Dare I call this the year of generative AI security? Everyone is talking about artificial intelligence ad nauseum, but I am sure that protecting data and infrastructure as we experiment with AI is going to be an important theme this year. We can’t hold back innovation, but we must make sure we aren’t exposing our businesses to security risks when moving at the speed that AI allows us to go.
With that background, let’s chat about the top three cloud security priorities for 2024. Unsurprisingly, this year’s main issues remain somewhat consistent, reflecting cloud security practices infused with additional AI nuances.
1. The rise in cyberattacks overall
In 2023, I saw more attacks on our customers than ever before. There has been an increase in cyberattacks in general, which is why we at SADA are continuing to develop our Cloud Security Confidence program and adding things like red teaming to the services portfolio to help ensure that we have a complete view of current security postures. Protecting sensitive data from cyber threats and improving your organization’s security posture are never going to go out of style.
I’m not sure if the rise in cyberattacks is because we’re getting better at detecting bad actors through practices like identity and access management, or because there are simply more attacks taking place.
Nevertheless, the increase in nation-state actors is cause for concern, especially coming into an election year. These actors are well-funded and highly motivated, and can cause significant damage, exploiting security vulnerabilities that expose digital assets. We helped a number of our customers this year as they cleaned up after newsworthy attacks, making sure to leave their cloud architecture in better condition.
2. Protecting data and infrastructure as we experiment with AI
AI is a powerful tool, but like any new technology, it can be dangerous if it’s not used properly. We need to make sure that we’re protecting our data and infrastructure not just from malicious actors, but from accidental threats, too.
Even as I write this, there is still much we don’t know about how this will all scale and operate. Every day, I hear about new versions of LLMs, personal GPTs, and innovations from Google, Microsoft, AWS, Apple, and others. Like SaaS apps, AI is going to change the way our users interact with cloud applications, vast amounts of data, and each other.
If you have already started looking at policies and data segregation, you need to put that on your list for 2024. Along with policies, we will need to have options for our users that protect the data they interact with. This is crucial to prevent unintended data leaks caused by well-intentioned employees.
Potential threats linger when security requirements aren’t quick in responding to today’s evolving threat landscape. It will be exciting to see how paid options from Google and others develop throughout the year.
3. Maintaining the acceleration of AI, safely
We can’t hold back innovation. Security is all too often the department of “no,” but those days are long behind us. Adopting protection strategies ahead of AI usage will be key to ensuring that we drive and enable innovation.
We need to embrace AI and use it to our advantage to protect data, as well. Supply chain attacks, data breaches, and other evolving threats require business leaders to identify patterns and deploy security analysts who are armed with a new generation of security tools to spot attack paths while automating responses. Threat actors aren’t sitting this year out. Neither can we.
To elevate our threat intelligence, we need to add data management tools that allow us to ensure proper protections and separation, and work with data teams to ensure that we have a solid strategy for data democratization. Built-in security tooling and monitoring will be key to ensuring that AI is adopted and used without risking exposure to private or confidential information, either internally or externally.
Adopting protection strategies ahead of AI usage will be key to ensuring that we drive and enable innovation. We need to embrace AI and use it to our advantage to protect data, as well.Rocky Giglio, SADA Director, Security GTM and Solutions
The top security concerns for 2024 from around the web
Maintaining SADA’s cloud security team’s expertise means staying on top of how other organizations are talking about evolving attack vectors and the latest security protocols. I make it a habit to check in with how other top security organizations are taking the pulse of the cloud security landscape.
Here are the top cybersecurity trends for 2024 according to the respected cyber security experts at Gartner, Google, and Mandiant:
- “Fifty percent of chief information security officers (CISOs) will adopt human centric design to reduce cybersecurity operational friction.”
- “Modern privacy regulation will blanket the majority of consumer data.”
- “By 2026, 10% of large enterprises will have a comprehensive, mature and measurable zero-trust program in place, up from less than 1% today.”
- “By 2025, 50% of cybersecurity leaders will have tried, unsuccessfully, to use cyber risk quantification to drive enterprise decision making.”
- Attackers will incorporate AI into their operations and defenders will use it to strengthen detection and response.
- Nation-states will continue to conduct cyber operations to achieve their geopolitical goals.
- Attackers will continue to exploit zero-day vulnerabilities and use other techniques to evade detection.
- There will be a rise in hacktivism and other cyber activity related to major global conflicts, elections, and the Summer Olympics.
- AI will be used to scale phishing, information operations and other campaigns, but also for improved detection, response, and attribution of adversaries at scale, and faster analysis and reverse engineering.
- China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran will conduct everything from espionage to cyber crime to achieve their respective goals.
- Adversaries will use zero-days to evade detection and maintain access for longer, and increasingly target edge devices and virtualization software, which are particularly challenging to monitor.
- Threat actors will seek to exploit misconfigurations and identity issues to move laterally across different cloud environments.
- We will see more disruptive hacktivism related to global conflicts, and targeting of the Summer Olympics in Paris, as well as various elections.
- Malware authors will develop more software in programming languages such as Go, Rust, and Swift, which makes reverse engineering more difficult.
Confronting the next wave of cyberattacks, with support from SADA
Staying ahead of evolving cyberattacks and maintaining vigilance around your data and teams starts with thorough attention to your cloud environments. Your security posture is going to reflect your unique business model, industry, and regulatory landscape.
Whether your security teams are responsible for hybrid cloud environments, are all-in on the public cloud, or are just migrating from an onpremises environment, the cybersecurity measures and security controls you implement should reflect a sober understanding of today’s security threats.
That’s where SADA’s Cloud Security Confidence Assessment comes in.
Your dedicated SADA security team will perform a comprehensive investigation into your access protocols and defenses, generating a Cloud Security Confidence Score that you can use as your base level as you elevate your security profile. This deep dive will touch upon such areas as zero trust security, AI systems, hosted services, incident response protocols, and all manner of data protection.
You’ll get custom recommendations on how to strengthen your systems, including guidance on adopting the best third-party solutions and how to meet your industry’s regulatory requirements. Your custom assessment will give you a better understanding of your cloud infrastructure, a firmer grasp on emerging threats, and increased understanding of the new era of AI in cybersecurity. Your dedicated SADA team will provide detailed guidance on cloud resources that reduce the complexity of what can often be extremely difficult cybersecurity deployments.
Contact us today to get started with your custom assessment, and become even more confident in your organization’s readiness for what lies ahead.