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New AWS service targets data security, genAI feature to come

The cloud provider's new service helps employees within organizations be more productive while securing their work. The vendor will add a generative AI feature in the future.

AWS on Tuesday launched a new no-code service for enterprises to better connect between different SaaS applications while securing their data.

AWS AppFabric is a no-code service that enables IT and security teams to add new capabilities that make their current SaaS and productivity applications work better, AWS said.

The service aggregates and logs data from work management and collaboration apps such as Asana, Slack, Zoom, and office productivity suites like Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace.

AWS AppFabric also includes a generative AI feature that will be available in future releases, the vendor said.

The feature will be powered by Amazon Bedrock, an AWS managed service that gives AWS users access to foundation models from AI startups like AI21 Labs, Anthropic and Stability AI as well as from Amazon through an API. The feature will help customers complete specific tasks, such as creating to-do lists from different applications, talking points and project summaries.

The generative AI feature will use large language models and content from different SaaS applications from an API layer to make suggestions and generate insights across various applications.

Adding Context

The ability to add context to an existing interface or application is a new concept in the market, said Tim Crawford, CIO strategic advisor and founder at AVOA.

While it is more common to have services in which context is provided from a different part of a specific application to the interface, AWS's AppFabric provides context from across multiple applications into a single interface, Crawford said.

For example, with a scheduled Zoom call or meeting, AppFabric can pull contexts from other applications to determine the reason for the call and expose it in the interface to suggest the conversation topics.

"It's using AI to bring together all of this content," Crawford said.

This context-building between applications is similar to how Microsoft's copilots connect to different business applications, though Microsoft's approach is specific to what each copilot does, Crawford said.

By entering this relatively new market in which apps are interwoven, AWS is taking advantage of its data stream and exposing it to a higher level of function, he added.

"It allows them to provide greater insights to data that they already have access to," he added. "Rather than just being an API that says, 'Okay, you can tap into that data stream,' they're taking it a step further and saying, 'Look, we can expose that in an existing interface,' which is something that is relatively new and a new direction for AWS to take."

Data and security

AppFabric automatically provides security and operational data for every connected application, according to AWS.

It's using AI to bring together all of this content.
Tim CrawfordCIO strategic advisor, AVOA

The service is meant to improve organizations' security posture by connecting apps to third-party security tools such as, Netskope, NetWitness, Rapid7 and Splunk, according to AWS. It also uses Open Cybersecurity Schema Framework, an open-source effort by AWS and others in cybersecurity.

Despite trying to appeal to security teams, Crawford said the cloud provider must do more to show its value to the cybersecurity market.

"They've made some good steps forward with that, but I don't think it's as valuable yet," he said.

Crawford added that AWS has been public about how it protects its data streams from its systems and customer data. The vendor says even AWS employees don't have access to customer data.

"On the surface, when you're talking about something like AppFabric and using it for security data flows, there could be a significant hesitation to exposing that kind of data in a broader sense, like AppFabric would need," Crawford said. "Amazon will need to expose more of what they're doing to protect that data to gain customers' confidence to use AppFabric or their security data flows."

AppFabric is generally available now in the U.S., Europe and Asia Pacific.

Esther Ajao is a news writer covering artificial intelligence software and systems.

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