Top 10 AWS Secret Manager Interview Questions and Answers

Interview, AWS By Jun 09, 2023 No Comments

I can provide you with the top 10 AWS Secrets Manager interview questions and answers. Keep in mind that the questions may be tailored to the specific cloud service being used, but these questions and answers will be relevant to AWS Secrets Manager.

  1. What is AWS Secrets Manager and what are its main features?

AWS Secrets Manager is a service that helps you protect access to your applications, services, and IT resources without upfront investment or on-going maintenance costs. Its main features include:

  • Secure and manage secrets, such as database credentials, API keys, and OAuth tokens
  • Automatically rotate secrets without requiring code changes
  • Control access to secrets using fine-grained policies
  • Audit secret access for compliance and security purposes
  • Integrate with other AWS services
  1. How does AWS Secrets Manager protect sensitive information?

AWS Secrets Manager encrypts secrets at rest using AWS Key Management Service (KMS) keys. The encrypted secrets are stored in a highly available, redundant, and durable infrastructure. Access to the secrets is controlled by AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) policies, ensuring that only authorized users and applications can access the secrets.

  1. What is secret rotation and why is it important?

Secret rotation is the process of periodically changing a secret, such as a password or API key, to reduce the risk of unauthorized access. Regularly rotating secrets helps to protect sensitive information by minimizing the impact of compromised secrets and reducing the opportunity for attackers to use them.

  1. How does AWS Secrets Manager automate secret rotation?

AWS Secrets Manager can automatically rotate secrets for supported AWS services, such as Amazon RDS, Amazon DocumentDB, and Amazon Redshift. You can configure a Lambda function to handle the secret rotation process for other types of secrets or services. Secrets Manager takes care of triggering the rotation and updating the secret version without requiring any code changes in your application.

  1. How do you control access to secrets in AWS Secrets Manager?

Access to secrets in AWS Secrets Manager is controlled by IAM policies. You can create policies to grant or deny access to specific secrets or secret versions, and you can specify which actions (e.g., GetSecretValue, PutSecretValue) are allowed. Additionally, you can use resource-based policies to control cross-account access to secrets.

  1. How does AWS Secrets Manager integrate with other AWS services?

AWS Secrets Manager can be used in conjunction with various AWS services, such as Amazon RDS, Amazon ECS, AWS Lambda, and AWS CloudFormation. For example, you can use Secrets Manager to store database credentials and have your Lambda function retrieve them securely, or use Secrets Manager to store API keys needed by your ECS tasks.

  1. How do you retrieve a secret value using AWS Secrets Manager?

To retrieve a secret value, you can use the AWS SDK or AWS CLI. In the SDK, you would use the get_secret_value method of the Secrets Manager client, while in the CLI, you would use the aws secretsmanager get-secret-value command. Both methods return the secret value in plaintext.

  1. What is the difference between a secret and a parameter in AWS Systems Manager Parameter Store?

While both AWS Secrets Manager and AWS Systems Manager Parameter Store can be used to store sensitive information, they have different use cases and features. Secrets Manager is specifically designed for storing and managing secrets, like API keys and database credentials, and provides features like automatic secret rotation and audit logging. Parameter Store, on the other hand, is designed for storing and managing configuration data, such as environment variables or runtime parameters, and does not provide secret rotation capabilities.

  1. How do you manage the lifecycle of a secret in AWS Secrets Manager?

Managing the lifecycle of a secret involves creating, updating, and deleting secrets. You can create secrets using the AWS Management Console, AWS SDK, or AWS CLI. When updating a secret, you can either create a new version of the secret or edit the metadata associated with it. You can also configure rotation settings and enable automatic rotation. To delete a secret, you can use the console, SDK, or CLI, and choose whether to schedule the deletion immediately or after a specified number of days.

  1. How does AWS Secrets Manager handle billing and pricing?

AWS Secrets Manager pricing is based on the number of secrets stored, the number of API calls made, and the usage of secret rotation. There are no upfront costs, and you pay only for what you use. Each active secret per month is billed, along with additional charges for each 10,000 API calls made to Secrets Manager. If you enable secret rotation, you are billed for the usage of AWS Lambda during the rotation process. It’s important to note that the AWS free tier includes a limited number of free secrets and API calls per month.

By preparing for these 10 AWS Secrets Manager interview questions, you will demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in using this service to securely manage secrets, integrate with other AWS services, and automate secret rotation. This will set you apart as a skilled cloud developer who is well-versed in AWS cloud services.


I'm Abhay Singh, an Architect with 9 Years of It experience. AWS Certified Solutions Architect.

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