How can AI help cloud storage security?

AI can improve cloud storage security through such uses as encryption, storage management and anomaly detection, but admins must consider risks as well.

AI is finding its way into just about every part of IT. With cloud storage specifically, admins can use AI to enhance their security.

AI appears -- at least initially -- well-positioned to provide value to cloud storage assets, such as improved device management, better analysis and reporting of storage performance, and help in identifying potential threats to security. Implement the following best practices with AI to improve the overall cloud storage security experience.

Use AI effectively for cloud storage security

Properly train the AI resources in their roles before use in production. Users should define their cloud storage security criteria for AI, identify the security information it must learn, then program and test the system before it goes into production.

Organizations should encrypt data at rest as well as in transit. While current encryption methods are quite powerful, AI-enhanced encryption algorithms can provide even greater security, especially in cloud storage environments.

AI-based storage management systems can generate automated assistants that provide real-time status reporting of cloud storage operations. They can also act on instructions from the local storage technician to launch specific functions such as creating a performance log or changing cloud storage access parameters. Coordinate such activities with the cloud service provider.

Networks are essential elements of a storage infrastructure that uses the cloud. Train AI technology to identify suspicious code patterns that can suggest a possible security breach locally or within the cloud storage service. Use it for network perimeters that need protection from cyberattacks as well. The AI tool can quickly examine millions of code anomalies and identify potential candidates for remediation.

Admins could also use generative AI (GenAI) to recommend improvements for storage security resources. Coordinate between the cloud service provider and storage team.

Security risks of using AI

Acknowledging that AI is here to stay, storage professionals, especially those using cloud resources, should learn all they can about the technology, how it works and its capabilities, but also the risks. Admins must understand the technology, carefully train it and manage it to maximize its effectiveness, while minimizing its risks.

AI risks applicable to storage technology include the following:

  • Breaches into local and cloud storage systems caused by AI-based hacks.
  • Failure of AI-based systems to perform as needed.
  • Disruption to physical and cloud storage systems from AI-based attacks.
  • Storage performance reports that have flaws caused by GenAI issues.

Examine standards and frameworks that address AI risk. Two current examples to review are as follows:

  • The International Organization for Standardization standard ISO/IEC 23984:2023 -- Information technology; Artificial intelligence; Guidance on risk management -- provides an explanation of risks associated with AI technology and offers guidance on how to deal with them.
  • The National Institute of Standards and Technology has developed its Risk Management Framework for AI systems that helps address risks such as security breaches.

Both documents can help storage processionals understand AI risks and learn how to deal proactively with them, especially when considering cloud storage and its security issues.

Paul Kirvan is an independent consultant, IT auditor, technical writer, editor and educator. He has more than 25 years of experience in business continuity, disaster recovery, security, enterprise risk management, telecom and IT auditing.

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