The Evolving Landscape of Cloud Security: Our Predictions for 2024

The Evolving Landscape of Cloud Security: Our Predictions for 2024

In the ever-shifting realm of cybersecurity, where innovation and uncertainty intertwine, the year 2023 has been nothing short of chaos. As the dark underbelly of AI-powered threats surfaces, and court rulings redefine the consequences of security failures, the security industry stands at a pivotal juncture. CISOs face jail!

The SolarWinds ruling and the Uber Breach have already reshaped the security landscape, propelling CISOs into the spotlight. Governments now seek to make examples of security leaders, reinforcing the urgency of fortifying digital defenses.  

As the year closes, we took some time to reflect on how cybersecurity has evolved and what that means for the year to come. I've asked my colleagues for their input on what to expect in 2024, with the aim of bringing greater stability in the coming year.

An evolving threat landscape demands evolving security measures

Our CISO, Moshe Weis, pointed out three key threats that emerged in 2023 that will impact and influence security teams in 2024.  

Unsurprisingly, he shared that AI-Powered threats and mitigation were top of mind. He said that in 2023, we saw the increasing adoption of AI in both offensive and defensive cybersecurity strategies. This trend will intensify in 2024, with AI-driven threat actors becoming more sophisticated and organizations deploying advanced AI-driven security measures. The industry has and will continue to recognize the importance of staying ahead of these evolving threats through behavioral analytics, anomaly detection, and ethical AI practices.  

The democratization of access to AI has made the need for AI trust, risk and security management even more urgent and clear. Organizations will also need to examine AI trust, risk and security management in the next year, and they will need to evaluate the AI model its application governance, fairness, reliability, robustness, security and data protection.  

The attack surface of Gen AI is all over the AI lifecycle – starting with the development ending with runtime. Therefore, security leaders will have to include in their security programs solutions and techniques for model monitoring, data and content anomaly detection, AI data protection, model management and operations, attack resistance and AI-specific application security.

He also pinpoints that data privacy concerns gained significant attention in 2023, and the momentum behind this trend will only grow stronger in the year ahead. As privacy regulations become more stringent, and user data protection gains prominence, organizations are intensifying their efforts to navigate this complex landscape. They are not only focusing on compliance but also enhancing data security through encryption, robust access controls, and data anonymization.  

Lastly, he pointed out that supply chain security continued to emerge as a major concern in 2023 and will deepen next year. He acknowledged that cyberattacks targeting the supply chain have the potential to disrupt businesses and even national security. As a result, organizations are increasing their efforts to assess and strengthen their supply chain security, recognizing the need for robust vendor risk management practices and continuous monitoring to address these growing risks.  

He further added that as these threats intensify, it underscores the industry's commitment to staying ahead of the ever-evolving threat landscape. In 2024, cybersecurity professionals will be challenged not only to adapt but also to innovate and proactively secure their organizations against these dynamic and persistent threats.

Prioritizing and remediation: Defending against the continuous threat exposure  

As the threat landscape evolves so does the enterprise attack surfaces, and it continues expanding far beyond what most effective patch management programs can cover. The time has come for a forward-looking defense strategy that requires modernization of the assessment tool portfolio. These tools must not only inventory patchable and unpatchable exposures, but also prioritize findings based on what an attacker could really do. To achieve that, they must validate the reality of the exposure based on the ability to penetrate existing security defenses.

Gilad Elyashar, Aqua’s CPO confirms these thoughts, “Remediation is where the market is going. Attacks are on the rise. Attackers can spin up in the cloud, and in an hour's time they can attack your environment. How quickly the threat can be identified, the risk prioritized when it gets through, where to find it and how to stop it is what the market is asking for in cloud security solutions.”

He acknowledges that not every business is at the same level of risk maturity, but he does see the market pivoting this past year in the understanding that visibility tools are not enough. They provide a level of value in identifying the risk, but they do not stop attacks. With many attackers circumventing these tools capabilities, as was confirmed in this year's Aqua Nautilus threat report, the conversations happening amongst CISOs now are about reducing the attack surface. This shifts the conversation to not only seeing and blocking what is trying to get in but to stopping and responding to the things that do.

Partners navigate advanced cybersecurity and the constraints of tightening budgets  

What does all of this mean for our partners? I asked Jeannette Lee Heung, Senior Director, Global Channel and Ecosystems about this. She anticipates 2024 to be a juncture where partners must navigate the intersection of heightened demand for advanced cybersecurity and the constraints of tightening budgets.  
A noticeable trend is the acquisition of appropriate tools by customers to address their company's challenges.

Despite customers recognizing the necessity of these tools, a prevalent challenge persists - finding the personnel with the requisite skills or expertise to fully leverage the technology they have invested in.  
Looking ahead to 2024, it is evident that numerous partners will be channeling investments into advisory and consulting services tailored to address specific customer needs. This foresight is driven by the recognition that the services market is poised for continued expansion.  

As traditional partners are heavily reliant on the transactional model of reselling, they are at a crossroads. In response to the evolving landscape, they are likely to explore strategic options such as mergers, acquisitions, or forging partnerships with specialized services companies. This strategic shift is essential for bridging the gap between sustaining revenues and meeting the evolving needs of customers in the dynamic cybersecurity landscape.

A few final thoughts as 2024 approaches  

I will leave everyone with one last prediction. As cloud usage expands, more and more organizations will have to find the balance between cost, effectiveness, value and security. To do that, more and more CISOs together with CIOs will look for consolidated platforms that can help people like me manage cloud spend, security posture, asset configuration management, quality and cost optimization. This is one prediction I am looking forward to living.  

As we look ahead to 2024, the security world is on the cusp of major advancements – both good and bad. I hope we are wrong on some of them, particularly as it relates to weaponization of AI, though early signs suggest the opposite. Embracing these predictions will help you plan robust security measures - essential for organizations in an increasingly complex and dynamic digital environment. By staying informed and adopting innovative security solutions, businesses can navigate the evolving landscape of cloud native technologies with confidence. 

 

 

Michal Lewy Harush

Michal has 15 years of successful experience building and leading information services and strategy for global organizations. She focuses on bridging the gap between business and technology to combine high impact customer solutions and delivery with meaningful business results. She currently serves as the Chief Information Officer at Aqua Security where she leads and oversees information security and product security implementation within Aqua. Prior to joining Aqua, Michal was the Global CIO & Head of Procurement at Tufin and CIO at Gett. She also held leadership roles at Outbrain and Amdocs.