​Self-healing security; how cloud is enabling the new active defense approach

Ther cloud is the latest to benefit from AI oversight.

When the cloud was first introduced several years ago, the business world was in awe of the potential it presented but also perplexed at how to harness it. From faster services to better agility and cost savings, the technology revolutionised how people work and businesses functioned.

Despite being a daunting prospect when first considered, the cloud has now been in market long enough that we know the value it brings. Armed with this knowledge, Australian companies are some of the most cloud-open businesses across Asia.

That being said, there are still some industries hesitant to migrate their infrastructure to the cloud due to concerns around security, affordability and data sovereignty.

This thinking is right in many regards. While the security alongside technology has matured significantly over the past few years, it isn’t something to be taken lightly or without consideration, especially in the cloud.

Security in all its forms is a complex and advanced subject. But regardless of continuous developments in the area, it’s not something an organisation can simply slap on, install, run and expect a force field to appear… yet.

While we once had to rely on a limited set of physical security solutions to safeguard an organisation’s data, the advancement of cloud is changing the security game and giving organisations the ability to meet and mitigate threats head on in a new way.

As the cloud has developed so too has its capabilities. Big data has enabled technology to track and predict needs based on real time data, such as market sentiment. In turn, it allows the collection and analysis of data from day-to-day cyber attacks. This enables security teams to constantly add new layers of protection where they perceive faults may be found and to predict where faults and weaknesses may appear.

As a result, the industry is now introducing ‘self-healing security’ to their defences - the new frontier in security management.

The concept of self-healing technologies has been around for decades but it’s only in recent years with the prominence of technologies like the cloud that it has become a true and exciting possibility.

Self-healing security is ability to predict what might happen and put action into play to mitigate that issue before it takes place, or at least the second it does.

In other words, by using the copious amount of both historical and real-time data and by tracking attacks and vulnerabilities, technology is now able to pre-empt issues and create fixes for situations based off previous patterns. The solution is then ready for deployment the instant the issue actually occurs or in some cases, it stops the event from taking place at all.

It’s nothing new in terms of thinking, but it’s the rapid, automated pace at which this action can take place thanks to the cloud that makes ‘self-healing security’ an exciting new reality.

What’s more, with the rate of technology development constantly increasing, the strength of self-healing technology is also growing daily.

A great example of this in action is the self-repairing aircraft wings that debuted in London last year. A team of British scientists produced wings that can fix themselves in the early signs of damage by recognising the first symptoms of an issue and then releasing a sealant to prevent further damage.

When putting it into use, the team considered dying the sealant so that it appeared like a bruise on the wing. This allowed for the issue to be addressed easily once the plane had touched down. The scientists behind the idea said they took inspiration from the human body when considering how to build the product.

With scalability and disaster recovery already key advantages of the cloud, this next frontier of technology development will further ensure continuity and resilience, particularly for those industries yet to make the leap.

This advanced approach to managing threats is now hot on the agenda of all good cloud providers and a core part of any security management brief.

For a platform once deemed risky and daunting, its advantages are now leaping ahead of many traditional legacy technologies.

Angus Dorney is general manager and senior director, Rackspace Australia and New Zealand

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Angus Dorney

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