Automated data governance with AWS Glue Data Quality, sensitive data detection, and AWS Lake Formation

Data governance is the process of ensuring the integrity, availability, usability, and security of an organization’s data. Due to the volume, velocity, and variety of data being ingested in data lakes, it can get challenging to develop and maintain policies and procedures to ensure data governance at scale for your data lake. Data confidentiality and data quality are the two essential themes for data governance. Data confidentiality refers to the protection and control of sensitive and private information to prevent unauthorized access, especially when dealing with personally identifiable information (PII). Data quality focuses on maintaining accurate, reliable, and consistent data across the organization. Poor data quality can lead to erroneous decisions, inefficient operations, and compromised business performance.

Companies need to ensure data confidentiality is maintained throughout the data pipeline and that high-quality data is available to consumers in a timely manner. A lot of this effort is manual, where data owners and data stewards define and apply the policies statically up front for each dataset in the lake. This gets tedious and delays the data adoption across the enterprise.

In this post, we showcase how to use AWS Glue with AWS Glue Data Quality, sensitive data detection transforms, and AWS Lake Formation tag-based access control to automate data governance.

Solution overview

Let’s consider a fictional company, OkTank. OkTank has multiple ingestion pipelines that populate multiple tables in the data lake. OkTank wants to ensure the data lake is governed with data quality rules and access policies in place at all times.

Multiple personas consume data from the data lake, such as business leaders, data scientists, data analysts, and data engineers. For each set of users, a different level of governance is needed. For example, business leaders need top-quality and highly accurate data, data scientists cannot see PII data and need data within an acceptable quality range for their model training, and data engineers can see all data except PII.

Currently, these requirements are hard-coded and managed manually for each set of users. OkTank wants to scale this and is looking for ways to control governance in an automated way. Primarily, they are looking for the following features:

  • When new data and tables get added to the data lake, the governance policies (data quality checks and access controls) get automatically applied for them. Unless the data is certified to be consumed, it shouldn’t be accessible to the end-users. For example, they want to ensure basic data quality checks are applied on all new tables and provide access to the data based on the data quality score.
  • Due to changes in source data, the existing data profile of data lake tables may drift. It’s required to ensure the governance is met as defined. For example, the system should automatically mark columns as sensitive if sensitive data is detected in a column that was earlier marked as public and was available publicly for users. The system should hide the column from unauthorized users accordingly.

For the purpose of this post, the following governance policies are defined:

  • No PII data should exist in tables or columns tagged as public.
  • If  a column has any PII data, the column should be marked as sensitive. The table should then also be marked sensitive.
  • The following data quality rules should be applied on all tables:
    • All tables should have a minimum set of columns: data_key, data_load_date, and data_location.
    • data_key is a key column and should meet key requirements of being unique and complete.
    • data_location should match with locations defined in a separate reference (base) table.
    • The data_load_date column should be complete.
  • User access to tables is controlled as per the following table.
User Description Can Access Sensitive Tables Can Access Sensitive Columns Min Data Quality Threshold Needed to consume Data
Category 1 Yes Yes 100%
Category 2 Yes No 50%
Category 3 No No 0%

In this post, we use AWS Glue Data Quality and sensitive data detection features. We also use Lake Formation tag-based access control to manage access at scale.

The following diagram illustrates the solution architecture.

The governance requirements highlighted in the previous table are translated to the following Lake Formation LF-Tags.

IAM User LF-Tag: tbl_class LF-Tag: col_class LF-Tag: dq_tag
Category 1 sensitive, public sensitive, public DQ100
Category 2 sensitive, public public DQ100,DQ90,DQ50_80,DQ80_90
Category 3 public public DQ90, DQ100, DQ_LT_50, DQ50_80, DQ80_90

This post uses AWS Step Functions to orchestrate the governance jobs, but you can use any other orchestration tool of choice. To simulate data ingestion, we manually place the files in an Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) bucket. In this post, we trigger the Step Functions state machine manually for ease of understanding. In practice, you can integrate or invoke the jobs as part of a data ingestion pipeline, via event triggers like AWS Glue crawler or Amazon S3 events, or schedule them as needed.

In this post, we use an AWS Glue database named oktank_autogov_temp and a target table named customer on which we apply the governance rules. We use AWS CloudFormation to provision the resources. AWS CloudFormation lets you model, provision, and manage AWS and third-party resources by treating infrastructure as code.

Prerequisites

Complete the following prerequisite steps:

  1. Identify an AWS Region in which you want to create the resources and ensure you use the same Region throughout the setup and verifications.
  2. Have a Lake Formation administrator role to run the CloudFormation template and grant permissions.

