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Big data, bigger hassles: How to take control in the AI-era

News Article

With evolutionary approaches in areas of Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, and other cutting-edge technologies, the traditional tenets of data protection and privacy are getting relegated. The frameworks initially introduced as a safety-net for netizens has turned into a benchmark on how enterprises need to handle user data – both identifiable and non-identifiable. India’s Data Protection Act offers significant power to the average consumer but the vastness also poses a major challenge to enterprises.

While legal structures have facilitated for better user privacy rights, the Indian data privacy act is further nuanced. Enterprises now not only have to specify a purpose for collection of data but also establish well-defined and user-accessible controls for minor edits, erasure, and rectification procedures. The policy also adds roles and responsibilities to data fiduciaries and a central authority to ensure data privacy over a wider jurisdiction.

The data-privacy imperative has been documented well in contemporary research. According to an IBM-Ponemon institute study, the average global cost of a data breach increased by 9.4% to $4.5 million in 2023. Besides rising cost, data breach frequency too had increased – cumulatively, 2023 observed 360,000 data breaches globally - an increase of 13% over the previous year. The enterprise challenge therefore only gets murkier - a data-breach would not only invite a steep regulatory fine but also loss of trust among customers. For reference, the penalty in the context of India's Data Protection Act in cases of data breach can come up to Rs 250 crores. An interesting aspect therefore on data privacy proposed by the National Cybersecurity Alliance is to "Take Control of your Data".

Underrated strategies

Prioritizing customer data through a CPaaS platform remains as underrated as basic hygiene. Given how agile businesses are expected to be, the choice to selectively collect, store and transact data is a luxury not meant for the growth-seeking enterprise. The only alternative in such cases could be a holistic approach to customer data management (CDM) built around prioritizing some crucial benchmarks. To most enterprises, there are many underrated strategies that could help do more than just compliance.

A good fundamental approach would be to build strong communication standards enabling control over privacy settings and regular data security scans could make a world of difference. Good CPaaS platforms also enable enterprises to implement stronger 2FA (Two Factor Authentication) protocols as well as endpoint management systems. A CPaaS platform can be a game-changer, but only when the organisation has identified the purpose and realizes the opportunity-cost of the digital landscape.

Tackling newer loopholes

Beyond the rising cost of compliance and complexity of business, enterprises also have the looming risk of new loopholes. To begin with, APIs or Application programming interfaces which have emerged as the mainstay of the internet economy as well as AI-based applications have emerged as top loopholes which could result in data leakage. APIs and internet bridges that connect applications and data appear only convenient but a poorly secured API could be Trojan horse, granting unauthorized access to the data fortress resulting in exposed customer information, reputational damage, and potentially, fines larger than Mount Everest.

Artificial intelligence, lauded for its analytical prowess, can be a double-edged sword when it comes to data privacy. Layering AI on data analysis can unearth valuable insights, but it also exposes previously hidden patterns and correlations within personal information. This newfound knowledge can be exploited by malicious actors, crafting highly targeted attacks with devastating consequences.

The internet economy is onboarding newer revolutions – AI, ML, and newer risks such as deepfakes and newer data breaches. New-age CPaaS partners not only provisioning security on the corporate perimeters but could offer robust security across channels such as SMS, Voice, Email, OTT and even push notifications. Furthermore, smart integration through APIs (CPaasche) video features, location-based services, consumer onboarding, payment processing pages, as well as ERP or CRM tools can be achieved via a CPaaS platform. Beyond identifying the purpose, a good starting point for an enterprise could be to evaluate their CPaaS partners on their maturity level via a comprehensive questionnaire. With the evolution in AI and the internet undergoing a major change, the battle to protect customer data itself is undergoing a tectonic shift. Implementing a robust CPaaS platform is a part, but a holistic solution will always involve the intricacies of finding newer models to confide with your consumer (communicate) and the ability to scale.

Read this article on Dataquest.