Security in the Golden Era of AI and IoT
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Security in the Golden Era of AI and IoT

By Carlos Sousa, CISO & IT Risk Manager, Affidea

Carlos Sousa, CISO & IT Risk Manager, Affidea

Digital transformation is having a significant impact on technology, from data-driven decision¬ making to risk management frameworks, cloud adoption, AI, and the massive explosion of Internet of Things. The impact goes far beyond the deployment of new solutions.

AI, Machine Learning as cyber warriors

Latest predictions point to 2020 as the year when the majority of software and app developers will use AI for their products and services. AI will transform the way we work, live, and conduct our businesses. AI and machine learning technologies are about learning user behavior patterns, identifying typical signals, triggers, potential deflections, and existent vulnerabilities.

AI can unceasingly decipher user behavior, use patterns, and all sorts of irregularities. By tracking and analyzing the data and different patterns, an AI-based system can clearly improve three key areas: Prevention and protection, Detection, and Response.

On the flip side, malicious cyber solutions can imitate AI-based algorithms. I believe that companies need to specifically evaluate how AI is used in their products and service portfolios and make sure they implement specific security measures to protect against new forms of attack.

“As part of digital transformation, GDPR harmonizes different data privacy laws across European countries, regulating and protecting individuals’ privacy and empowering them over the use of their personal data. It grants them complete control over who processes this data and in what way.”

The more data that can be consumed, the better AI becomes. Obtaining larger samples of data enables AI to “sound” more human, to be smarter and more accurately predict future decisions.

The challenge is the way GDPR sees the data – it must not be seen like a diesel to engine approach, but as a prized commodity to be used sparingly and only for the benefit of the customer and company.

The largest and most substantive benefit of GDPR to AI is increased data quality, as well as transparency. The European Commission’s primary argument for the positive impact of the GDPR on its AI strategy is stated as - “The principle of accountability enshrined in the GDPR is set to foster the accuracy of data. […] Data quality, as fostered by the GDPR, is crucial.”[1]How is Internet of Things (IoT) impacting the digital transformation pathway?

We have witnessed a massive explosion of IoT, which is making an impact way beyond the deployment of new solutions. IoT is probably the key cause of big shifts in cybersecurity strategies, impacting the concept of boundaries and how to tackle non-standardised environments and privacy.

In the era of IoT, challenges like vulnerability management, identity management, data privacy, encryption, and ensured availability are even more difficult to tackle.

An example of a basic requirement/challenge: – encryption – relying heavily on encryption is not a good fit for all IoT; some devices will not be capable of performing complex encryption and decryption quickly enough to be able to transmit data securely in real-time.

In summary, adopting a multi-layered security-by-design approach to IoT development is essential for securely managing devices, data, and mobile-based IoT apps and services. Ensure that security features are always configured at their most secure settings, including before, during, and after development.

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