How Big Are the AI Security and Privacy Pitfalls?

Enterprise IT has been entrusted with the task of integrating gen AI into their environments, while grappling with emerging security and ethical issues.

Inside the Session

What: Best Practices for Cybersecurity Ethics and Privacy

When: Aug. 6, 1:30-2.45 p.m.

Who:  CIO / CTO / IT Director Omar Valerio

Why: "Cybersecurity, ethics and privacy are like the three main pillars of a Greek building -- each one is necessary to maintain balance and stability."

Find out more about TechMentor @ Microsoft HQ, taking place Aug. 5-9 in Redmond, Wash. Register by June 7 to save $400.

As fast as gen AI technology is evolving, enterprises have been just as speedy to get it integrated in their network. While these new tools have helped workers become more productive, it has raised serious security, privacy and compliance concerns for IT trying to keep up.

To shed some insight in where modern enterprises stand, and what IT should be looking out for when adopting new tech is seasoned CTO, Omar Valerio, who has dealt with the ramifications of integrating AI in an education setting. He sits down with Redmond and shares some of the challenges IT is facing right now, and what potential issues might be coming around with the next iteration of AI.

And to get more insight into how IT can handle emerging privacy issues in the enterprise, join Valerio for his upcoming TechMentor session, "Best Practices for Cybersecurity Ethics and Privacy." This year's TechMentor (taking place at Microsoft headquarters Aug. 5-9) will be here soon, so make your plans and register now! Register by June 7 to save $400.

Redmond: AI is the elephant in a lot of rooms today. How much has the prevalence of AI affected the creation of cybersecurity standards -- especially when it comes to data privacy and ethics?
Valerio: AI has significantly impacted the creation of cybersecurity standards. AI systems are data hungry, which creates privacy concerns and challenges. With the data that AI collects, users lack control over their personal information. A good example is the use of network intrusion detection systems that use AI to monitor user activities. This can lead to excessive surveillance. Trying to balance security with privacy can become a big challenge. One of those challenges is that the system must minimize personal and non-work-related data while still identifying threats. The algorithms can inherit biases from the data they are trained on, leading to ethical dilemmas.

What's your advice for companies that are trying to juggle the need to keep their data private with the need to keep up with new and emerging technologies, as well as with their obligation to stay compliant?
 My advice would be for them to prioritize data privacy. Implement encryption and secure access controls to protect the organization's sensitive data and continuously review logs. To keep up with new and emerging technologies, they should adopt privacy by design, ensuring that privacy is an integral part of their systems. Also, perform quarterly audits, stay informed of the new emerging technologies, and have AI policies to leverage this technology responsibly. Last but not least, seek expert advice if you are unsure how to do this.

" A few words of advice would be to get familiarized with the ethical landscape, stay informed and be proactive."

Omar Valerio

In the intersection between cybersecurity, ethics and privacy, is there one that organizations should prioritize over the others? How would you rank them in order of importance?
In my opinion, they all work hand in hand, and ranking them has no value. The most crucial thing is the understanding that these three key elements are profoundly interconnected and necessary if we are referring to a comprehensive approach to data protection. Cybersecurity, ethics and privacy are like the three main pillars of a Greek building -- each one is necessary to maintain balance and stability. If one is missing or weak, the entire organization is at risk. Organizations should build a culture of understanding all three.

What are some of emerging security threats that organizations should be particularly vigilant about in the coming years -- and how do these threats challenge our traditional understanding of privacy?
As we all know, ransomware is still one of the biggest threats, and it is tough to know what is coming next. I advise organizations to be proactive and build barriers to stop threats. Also, remember that no one is immune to any threats, and our job is to ensure we understand new threats and stay up to date. Make the job difficult for the attackers, and set up monitoring systems to alert us when something gets compromised. Monitor threats that try to cross one of the barriers we have put in place. The most important thing is to understand that threats are becoming the most sophisticated and challenging aspects to our traditional boundaries of data privacy. Privacy is irrelevant if the data is compromised.

A lot of up and coming cybersecurity pros might be struggling with the ethical implications of today's technology, even as they try to become experts at it. Do you have any words of advice for them?
All of the cybersecurity pros are struggling. Technology is evolving so fast. A few words of advice would be to get familiarized with the ethical landscape, stay informed and be proactive. Have a solid moral compass, in other words, a strong sense of right and wrong. Be a continuous learner, be able to collaborate with your team, but most importantly, keep an open mind. Educate yourself to what is out there and what is coming, and communicate threats to your team. Make a firm commitment if you want to be a Cybersecurity Architect. Remember, you are responsible for keeping the data safe and ensuring secure systems for everyone in your organization. Our actions play a crucial role and significantly impact our organization and people's lives.

Learn more about privacy and ethical concerns IT must face live with Omar Valerio at this year's TechMentor. Register by June 7 to save $400.

About the Authors

Gladys Rama (@GladysRama3) is the editorial director of Converge360.

Chris Paoli (@ChrisPaoli5) is the associate editor for Converge360.


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