AI-driven compliance: The key to cloud security – Security Intelligence

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AI-driven compliance: The key to cloud security

A digital image of several blue clouds with thick white rain coming out below
A digital image of several blue clouds with thick white rain coming out below

The growth of cloud computing continues unabated, but it has also created security challenges. The acceleration of cloud adoption has created greater complexity, with limited cloud technical expertise available in the market, an explosion in connected and Internet of Things (IoT) devices and a growing need for multi-cloud environments.

When clients migrate to the cloud, there is a high likelihood of data security problems given that many applications are not secure by design. When these applications migrate to cloud-native systems, mistakes in configuration settings can create cybersecurity risks. Delays in implementing the security controls for client workloads occur during migrations, which compounds the issue. That’s why Gartner predicts that by 2025, 99% of cloud breaches will be caused by misconfigurations, most of which will be attributed to human error that could have been prevented.

Cloud security shared responsibility model

Based on the well-established cloud security shared responsibility model, customers and cloud service providers are both responsible for cloud security. The cloud service providers are responsible for the security “of the cloud,” while customers are responsible for security “in the cloud.” However, the extent of customer responsibility depends on the consumption model.

For the most part, the cloud service provider infrastructure is secure. However, there is a possibility of client-side data security issues, including cybersecurity and workload problems. Cloud misconfigurations happen when security settings are not properly configured, creating vulnerabilities that can be leveraged by external hackers using ransomware or insider threat actors exploiting security gaps.

Understand compliance monitoring

As a general rule, clients can benefit from enacting access control by using data encryption and conducting regular audits. They should also establish compliance programs to ensure ongoing alignment with security controls. Compliance standards should be implemented to ensure cloud services meet the relevant requirements issued by state and federal governments and industry standards. In addition, internal policies should provide critical guardrails for cloud security.

Understanding the compliance standards for your cloud business estate and what additional protections would benefit your IT environment is critical. The ongoing management of cloud environment protection ensures ongoing success. Many clients perform periodic audits of their compliance posture only to find that misconfigurations have crept in. Human error is typically to blame, so having a compliance monitoring solution is vital to catch these misconfigurations as they arise in real-time.

Use gen AI to improve cloud security

As the world moves to embrace generative artificial intelligence (gen AI) for various use cases, there is an opportunity to use this emerging technology to improve cybersecurity protections in the cloud. Compliance standards are a critical component of a client’s cybersecurity protections. Using AI technology to monitor and manage controls within a client’s cloud estate will protect against human-caused misconfigurations and provide reporting to meet regulatory requirements.

There are three main ways to improve security posture by establishing continuous compliance using gen AI:

  • Deployment: Compliance standards can be translated by AI to enable seamless deployment of protective and detective security controls, improving overall productivity.
  • Management: An AI model can be trained to continuously learn about the environment, provide up-to-date changes to the security posture controls and respond quickly to any concerns.
  • Threat Detection: An AI model can also be trained to detect and correlate threats, with automatic and semi-automatic response capabilities for real-time action and analysis.

Point security solutions help manage clients’ posture management for the cloud, and they will continue to be part of a cybersecurity toolbox that clients can utilize. However, static tools do not adapt in real-time. Rather, a continuous compliance solution using gen AI is the ideal solution, where client IT environments are compliant with the latest standards and can adapt to misconfiguration drift as it occurs, automatically correcting for high-risk exposures.

Flexible cyber defense with gen AI

Because a continuous compliance solution is dynamic and self-healing, it would accelerate the deployment of security controls that align with client policies. It would also improve security operations by providing visibility into cloud assets and activity across multiple cloud providers. Meanwhile, in the event of a security breach, the AI solution would identify threats and accelerate investigations through behavior analytics, data flow and vulnerability analysis.

If used properly, AI can be harnessed to help drive more effective cybersecurity controls, addressing compliance and improving overall threat management in the cloud.

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