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Published on 26 Jun 2024

10 Ways AI is Improving Cloud Security

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Updated: 2 Jul 2024

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According to IBM's 2023 Cost of a Data Breach Report, artificial intelligence significantly improved cloud security systems. The report shows that oganisations leveraging extensive security AI and automation capabilities experienced a dramatic reduction in breach lifecycle 108 days faster on average compared to their counterparts without AI tools. If we talk about cost savings, organisations leveraging AI-powered security solutions experience significant financial benefits when it comes to data breach response. On average, these companies saved US$1.76 million in breach-related costs—a 40% reduction compared to their counterparts who have not adopted AI security measures. But how exactly is AI improving these systems? Let’s explore in this blog.

10 Ways AI is Improving Cloud Security

Here are the most popular ways in which AI solutions are improving cloud security systems: 

1. Automated Threat Intelligence

AI-driven systems have changed how threat intelligence works by gathering, analysing and correlating vast amounts of data from diverse sources across the globe. These systems can identify emerging threats, attack patterns, and malicious actors in real-time, far surpassing human capabilities. With machine learning, automated threat intelligence platforms can predict potential vulnerabilities and attack vectors before they are exploited. This enables cloud security teams to stay ahead of cybercriminals by implementing preemptive measures and creating defenses against zero-day attacks. AI can contextualise threats by prioritising them based on their relevance and potential impact on specific cloud environments. This allows security professionals to focus their efforts where they matter most.

2. Anomaly Detection

AI excels at identifying deviations from normal patterns, making it invaluable for anomaly detection in cloud security. By establishing baselines of typical network traffic, user activities, and system behaviours, AI algorithms can swiftly spot irregularities that may indicate a security breach. These anomalies could range from unusual login attempts and data access patterns to unexpected resource consumption or configuration changes. AI-powered anomaly detection systems can discern subtle, complex anomalies that might elude traditional rule-based systems, reducing false positives and allowing for more accurate threat identification. 

Similar Read: Evaluating GPU Usage in Cybersecurity

3. Adaptive Access Controls

AI is transforming access management by introducing dynamic, context-aware controls that adjust in real-time based on risk levels. Instead of relying solely on static permissions, adaptive access controls powered by AI consider factors such as user location, device type, time of access, and behavioural biometrics to determine the appropriate level of authentication and authorisation. For instance, if a user attempts to access sensitive data from an unfamiliar location or exhibits unusual typing patterns, the system may require additional verification steps or restrict certain privileges. By continuously analysing these contextual signals, AI can detect compromised credentials or insider threats more effectively. This approach not only enhances security but also improves user experience by minimising friction for legitimate access while tightening controls when risk is elevated.

4. Malware Detection

Rather than relying on known signatures, AI models analyse the characteristics and actions of files and processes to identify malicious intent. This includes examining API calls, memory usage patterns, and interactions with the system. Deep learning algorithms can even detect polymorphic malware that constantly changes its code to evade detection. In cloud environments, where scalability and performance are critical, AI-driven malware detection can process massive volumes of data in real-time, offering comprehensive protection without introducing significant latency. These systems can learn from each encounter, improving their ability to recognise new strains and variants of malware.

5. User Behaviour Analytics

AI-powered User Behaviour Analytics (UBA) improves cloud security by focusing on the actions of users and entities within the system. By establishing normal behavioural baselines for each user – such as typical access times, commonly used applications, and data interaction patterns – UBA can detect anomalies that may signal account compromise, data exfiltration, or insider threats. Machine learning algorithms can identify subtle changes in behaviour, such as a sudden increase in file downloads or access to resources outside the user's regular scope. UBA not only helps in pinpointing malicious activities but also in understanding the context of user actions, reducing false alarms triggered by deviations. This granular monitoring and analysis enable organisations to respond swiftly to potential security incidents, often before significant damage occurs.

Similar Read: How GPUs Power Up Threat Detection and Prevention

6. Security Automation

The complexity and scale of cloud environments make manual security management increasingly challenging. AI is driving the automation of numerous security tasks, from routine processes to incident response. Machine learning models can automatically classify and prioritise security alerts, reducing alert fatigue and allowing human analysts to focus on critical issues. In the event of a detected threat, AI-orchestrated playbooks can initiate immediate response actions, such as isolating affected systems, blocking malicious IP addresses, or initiating additional monitoring. This rapid and automated response significantly reduces the dwell time of threats and limits potential damage. 