Sign in to the Lake Formation console and add yourself as a Lake Formation data lake administrator if you aren’t already an admin. If you are setting up Lake Formation for the first time in your Region, then you can do this in the following pop-up window that appears up when you connect to the Lake Formation console and select the desired Region.

Otherwise, you can add data lake administrators by choosing Administrative roles and tasks in the navigation pane on the Lake Formation console and choosing Add administrators. Then select Data lake administrator, identity your users and roles, and choose Confirm.

Deploy the CloudFormation stack

Run the provided CloudFormation stack to create the solution resources.

You need to provide a unique bucket name and specify passwords for the three users reflecting three different user personas (Category 1, Category 2, and Category 3) that we use for this post.

The stack provisions an S3 bucket to store the dummy data, AWS Glue scripts, results of sensitive data detection, and Amazon Athena query results in their respective folders.

The stack copies the AWS Glue scripts into the scripts folder and creates two AWS Glue jobs Data-Quality-PII-Checker_Job and LF-Tag-Handler_Job pointing to the corresponding scripts.

The AWS Glue job Data-Quality-PII-Checker_Job applies the data quality rules and publishes the results. It also checks for sensitive data in the columns. In this post, we check for the PERSON_NAME and EMAIL data types. If any columns with sensitive data are detected, it persists the sensitive data detection results to the S3 bucket.

AWS Glue Data Quality uses Data Quality Definition Language (DQDL) to author the data quality rules.

The data quality requirements as defined earlier in this post are written as the following DQDL in the script:

Rules = [
ReferentialIntegrity "data_location" "reference.data_location" = 1.0,
IsPrimaryKey "data_key",
ColumnExists "data_load_date",
IsComplete "data_load_date
]

The following screenshot shows a sample result from the job after it runs. You can see this after you trigger the Step Functions workflow in subsequent steps. To check the results, on the AWS Glue console, choose ETL jobs and choose the job called Data-Quality-PII-Checker_Job. Then navigate to the Data quality tab to view the results.

The AWS Glue jobLF-Tag-Handler_Job fetches the data quality metrics published by Data-Quality-PII-Checker_Job. It checks the status of the DataQuality_PIIColumns result. It gets the list of sensitive column names from the sensitive data detection file created in the Data-Quality-PII-Checker_Job and tags the columns as sensitive. The rest of the columns are tagged as public. It also tags the table assensitive if sensitive columns are detected. The table is marked as public if no sensitive columns are detected.

The job also checks the data quality score for the DataQuality_BasicChecks result set. It maps the data quality score into tags as shown in the following table and applies the corresponding tag on the table.

Data Quality Score Data Quality Tag
100% DQ100
90-100% DQ90
80-90% DQ80_90
50-80% DQ50_80
Less than 50% DQ_LT_50

The CloudFormation stack copies some mock data to the data folder and registers this location under AWS Lake Formation Data lake locations so Lake Formation can govern access on the location using service-linked role for Lake Formation.

The customer subfolder contains the initial customer dataset for the table customer. The base subfolder contains the base dataset, which we use to check referential integrity as part of the data quality checks. The column data_location in the customer table should match with locations defined in this base table.

The stack also copies some additional mock data to the bucket under the data-v1 folder. We use this data to simulate data quality issues.

It also creates the following resources:

  • An AWS Glue database called oktank_autogov_temp and two tables under the database:
    • customer – This is our target table on which we will be governing the access based on data quality rules and PII checks.
    • base – This is the base table that has the reference data. One of the data quality rules checks that the customer data always adheres to locations present in the base table.
  • AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) users and roles:
    • DataLakeUser_Category1 – The data lake user corresponding to the Category 1 user. This user should be able to access sensitive data but needs 100% accurate data.
    • DataLakeUser_Category2 – The data lake user corresponding to the Category 2 user. This user should not be able to access sensitive columns in the table. It needs more than 50% accurate data.
    • DataLakeUser_Category3 – The data lake user corresponding to the Category 3 user. This user should not be able to access tables containing sensitive data. Data quality can be 0%.
    • GlueServiceDQRole – The role for the data quality and sensitive data detection job.
    • GlueServiceLFTaggerRole – The role for the LF-Tags handler job for applying the tags to the table.
    • StepFunctionRole – The Step Functions role for triggering the AWS Glue jobs.
  • Lake Formation LF-Tags keys and values:
    • tbl_classsensitive, public
    • dq_classDQ100, DQ90, DQ80_90, DQ50_80, DQ_LT_50
    • col_classsensitive, public
  • A Step Functions state machine named AutoGovMachine that you use to trigger the runs for the AWS Glue jobs to check data quality and update the LF-Tags.
  • Athena workgroups named auto_gov_blog_workgroup_temporary_user1, auto_gov_blog_workgroup_temporary_user2, and auto_gov_blog_workgroup_temporary_user3. These workgroups point to different Athena query result locations for each user. Each user is granted access to the corresponding query result location only. This ensures a specific user doesn’t access the query results of other users. You should switch to a specific workgroup to run queries in Athena as part of the test for the specific user.

