Cloud Infrastructure Security

Organizations Are Anxious About And Committed To GenAI, Palo Alto Report Finds

Expert Insights interviews Sai Balabhadrapatruni, VP of Marketing for Prisma Cloud at Palo Alto Networks.

Sai Balabhadrapatruni, VP of Marketing for Prisma Cloud

Organizations are anxious about AI, but committed to adopting the technology, according to the latest State of Cloud-Native Security report from Palo Alto Networks. 

To discuss the report, we caught up with Sai Balabhadrapatruni, VP of Marketing for Prisma Cloud at Palo Alto Networks. You can listen to our full conversation on the Expert Insights Podcast.

The Big Picture: According to Palo Alto Networks’ 2024 The State of Cloud-Native Security report, 50% of organizations are investing more than $10 million annually in cloud services in order to drive digital transformation and expansion. 

Unfortunately, with so many organizations depending on cloud services, it comes as little surprise that the cloud is the dominant attack surface today, with 80% of medium, high, and critical exposures found in cloud-hosted assets.

The Key Takeaways: There are three main takeaways from this year’s State of Cloud-Native Security report, says Balabhadrapatruni. Organizations are anxious about, yet committed to AI; too many organizations are still manually reviewing their infrastructure for data leaks; and cloud complexity continues to be a critical issue—one that can only be solved with a platform-based approach.

  • “For the first time, 100% of survey respondents agreed that AI is there to stay in their environments; it’s being actively used everywhere. But nearly half of respondents said that they were very concerned about the use of AI and AI-generated code in their environments. So, there is an interesting balance between innovation and security.” 
  • “Data security has been top of mind for most security teams over the last decade. But nearly half of the organizations we surveyed […] —even today, in the age of cloud, AI, and data—are still using manual reviews to figure out if there is sensitive data leakage.”
  • “Almost 93% of respondents said that they are looking for a solution that gives them the ability to take immediate action. They were interested in not just discovering and prioritizing issues, but the ability to take action against those issues as quickly as possible.”

Where Is Cloud Security Headed? Looking to the future of cloud security, we should expect more organizations to take a platform-based approach to security, says Balabhadrapatruni. This will help solve each of the three challenges outlined above by increasing confidence in the security of AI-generated code, eliminating manual reviews, and reducing cloud complexity. 

  • “Using a lot of point products—both on the development side and the operation side—effectively creates the silos where information and context are lost as they’re exchanged. A platform approach effectively mitigates that scenario. It brings together development teams and security teams in one place, so they can collaborate with each other and more importantly, address the security issues in the most effective fashion.
  • “The ongoing struggle with tool sprawl is a reflection of the dynamic threat landscape. Software teams are introducing more and more services, and security teams are embracing these point products to address [evolving, advanced threats]. But this is creating more and more silos.”

Final Advice: Balabhadrapatruni has four key pieces of advice for IT teams that want to improve the security of their cloud environments:

  • “Have a very clear strategy around your data security. This is very important, especially in the age of AI. Since data and AI go hand in hand together, it’s critical that you can define how sensitive data is being protected, wherever it is located.” 
  • “Take a secure by design approach as you migrate into the cloud. It doesn’t matter how you essentially deploy your applications—whether it is a lift and shift strategy or more of a cloud native approach—having a secure by design approach will help a lot in making sure that your migration is successful.” 
  • “Foster that collaboration between developers and security teams. Having a collaborative workflow in place will not only help make sure that the applications can scale and be deployed in the cloud, but also stay secure. 
  • “When you move into the cloud, you’re already embracing a platform approach; the larger cloud security service providers all take a platform-based approach, and this has been successful. Why not [do the same] for security? Taking a platform approach essentially guarantees that, as your journey into cloud matures, all the security issues or challenges you will face are taken care of by the platform.”

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