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Cohesity Turing aims AI tools at backup and ransomware

Backup supplier continues to enrich its ecosystem with more artificial intelligence for backup and ransomware, with chat-like reporting functions and new security partners in its alliance

Backup product maker Cohesity has announced a number of artificial intelligence (AI)-focused partnerships and a bundling of AI tools for ransomware detection and remediation in Cohesity Turing.

The partnership aspect centres on integration with Google’s Vertex AI platform, which joins Microsoft Azure Open AI as an option for its customers.

At its Catalyst virtual conference, it also announced the addition of Netskope, ServiceNow and Zscaler to its partners in the Data Security Alliance.

Core to the use of AI for Cohesity is to train the ability to question, report on and analyse customer backups and their stored data. That extends to the use of AI as a means of protection again ransomware, such as being able to detect anomalous activity and report on the impacts of any attacks.

Mark Molyneux, EMEA chief technology officer at Cohesity, said: “What we’re talking about is the extension of an ecosystem to help customers leverage AI to search, categorise and classify data. With ransomware, that becomes the ability to understand the context of the attack.

“It’s about customers developing AI in a responsible and governed way to create language modules and question processes.”

Cohesity’s base offer is around data protection. AI capability presents the opportunity to improve the ability to recover data and automate the movement of data, for example, to more secure formats and locations. The ability of AI to question datasets allows for threat hunting, detection and the creation of push alerts.

Molyneux said the AI used is kept up-to-date via Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG) to ensure the language model is fresh.

“Anything that’s in Cohesity is added into the pool and allows it to ask intelligent questions, such as locating PII [personally identifiable information] data. Also, the idea is that instead of using scripts to run and report on backup jobs, the AI will generate more human-readable reporting, giving answers to what happened, but also when, why, what it requires to fix it, what data is affected, timescales for recovery, and recoverability of particular data,” added Molyneux.

“It allows for a different perspective, with risk-, brand- and cost-weighted views,” he said.

Cohesity’s AI functionality works on-premise and in the cloud, and is accessible via its own and cloud providers’ marketplaces.

The Data Security Alliance was announced in November 2022 and includes BigID, Cisco, CyberArk, Mandiant, Okta, Palo Alto Networks, PwC UK, Qualys, Securonix and Splunk. To these are added Netskope, ServiceNow and Zscaler.

Cohesity’s momentum towards AI-driven functionality mirrors developments across the backup space – and beyond, of course – in the application of machine learning to discovery, detection, reporting, and so on, of disruption to data protection and threats such as ransomware.

That’s driven by the growing complexity of data that must be protected, classified, recovered and reported on, with multicloud and hybrid cloud operations a daily reality, along with containers and microservices and the requirement for backup to adapt to protect data generated and stored during the complexity of such operations.

Of the new partners, Netskope’s Intelligent Security Service Edge platform provides AI-powered visibility and control of sensitive data across web, software-as-a-service (SaaS) and private apps; ServiceNow brings incident data from Cohesity into a structured response engine that uses workflow automation to prioritise and resolve threats; and Zscaler brings zero-trust protection with user authentication and access controls.

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