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The Future of Cloud Security: What to Expect in 2024

BY James Hastings

February 7, 2024 | 6 MINS READ

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As we move into 2024, cloud security stands at the forefront of business strategy. Based on the Cost of a Data Breach Report 2023, 45% of breaches are cloud-based while 82% of breaches involved data stored in the cloud.

This sharp rise in cloud-based threats is a clear signal that prioritizing robust cloud security measures is no longer optional for businesses that have adopted cloud technology.

In fact, the role of cloud security moves beyond traditional IT boundaries, becoming a central concern for every business leader navigating the cloud. It's a critical pillar for safeguarding data assets and ensuring continuous trust in an evolving digital landscape.

In this blog, we address the emerging cloud trends in 2024, key cloud-related challenges impacting security leaders, and how to overcome these challenges.

Emerging Trends Reshaping Cloud Security in 2024

When it comes to the Cloud, there are two major trends that will redefine how businesses deploy and interact with cloud technologies: serverless computing and integration of large language models (LLMs) in cloud services.

The Rise of Serverless Computing

Serverless computing allows businesses to run applications and services without having to manage the underlying server infrastructure. With serverless computing, the cloud service provider (CSP) handles certain core functions, such as scaling.

This makes it so that your business only pays for the resources you use, resulting in greater operational efficiency, reduced costs, and a streamlined process that scales with your organization’s needs.

In 2024, we predict that serverless computing will become a cornerstone of cloud strategy, enabling organizations to focus on innovation and application development, accelerate their time-to-market, and drive competitive advantage.

Integration of Large Language Models (LLMs) in Cloud Services

In 2023, we saw heightened reliance on Large Language Models, making it entirely likely that we will see LLMs being integrated into cloud services moving into 2024. From a cloud perspective, it will be both a time-saving feature, as well as one that enables the average user to make more advanced configurations.

For example, the capability to have human-like interactions with cloud service interfaces for troubleshooting your AWS environment (i.e., through an ‘AWS SME’) or having an intelligent 'assistant' on-hand to optimize and implement designs is a game-changer.

The result is a more efficient, user-friendly cloud experience that enables users to not only save time, but reduce the complexity associated with managing cloud configurations.

Addressing the Key Challenges for Security Leaders in the Cloud

As cloud technologies continue to advance, security leaders are confronted with three pressing challenges that will require strategic attention and innovative solutions: lack of visibility, influx of data, and tool sprawl.

By addressing these challenges head-on, security leaders can strengthen their cloud environments and ensure that their organizations are well-positioned to capitalize on the opportunities that the cloud offers, while safeguarding against evolving cloud-based cyber threats.

Challenge #1: Increased Visibility Demands

Security leaders are tasked with the critical job of overseeing a sprawling digital landscape where assets are not just physical but also virtual. Since cloud technologies will continue to outpace traditional IT environments, it’s no surprise that security leaders are struggling to gain complete visibility of the infrastructure, making it challenging to ensure robust security outcomes.

This requires innovative monitoring solutions that can provide real-time insights and a holistic view of the cloud environment to effectively manage risks and respond to threats.

Challenge #2: Managing an Overwhelming Influx of Data

The richness of data in cloud environments is both an asset and a challenge. While data can drive informed decision-making and proactive security measures, the sheer volume overwhelm traditional analytical tools.

As a result, security leaders must contend with the daunting task of sifting through this data overflow to extract meaningful insights. The challenge lies not just in collecting the data, but in correlating it effectively to uncover hidden patterns, detect anomalies, and predict potential cyber threats.

One potential solution is for security leaders to adopt tools or technologies that use advanced analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to help transform high-volume data from noise to actionable intelligence to stay ahead of potential cyber risks.

Challenge #3: Reliance on Point Solutions (Tool Sprawl)

To address specific security needs, organizations often introduce a myriad of point solutions, which leads to tool sprawl, adding layers of complexity to the security infrastructure. Unfortunately, each new tool introduces its own set of data, interfaces, and maintenance requirements, potentially creating silos and diminishing the overall visibility and control over the security posture.

As a result, security leaders need to streamline their toolsets and use integrated platforms that offer comprehensive capabilities without the need to manage multiple disparate systems. In essence, consolidating security tools offers a more cost-effective approach that increases operational efficiency and reduces risk while simplifying the cloud security infrastructure.

Overcoming Barriers to Cloud Adoption

While the benefits of cloud adoption are significant, organizations often encounter a set of barriers that can deter their cloud journey. There are three strategies that security leaders can use to overcome these barriers, such as investing in cloud security training for their staff, addressing compliance-related issues with their CSPs, and preventing data loss resulting from misconfigurations.

Bridging the Gap in Technical Knowledge and Resources

For many organizations, especially those that have historically relied on on-premises or colocation resources, transitioning to the cloud without having the required expertise in-house can be challenging. Additionally, resource constraints, such as limited IT staff or budgetary limitations, can further complicate the transition.

Therefore, it’s critical to invest in training and upskilling your workforce or partnering with CSPs to bridge this knowledge gap. However, if you don’t have the budget to invest in ongoing training or hire a specialist, another option is to leverage an MDR provider with cloud expertise and 24/7 SOC capabilities who can help mitigate resourcing constraints, allowing you to get the expertise and resources needed at a fraction of the cost.

Addressing Compliance and Regulatory Hurdles

Regulatory compliance is a critical concern for organizations in industries subject to stringent data protection and privacy regulations. The challenges of ensuring data sovereignty, meeting industry-specific compliance requirements, and managing data location and processing in the cloud can pose as significant obstacles to transition to the cloud.

I recommend working closely with CSPs that offer compliance certifications and tools designed to meet regulatory standards. This may include conducting thorough due diligence, understanding the shared responsibility model in cloud security, and leveraging cloud solutions that provide transparency and control over data location and processing.

Mitigating Data Security Risks

It’s imperative to understand that the ultimate responsibility for securing data assets stored in the cloud lies with your organization. Therefore, misconfigurations, inadequate access controls, and a lack of continuous security monitoring can expose your organization to data breaches and intellectual property loss.

Overcoming this barrier requires taking a proactive approach to cloud security, including implementing robust access controls, having Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) and Cloud Workload Protection (CWPP), and 24/7 threat detection and response for cloud-based threats. In addition, your organization should also foster a top-down culture of security awareness so every employee understands their role in securing their cloud environments.

Given the cloud's simple yet powerful architecture, rapid deployment capabilities, and ease of use, I’m very confident about its transformative impact on businesses globally.

From my perspective, the cloud presents an alternative path—one that leads to agility, innovation, and scalability.

James Hastings
James Hastings Senior Product Manager

As Senior Cloud Product Manager at eSentire, James Hastings steers the direction of cloud product development, cloud solution integrations, and internal cloud enablement. Prior to joining eSentire, James worked as a Technical Account Manager for Enterprise business at Lacework, where he focused on enabling security at scale for cloud native customers. In previous roles at Alert Logic, James oversaw the introduction of CSPM and other cloud specific technologies, managed global AWS Marketplace sales, and worked as a subject matter expert for all Alert Logic solutions at the enterprise level. James holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Houston where he studied Computer Information Systems, Supply Chain Technology, and Organizational Leadership.

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