Philter User's Guide Help

Philter Quick Start on AWS

Philter on AWS is a virtual machine-based product. It runs in EC2 on its own EC2 instance. A free trial period is available during which there is no charge for the Philter software but there may be charges for the underlying AWS infrastructure.

Here’s a brief screen cast showing how to launch Philter in AWS.

Launch Philter in AWS

  1. Go to Philter in the AWS Marketplace. On this page you can see the Philter overview, the pricing, and the supported EC2 instance types.

  2. Select an instance type. We recommend m5.large. The smaller instance types are intended only for testing and are not well-suited for production usage.

  3. Click the Continue to Subscribe button.

  4. View and accept Philter’s license agreement. Then click Accept Terms.

  5. The subscription will now be created and you will be notified when it is ready! This usually only takes less than a minute.

  6. Click the Continue to Configuration button to select the AMI, the version, and the region. We recommend using the newest version if multiple are available.

  7. Click the Continue to Launch button to launch Philter in your AWS account!

Congratulations! You have deployed Philter in AWS. You are now ready to filter text!

Try it out!

With Philter now running we can take it for a spin. We will send some text to Philter and inspect at the response we get back. The Philter virtual machine running in your cloud account should have a public IP address (unless you customized the deployment). We will use that public IP address to interact with Philter.

Philter, by default, will be configured with an HTTPS listener on port 8080 using a self-signed certificate. It is recommended that prior to use in a production environment the self-signed certificate is replaced by a valid certificate owned by your organization.

In the command below, replace <PUBLIC_IP> with the virtual machine’s public IP address or public host name.

curl -k -X POST https://<PUBLIC_IP>:8080/api/filter --data "George Washington was a patient and his SSN is 123-45-6789." -H "Content-type: text/plain"

With this command we are sending the text in the command to Philter for filtering. Philter will identify the patient name (George Washington) and the SSN (123-45-6789) and redact those values in the response. You can always use curl to send text to Philter as in these examples but there are also SDKs you can use, too, to integrate Philter with your applications.

Redacting Sensitive Information from Text

The types of sensitive information that Philter identifies and removes is controlled by policies. By default, Philter includes a filter profile that includes many of the types of sensitive information, such as names and social security numbers. We can send text to filter to Philter for filtering using this default filter profile with the following command:

curl -k -X POST https://localhost:8080/api/filter -d @file.txt -H "Content-Type: text/plain"

This command sends the contents of the file file.txt to Philter. Philter will apply the enabled filters and return a plain-text response consisting of the filtered text. (Replace localhost with the IP address or host name of Philter if you are not running the command where Philter is running.) You can also send text directly in the request instead of sending it as a file:

curl -k -X POST https://localhost:8080/api/filter --data "Your text goes here..." -H "Content-type: text/plain"

Next Steps

Now that you have Philter running and know how to send text to it you are ready to integrate Philter into your existing workflow and systems. Philter’s API details how to send files to Philter. Clients for some languages for Philter’s API are available on GitHub.

Example Uses

Here's a few examples showing how to use Philter with some common big-data and streaming applications.

Last modified: 08 November 2023