The CloudFormation stack generates the following outputs. Take note of the values of the IAM users to use in subsequent steps.

Grant permissions

After you launch the CloudFormation stack, complete the following steps:

  1. On the Lake Formation console, under Permissions choose Data lake permissions in the navigation pane.
  2. Search for the database oktank_autogov_temp and table customer.
  3. If IAMAllowedPrincipals access if present, select it choose Revoke.

  1. Choose Revoke again to revoke the permissions.

Category 1 users can access all data except if the data quality score of the table is below 100%. Therefore, we grant the user the necessary permissions.

  1. Under Permissions in the navigation pane, choose Data lake permissions.
  2. Search for database oktank_autogov_temp and table customer.
  3. Choose Grant
  4. Select IAM users and roles and choose the value for UserCategory1 from your CloudFormation stack output.
  5. Under LF-Tags or catalog resources, choose Add LF-Tag key-value pair.
  6. Add the following key-value pairs:
    1. For the col_class key, add the values public and sensitive.
    2. For the tbl_class key, add the values public and sensitive.
    3. For the dq_tag key, add the value DQ100.

  1. For Table permissions, select Select.
  2. Choose Grant.

Category 2 users can’t access sensitive columns. They can access tables with a data quality score above 50%.

  1. Repeat the preceding steps to grant the appropriate permissions in Lake Formation to UserCategory2:
    1. For the col_class key, add the value public.
    2. For the tbl_class key, add the values public and sensitive.
    3. For the dq_tag key, add the values DQ50_80, DQ80_90, DQ90, and DQ100.

  1. For Table permissions, select Select.
  2. Choose Grant.

Category 3 users can’t access tables that contain any sensitive columns. Such tables are marked as sensitive by the system. They can access tables with any data quality score.

  1. Repeat the preceding steps to grant the appropriate permissions in Lake Formation to UserCategory3:
    1. For the col_class key, add the value public.
    2. For the tbl_class key, add the value public.
    3. For the dq_tag key, add the values DQ_LT_50, DQ50_80, DQ80_90, DQ90, and DQ100.

  1. For Table permissions, select Select.
  2. Choose Grant.

You can verify the LF-Tag permissions assigned in Lake Formation by navigating to the Data lake permissions page and searching for the Resource type LF-Tag expression.

Test the solution

Now we can test the workflow. We test three different use cases in this post. You will notice how the permissions to the tables change based on the values of LF-Tags applied to the customer table and the columns of the table. We use Athena to query the tables.

Use case 1

In this first use case, a new table was created on the lake and new data was ingested to the table. The data file cust_feedback_v0.csv was copied to the data/customer location in the S3 bucket. This simulates new data ingestion on a new table called customer.

Lake Formation doesn’t allow any users to access this table currently. To test this scenario, complete the following steps:

  1. Sign in to the Athena console with the UserCategory1 user.
  2. Switch the workgroup to auto_gov_blog_workgroup_temporary_user1 in the Athena query editor.
  3. Choose Acknowledge to accept the workgroup settings.

  1. Run the following query in the query editor:
select * from "oktank_autogov_temp"."customer" limit 10

  1. On the Step Functions console, run the AutoGovMachine state machine.
  2. In the Input – optional section, use the following JSON and replace the BucketName value with the bucket name you used for the CloudFormation stack earlier (for this post, we use auto-gov-blog):
{ "Comment": "Auto Governance with AWS Glue and AWS LakeFormation", "BucketName": "<Replace with your bucket name>"
}

The state machine triggers the AWS Glue jobs to check data quality on the table and apply the corresponding LF-Tags.

  1. You can check the LF-Tags applied on the table and the columns. To do so, when the state machine is complete, sign in to Lake Formation with the admin role used earlier to grant permissions.
  2. Navigate to the table customer under the oktank_autogov_temp database and choose Edit LF-Tags to validate the tags applied on the table.

