Introduction to Amazon Macie Service

Introduction to Amazon Macie Service

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Updated on Apr 15, 2024 10:22 IST

Amazon Macie is a cloud security tool that utilizes ML to identify and protect data stored in the public cloud of Amazon Web Services (AWS). In lay terms, it is a managed data security and data privacy service that discovers and protects sensitive data in AWS. To accomplish this, Macie uses machine learning and pattern matching.

Amazon Macie

Macie can recognize sensitive information such as personally identifiable information (PII) or intellectual property. It provides dashboards and alerts to see how this data is accessed or moved. Administrators use it to prevent unauthorized access and data leaks. The service constantly monitors and analyses cloud data access and account behavior to detect unusual activity. It sends alerts to administrators if it detects suspicious behavior.

Table of Content

  1. Working of Amazon Macie?
  2. Functionalities of Amazon Macie
  3. Features of Amazon Macie
  4. Use cases of Amazon Macie
  5. Amazon Macie pricing
  6. Benefits of Amazon Macie
  7. Difference between Amazon Macie and GuardDuty

Working of Amazon Macie?

Working with Macie is quite simple. As soon as you enable Macie, it will create your S3 bucket list in the region where you enabled it. Macie will also start to observe the buckets’ security and access control. It will generate a detailed finding when it detects the risk of unauthorized access or accidental data leakage.

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Functionalities of Amazon Macie

There are various functionalities of Amazon Macie. Basically, Macie helps an administrator to find answers to the following questions:

  1. What information do I have in my S3 buckets?
  2. What is its exact location?
  3. How is data kept: publicly or privately?
  4. What techniques can I employ to categorize data in real-time?
  5. What PII or PHI can be made public?
  6. How do I design cleanup processes for my security and compliance needs?

Features of Amazon Macie

There are many features of Macie. Let’s see three of its main features:

Macie summary dashboard:

The dashboard displays a brief overview that shows how the data is accessed or moved. This dashboard shows the total number of buckets, the total S3 storage consumed, and the total number of objects.

It also organizes S3 buckets based on whether they are shared publicly or privately. Macie also classifies buckets shared within and outside your AWS account or organization.

Macie Findings:

A finding is a comprehensive report on possible policy breaches for sensitive data in S3 buckets or objects. Macie’s findings are of two types: policy findings and sensitive data findings.

When the policies for an S3 bucket are changed. And this change reduces the security of the bucket and its objects, then Macie generates policy findings. Macie will only do this if the change occurs after enabling Macie for your AWS account.

When Macie discovers sensitive data in S3 objects that you have configured, it generates sensitive data findings.

Macie Jobs:

You can automatically create and run sensitive data discovery jobs to discover, record, and report sensitive data in Amazon S3 buckets.

Use cases of Macie

Find your sensitive data on a large scale:

Macie uses machine learning and pattern matching to find sensitive data in a specific region at a low cost. And it works well even in a complex S3 environment. Macie automatically recognizes an increasing number of sensitive data categories.

Ease your data privacy and security procedures:

Amazon Macie simplifies data privacy across the entire Amazon S3 environment. It is done by providing insights that you can use to respond quickly as needed. You can also use Macie to recognize sensitive data in plenty of other data repositories by temporarily relocating it to S3.

Keeping compliance:

Macie provides a variety of scheduling options for sensitive data discovery jobs. This helps you meet and maintain your data privacy and compliance standards. These options include one-time, daily, weekly, or monthly sensitive data discovery jobs.

Macie pricing

Macie’s free tier involves a 30-day free trial for each account and an S3 buckets evaluation. In addition, the first 1 GB per month is free for the discovery of sensitive data.

You are billed per month accordingly; for using Amazon Macie’s:

  1. The number of Amazon S3 buckets evaluated: the price is the same across all AWS Regions.
  2. For all buckets, the first 30-days of evaluation are free. But, after the first 30 days, each S3 bucket and month costs $0.10.
  3. The charge of analyzing massive volumes of sensitive data discovery differs depending on AWS Region.

Benefits of Amazon Macie

Here are some of the benefits of Macie:

  1. Easy to set up
  2. Meet privacy regulations
  3. Constant monitoring of S3 buckets
  4. Customized sensitive data types

Difference between Macie and GuardDuty

Macie only examines S3 buckets. It also smartly organizes data to assist you in ensuring that the proper access controls apply to those buckets. On the other hand, Amazon GuardDuty uses intelligent and constant threat detection of your AWS accounts, and workloads to minimize risk.

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If you want to learn more about AWS security services, you can refer to these blogs:

Introduction to AWS Network Firewall
Introduction to AWS Network Firewall
AWS Network Firewall service makes it simple to deploy critical network safeguards across all of your VPCs.
Introduction to Amazon Detective Service
Introduction to Amazon Detective Service
Amazon Detective is intended to automatically collect log data from customers’ AWS resources and use various technologies to assist users in visualizing and conducting timely and accurate protection inquiries.
Introduction to Amazon CloudWatch
Introduction to Amazon CloudWatch
Amazon CloudWatch provides real-time checking of AWS resources and client applications.

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