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AWS announces Amazon Macie, data security tool

Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web Services and Infrastructure.

Source: Amazon Web Services

Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web Services and Infrastructure.

Amazon Web Services announced a new security service called Amazon Macie at an event in New York on Monday.

The tool appears to draws on technology from Harvest.ai, a San Diego start-up that Amazon reportedly acquired earlier this year for a price around $19 million. The start-up offered a security analytics tool called Macie.

Amazon Macie looks for sensitive data such as passwords that you store in AWS, applies risk ratings to your different collections of data and then alerts you to unusual access patterns that could indicate a security threat.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The introduction of Macie gives Amazon, the market leader in the public cloud business, an answer to one thing Microsoft has been doing on its Azure cloud, which is AWS’ closest competitor. When customers store data in the Microsoft’s Azure SQL Database, they can enable Threat Detection, which picks up on attacks and other suspicious database activity and then sends alerts to admins.

Meanwhile, Alphabet’s Google public cloud recently introduced a tool developers can use to spot and then redact sensitive data.

But as a whole, Amazon Macie does more than the Google and Microsoft tools.

AWS is playing up the use of artificial intelligence in Amazon Macie. It automates the process of spotting sensitive data, AWS said, with “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.”

Macie arrives a few months after AWS introduced an initial suite of AI services. Microsoft Azure and Alphabet’s Google cloud also have AI services. AWS also been working on an AI-enabled text translation service that could compete with Google’s tool for that.

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