You can also validate that columns customer_email and customer_name are tagged as sensitive for the col_class LF-Tag.

  1. To check this, choose Edit Schema for the customer table.
  2. Select the two columns and choose Edit LF-Tags.

You can check the tags on these columns.

The rest of the columns are tagged as public.

  1. Sign in to the Athena console with UserCategory1 and run the same query again:
select * from "oktank_autogov_temp"."customer" limit 10

This time, the user is able to see the data. This is because the LF-Tag permissions we applied earlier are in effect.

  1. Sign in as UserCategory2 user to verify permissions.
  2. Switch to workgroup auto_gov_blog_workgroup_temporary_user2 in Athena.

This user can access the table but can only see public columns. Therefore, the user shouldn’t be able to see the customer_email and customer_phone columns because these columns contain sensitive data as identified by the system.

  1. Run the same query again:
select * from "oktank_autogov_temp"."customer" limit 10

  1. Sign in to Athena and verify the permissions for DataLakeUser_Category3.
  2. Switch to workgroup auto_gov_blog_workgroup_temporary_user3 in Athena.

This user can’t access the table because the table is marked as sensitive due to the presence of sensitive data columns in the table.

  1. Run the same query again:
select * from "oktank_autogov_temp"."customer" limit 10

Use case 2

Let’s ingest some new data on the table.

  1. Sign in to the Amazon S3 console with the admin role used earlier to grant permissions.
  2. Copy the file cust_feedback_v1.csv from the data-v1 folder in the S3 bucket to the data/customer folder in the S3 bucket using the default options.

This new data file has data quality issues because the column data_location breaks referential integrity with the base table. This data also introduces some sensitive data in column comment1. This column was earlier marked as public because it didn’t have any sensitive data.

The following screenshot shows what the customer folder should look like now.

  1. Run the AutoGovMachine state machine again and use the same JSON as the StartExecution input you used earlier:
{ "Comment": "Auto Governance with AWS Glue and AWS LakeFormation", "BucketName": "<Replace with your bucket name>"
}

The job classifies column comment1 as sensitive on the customer table. It also updates the dq_tag value on the table because the data quality has changed due to the breaking referential integrity check.

You can verify the new tag values via the Lake Formation console as described earlier. The dq_tag value was DQ100. The value is changed to DQ50_80, reflecting the data quality score for the table.

Also, earlier the value for the col_class tag for the comment1 column was public. The value is now changed to sensitive because sensitive data is detected in this column.

Category 2 users shouldn’t be able to access sensitive columns in the table.

  1. Sign in with UserCategory2 to Athena and rerun the earlier query:
select * from "oktank_autogov_temp"."customer" limit 10

The column comment1 is now not available for UserCategory2 as expected. The access permissions are handled automatically.

Also, because the data quality score goes down below 100%, this new dataset is now not available for the Category1 user. This user should have access to data only when the score is 100% as per our defined rules.

  1. Sign in with UserCategory1 to Athena and rerun the earlier query:
select * from "oktank_autogov_temp"."customer" limit 10

You will see the user is not able to access the table now. The access permissions are handled automatically.

Use case 3

Let’s fix the invalid data and remove the data quality issue.

  1. Delete the cust_feedback_v1.csv file from the data/customer Amazon S3 location.
  2. Copy the file cust_feedback_v1_fixed.csv from the data-v1 folder in the S3 bucket to the data/customer S3 location. This data file fixes the data quality issues.
  3. Rerun the AutoGovMachine state machine.

When the state machine is complete, the data quality score goes up to 100% again and the tag on the table gets updated accordingly. You can verify the new tag as shown earlier via the Lake Formation console.

The Category1 user can access the table again.

Clean up

To avoid incurring further charges, delete the CloudFormation stack to delete the resources provisioned as part of this post.

Conclusion

This post covered AWS Glue Data Quality and sensitive detection features and Lake Formation LF-Tag based access control. We explored how you can combine these features and use them to build a scalable automated data governance capability on your data lake. We explored how user permissions changed when data was initially ingested to the table and when data drift was observed as part of subsequent ingestions.

For further reading, refer to the following resources:


About the Author

Shoukat Ghouse is a Senior Big Data Specialist Solutions Architect at AWS. He helps customers around the world build robust, efficient and scalable data platforms on AWS leveraging AWS analytics services like AWS Glue, AWS Lake Formation, Amazon Athena and Amazon EMR.

Source: https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/big-data/automated-data-governance-with-aws-glue-data-quality-sensitive-data-detection-and-aws-lake-formation/

Source: https://webfulnet.com/

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