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AWS launches a service for securely storing company 'secrets' in the wake of data breaches

Jordan Novet

Amazon's cloud business on Wednesday announced the launch of a service — called Secrets Manager — for storing important company information, such as passwords.

The service is Amazon 's latest effort to bolster its security software offerings, but it also comes after a string of reports about attackers stealing passwords improperly stored on Amazon Web Services.

With this new service, "you never, ever put a secret again in your code," Amazon's chief technology officer, Werner Vogels, said during a presentation at AWS' San Francisco Summit on Wednesday.

The Secrets Manager tool arrives five years after AWS introduced a system for storing encryption keys powered by dedicated hardware security modules, and 3½ years after the cloud provider introduced a simpler service for that purpose. Google and Microsoft also offer key management services.

Secrets Manager is meant for more broad-based use — it can be used to store passwords, keys to application programming interfaces for other services, or database login information.

In October cybersecurity company UpGuard disclosed that Accenture had experienced a leak of data stored in AWS that contained 40,000 passwords. The Australian Broadcasting Corp. also had a data leak that involved login information, The Register reported in November.

In the past year AWS also has sought to bolster its security capabilities with the acquisition of Sqrrl and the introduction of the Macie data security service.

Amazon Web Services leads the public cloud infrastructure market, with more than 125 services available to customers. In the fourth quarter it held 34 percent of the market for cloud infrastructure services, according to Synergy Research Group. Synergy put Microsoft's share at 13 percent and Google's at 6 percent.

The new AWS Secrets Manager service is available Wednesday. It costs 40 cents per "secret" per month, and 5 cents for every batch of 10,000 programmatic requests.

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