, and time-consuming. Amazon Macie automatically scans sensitive data and lowers the cost of protecting your data. Macie automatically provides Amazon S3 bucket lists, including a list of unencrypted buckets, publicly accessible buckets, and buckets assigned with AWS accounts other than those you specified in AWS Organizations. Then, Macie uses pattern matching and machine learning techniques in the buckets you choose to identify and alert you with sensitive data, such as information that can be identified personally known as personally identifiable information (PII).

Examples of suspicious activity that Macie can identify are:

  • An account that downloads a large amount of sensitive data;
  • Unusual activity from unfamiliar IP address;
  • The user who downloads source code rarely interacts with it; and
  • Sensitive data is given worldwide access indirectly.

Macie can detect any Personally Identifiable Information (PII) or Protected Health Information (PHI) available in your S3 buckets. Macie also monitors S3 buckets for security and access control. This can help you comply with regulations, such as the General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) and the  Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), or continue to achieve the protection you need in the AWS Cloud environment.

Macie's findings can be searched and filtered through the AWS Management Console and sent to Amazon EventBridge, formerly known as Amazon CloudWatch Events, to be easily integrated with existing workflows or event management systems, or used in conjunction with AWS resources, such as AWS Step Functions to take automatic correction steps. 

Benefits of using Macie

There are three main features of using Amazon Macie, which are as follows:-

Sensitive data discovery on the scale

Amazon Macie uses pattern matching and machine learning to discover sensitive data on scales cost-efficiently. Macie automatically detects a large and growing list of sensitive data types, including personally identifiable information (PII) such as names, addresses, and credit card numbers. The service also allows you to define your customer's sensitive data types to access and protect sensitive data unique to your business or operating environment.

Easy to set up and manage

Getting started with Amazon Macie is quick and easy with a single click on the AWS Management Console or one API call. Macie provides multi-account support using AWS Associations so that you can enable Macie across all of your accounts with just a few clicks. Macie maintains a fully managed set of sensitive data types, so no customization is required.

Visibility of the security status of your data

Amazon Macie gives you regular visibility of data security and privacy of your data stored on Amazon S3. Macie automatically and continuously scans your S3 buckets and notifies you of any unwrapped buckets, publicly accessible buckets, or buckets assigned to AWS accounts other than those specified in AWS Organizations. Macie provides native multi-account support to view your data security status throughout your S3 location from a single Macie administrator account.

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Features

  • Amazon Macie regularly monitors your Amazon S3 and gives you an overview of the S3 service across all your accounts. The ongoing evaluation is one feature that helps you evaluate all your accounts quickly.
  • It is scalable and has automated discovery jobs for sensitive data. Amazon Macie lets you perform one-time, daily, weekly, or monthly data acquisition tasks for everyone or a subset of items in the Amazon S3 bucket. 
  • It has sensitive data types that are fully managed. Amazon Macie maintains a growing list of sensitive data types that include personally identifiable information (PII) and other sensitive data types defined by data privacy laws, such as GDPR, PCI-DSS, and HIPAA.
  • Amazon Macie gives you the ability to add custom-defined data types using common expressions to enable Macie to retrieve proprietary or sensitive data for your business.
  • Macie lowers the warning volume and speeds up the measurement by combining the findings with an item or bucket. It provides detailed security as well as discovery findings of sensitive data. The results are stored for 30 days and are available on the AWS Management Console or via the API. 
  • You can enable Amazon Macie in one account with a single click on the AWS Management Console or one API call. With a few extra clicks on the console, you can enable Macie across multiple accounts. When enabled, Macie produces a continuous summary of the Amazon S3 service across all accounts, including buckets, item statistics, security controls, and access controls.
  • It supports multiple accounts and integration with AWS organizations. A single Macie administrator account can manage all member accounts in multiple account configurations. Security and sensitive data recovery are integrated into the Macie administrator account and posted to Amazon CloudWatch Events.

Use Cases of Amazon Macie

Simplify your data privacy and security

Amazon Macie allows you to simplify data privacy throughout the Amazon S3, generating findings that you can use to respond quickly when needed. Macie also provides the flexibility to detect sensitive data residing in other data stores by temporarily moving it to S3.

Maintaining compliance

Macie offers a variety of options for organizing your data analysis, such as one-time, daily, weekly, or monthly sensitive data acquisition (discovery) activities to help you meet your data privacy and compliance requirements.

Discovering your sensitive data on the scale

Macie uses pattern matching and machine learning to obtain sensitive data inexpensively in the selected area and works very well even in the S3 complex environment. Macie automatically detects many sensitive data types, including personal identification information (PII) such as names, addresses, and credit card numbers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Amazon Macie?

Amazon Macie is a fully managed data protection and privacy service that uses pattern matching and machine learning to retrieve and protect your sensitive data in Amazon Web Services (AWS).

What are the main benefits of using Amazon Macie?

Amazon Macie is easy to set up, helps discover sensitive data, and helps visualize data security status.

Where can Amazon Macie be used?

Amazon Macie is used to simplifying your data privacy and security, maintain compliance, and discover your sensitive data on the scale.

Conclusion

In this article, we have extensively discussed Amazon Macie, its benefits, its features, and different use cases where it can be used.

We hope this blog has helped you enhance your knowledge regarding the Amazon Macie. Some official documentation on big data that can help you improve your understanding is Amazon Macie and Amazon Macie features.

If you would like to learn more, check out our articles on AWS vs. GCPcloud platform comparison10 AWS best books, and Amazon Hirepro.

Practice makes a man perfect. To practice and improve yourself in the interview, you can check out Top 100 SQL problemsInterview experienceCoding interview questions, and the Ultimate guide path for interviews.

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