7. Intelligent Encryption

Traditional encryption methods, while essential can be vulnerable if keys are compromised or if data is decrypted for processing. AI-driven approaches, such as homomorphic encryption and secure multi-party computation, allow operations to be performed on encrypted data without exposing the underlying information. This means sensitive data can remain encrypted even during analysis or sharing between different cloud services, significantly reducing the risk of data breaches. AI can dynamically manage encryption keys, automatically rotating them based on usage patterns and risk assessments to minimise the impact of key compromise. Machine learning algorithms can also identify the most sensitive data within large datasets, enabling targeted application of the strongest encryption methods where they are most needed, balancing security with performance.

Similar Read: How to Detect Fraud Using Data Science

8. Predictive Risk Management

By analysing historical security incidents, system vulnerabilities and current threats, AI models can forecast potential future risks and their likelihood of occurrence. This foresight allows organisations to proactively address weaknesses before they can be exploited. Predictive risk management powered by AI can simulate various attack scenarios, stress-testing cloud defenses and identifying resilience gaps. It can also anticipate resource needs during peak traffic periods or potential DDoS attacks, ensuring that scaling and mitigation strategies are in place. 

9. Deception Technology

Instead of static traps, AI creates dynamic, adaptive decoy systems that mimic real assets within the cloud infrastructure. These fake servers, databases, and even user accounts are designed to lure attackers, diverting them from actual valuable targets. AI algorithms manage these decoys, making them behave authentically to maintain credibility. When an attacker interacts with a decoy, the system not only alerts security teams but also engages the intruder, gathering intelligence on their tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs). Machine learning models analyse this data to understand attacker behaviour, update threat profiles, and strengthen defenses against similar future attacks. Deception technology powered by AI thus serves dual purposes: it acts as an early warning system for breaches and provides a rich source of threat intelligence without risking real assets.

10. Compliance and Audit Intelligence

Maintaining compliance with various data protection regulations and security standards is a constant challenge in cloud computing. AI is easing this burden by automating compliance monitoring and audit processes. Machine learning models can continuously scan cloud configurations, access logs, and data flows to ensure alignment with regulatory requirements such as GDPR. These systems can detect misconfigurations, overly permissive policies, or data handling practices that might violate compliance rules. In the event of an audit, AI can rapidly compile relevant logs, generate comprehensive reports, and even predict potential compliance issues based on historical patterns. This not only saves time and resources but also reduces the risk of human error in interpreting complex regulatory frameworks. 

Similar Read: Why GPU-Powered Fraud Detection is a Game Changer

Conclusion

These advancements are imperative for safeguarding the data sensitive ecosystems that modern businesses rely upon. However, the true potential of AI in improving these cloud security systems depends upon computational power required to process and analyse massive datasets in real-time, train sophisticated models and execute complex algorithms at scale. Hence, it becomes highly important to choose the right GPU to upgrade existing AI systems for cloud security.

Powerful GPUs like the NVIDIA A100 or NVIDIA H100 PCIe can accelerate the training of deep learning models on vast security datasets much faster. This rapid development cycle means that AI systems can learn from new threats more quickly while adapting defenses to the tactics of cybercriminals. When it comes to inference, GPU acceleration enables real-time analysis of network traffic, user actions and system logs. This is crucial for identifying anomalies or malicious activities as they occur, significantly reducing the time between breach and detection. The energy efficiency of modern GPUs like the upcoming NVIDIA HGX B100 and NVIDIA GB200 NVL72 addresses the environmental and economic costs of powering extensive security operations. By delivering more FLOPS per watt, these GPUs make it feasible to deploy advanced AI security solutions without proportionally increasing energy consumption.

Build a Secure Cloud with Hyperstack's NVIDIA GPUs for AI. Sign up now to get started!

FAQs

How does AI improve threat intelligence in cloud security?

AI automates the gathering and analysis of global threat data, enabling real-time identification of emerging threats and attack patterns.

What role do GPUs play in AI-driven cloud security?

GPUs provide the massive parallel processing power needed to accelerate AI workloads. This  enables real-time analysis and faster model training for security applications.

How does User Behaviour Analytics (UBA) enhance cloud security? 

UBA uses AI to establish normal user behaviour baselines and detect anomalies that may indicate security threats such as account compromise or insider attacks.



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