For more than 25 years, Grant Asplund has been sharing his insights on how businesses can best protect themselves from sophisticated cyber attacks in an increasingly complex world. As Check Point’s chief evangelist, he travels the world, enthralling audiences with his passionate and relational storytelling at conferences like RSA and Next100 CIOs and in numerous media interviews. Grant was Check Point first worldwide evangelist from 1998 to 2002 and returned to Check Point with the acquisition of Dome9. Grant’s wide range of cyber security experience informs his talks, as he has served in diverse roles, ranging from sales, to marketing, to business development, and to senior management for Dome 9, Blue Coat Systems, Neustar, and Altor Networks. As CEO of MetaInfo, he led its acquisition by Neustar. Grant is the host of the CISO Secrets podcast ( and the Talking Cloud Podcast ( on cloud security.

In this terrific interview, Check Point expert and esteemed industry podcast host Grant Asplund shines a light on emerging trends in the cloud space, shares in-depth insights into tactics and tools that can benefit your business, and provides astute perspectives around the future of cloud and cloud security. Stay ahead of the curve. You can’t afford to miss this!

What are the key trends that you’re seeing across the cloud and cloud security landscape right now?

Cyber security mesh, Zero Trust, and SASE are the three key trends exploding in the marketplace. Cyber security mesh enhances individualized endpoint security for a much more robust defense against threats. Zero Trust ensures rigorous identity verification for each and every transaction or data access. And SASE integrates network and security functions to enable and support dynamic secure access.

What has become most challenging for CISOs to contend with? 

CISO’s are wrestling with identity management and machine identity lifecycle, cloud API security, and hybrid cloud complexity.

What corresponding actions or investments would you recommend that CISOs make?

For identity management, be sure to have and enforce least privilege access. Implement strong authentication protocols. Perform regular access reviews. For API security, apply end-to-end encryption and regularly update API security protocols. Hybrid cloud complexity requires a unified security framework and virtually demands the use of cloud security management platforms. As for machine identity lifecycle, CISO’s should implement machine identity management solutions and mandate frequent security audits for machines.

Could you speak to unified security solutions for the cloud?

With every cloud platform you adopt, be it AWS or Azure or Google or Oracle, the complexities multiply. And that’s not even getting into the sheer pace of change, as each provider is constantly evolving their services. Can you afford not to have a unified security strategy that keeps pace with such velocity?

Your thoughts on the impact of AI and ML on cloud security and associated benefits, challenges and/or trade-offs? 

The technological landscape is constantly evolving and your organization’s defense strategy against cyber threats should be no different. By engaging with advancements in AI, cloud security and ML, you are no longer just responding to threats; you are anticipating them. The implementation of machine learning protection methods provides an edge, enabling your systems to learn the behaviors associated with potential risks and to adapt to them. It’s an exciting time, where cloud defense automation is not just a buzzword, but a resilient shield against multifaceted cyber attacks.

Whether you’re in finance, retail, energy, or any other industry embracing digital transformation, the powerhouse combination of AI and ML stands to revolutionize your security measures. From fraud detection to optimizing complex operations, harnessing the potential of AI in cyber security means giving your business the upper hand on a battlefield that is becoming increasingly sophisticated. No longer are we in an age of passive defenses; the proactive capabilities of these technologies are crafting a future where machine learning protection is the cornerstone of cyber defense.

Embracing AI-based cyber security is a game-changer in cloud computing. With threats evolving at a rapid pace, integrating AI-driven threat detection and anomaly detection can significantly bolster your cloud infrastructure’s defenses.

Is there anything else that you would like to share with the Cyber Talk audience?

Thank you! Anyone interested in being my guest on Talking Cloud, please reach out.