Across over 25,000 cloud services, each enterprise generates more than three billion events per month, including uploads, logins, shares, edits, etc. About 21 percent of the files in the cloud contain sensitive data.

On average, an enterprise experiences 12.2 incidents of stolen account credentials stored in the cloud, per month.

Cisco’s 2018 Annual Cybersecurity Report examined trends and patterns in data theft, data loss, and other issues. The report revealed that 32% of security leaders are completely dependent on artificial intelligence  (AI) to protect their sensitive corporate information.

There is no doubt of how beneficial cloud and AI platforms are to businesses. In fact, their benefits go beyond businesses alone, with personal users backing up emails and other personal information in the cloud. However, the dependence on these platforms opens the data to a number of vulnerabilities.

A recent report, The Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence: Forecasting, Prevention, and Mitigation, indicates that cybercriminals are increasingly using AI for their own immoral gain. Also, several major data breaches have occurred over the years.

There seems to be a race now, between cybercriminals and enterprises, to make the better use of AI and cloud platforms — the former seeks to exploit these platforms while the latter tries to protect everything from business management to network endpoints.

Security challenges with cloud and AI services

Cloud and AI platforms have helped enterprises of all sizes achieve data efficiency. These innovations have not only increased their operational efficiency, but also have cut down their information technology (IT) costs significantly. From helping organisations deliver faster, better, and cost-efficient results, to effectively managing their results, cloud services and AI have been a boon for enterprises.

However, with any boon comes challenges. Among AI applications in cybersecurity, the arrival of Bots or intelligent assistants to improve the accuracy and speed of data analysis is welcomed. As cloud computing continues to disrupt IT (Information Technology), the availability of machine learning capabilities and powerful algorithms address the shortage of security expertise. Nevertheless, such solutions for the security of data architecture and management bring unique challenges.

Here are four ways to master security with cloud and AI platforms:

1. Establish strong cloud governance policies

For preventing data breaches and maintaining the utmost security with cloud computing and AI, effective policies should be in place. Serve your clients as an authoritative security advisor to help them understand their regulatory compliance obligations, vulnerabilities of their data assets, and their data protection needs.

With these critical steps, you can develop and communicate cloud data security policies with your client that will keep their information safe in the cloud.

2. Encrypt sensitive data

Encryption technologies exist on the front line to ensure security with cloud platforms. Paired with a strong security policy that mandates encryption keys, encryption of sensitive data fulfills many compliance requirements. It also ensures that data is unreadable even if stolen or leaked without proper permissions.

Encryption services are steadily growing in popularity, in the wake of increasing data breaches and government spying. Analyse your clients’ requirements and recommend the best and most effective encryption technologies.

3. Educate your employees

Educate your employees about proper security practices and ways to minimise cloud security threats. Involve the entire workforce so that they take proper ownership of their responsibilities regarding security measures. Provide security training and set up a response protocol for the users of cloud platforms within your organisation.

Run security tests and invest in tools that allow sending simulated phishing emails to check if your workforce is able to take appropriate action in the given scenario.

4. Get a secure data backup plan

With the growing maturity of cloud and AI platforms, the possibility of permanent data loss increases. Employees can cause data leaks maliciously or inadvertently, which poses serious concerns.

For this reason, organizations should back up their policies and encryption strategies that can detect malicious attempts or potential threats, while providing insights into employee activities. Ensure that you have a full and secure data backup to protect and preserve your business data.

Final words

Today, customers are aware of the price of their private information. Businesses can ill-afford to gain a reputation for showing little regard for data security.

Enterprises should develop a security platform that allows them to implement consistent data protection policies across cloud and AI platforms. IT managers should distribute data and applications across the organization for extra protection, as well as strictly follow best practices in off-site storage, daily data backup, and disaster recovery.

Having a better understanding of how to protect from the cloud and AI security threats, you make a more informed decision about IT infrastructures. A proactive approach towards these technologies helps to refine individual security to manage risks more effectively.