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Navigating the rising tide of data breaches and AI security risks

Aaron Fulkerson
5 min read

In the current digital age, data and artificial intelligence (AI) have become the most valuable assets to businesses worldwide. They drive decision-making, streamline operations, and create competitive advantages. However, as evidenced by the data breaches that occurred in recent years, these benefits come with significant risks. As businesses become more reliant on data and AI, the risks associated with data breaches and AI-related security incidents are expected to increase. Insufficient data and AI security can lead to severe financial penalties and irreparable damage to a company’s reputation.

The current state of data security

Despite considerable advancements in cybersecurity, data breaches remain alarmingly common. In fact, the frequency and severity of data security incidents have escalated in recent years. This trend is reflected in the growing number of reports on such incidents. Below are some key findings from the past year that underscore the gravity of the situation.

IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach Report reveals that the average cost of a data breach has reached an all-time high of $4.45 million. The report further highlights the following:

  • Breaches spanned various sectors, with the healthcare and financial industries reporting the costliest breaches.
  • On average, organizations took 277 days to identify and contain a breach.
  • Among the record types compromised, customer personally identifiable information (PII) was the costliest and most frequently breached.

The Verizon 2023 Data Breach Investigations Report, which examined over 16,000 security incidents and 5,000 data breaches, offers additional insights:

  • Human elements, such as human error or privilege misuse, contributed to 74% of breaches.
  • Internal threats accounted for 19% of breaches.
  • External actors were responsible for the majority of breaches, making up 83% of the incidents analyzed.
  • Financial motives drove 94.6% of breaches.
  • Ransomware was involved in 24% of breaches.
  • Personal data remains the most often stolen data type in the financial and insurance industry, comprising 74% of the data breached in this sector.

These findings are a stark reminder of the importance of data security. As technologies, particularly ones with AI capabilities, continue to advance, the sophistication of cyberattacks will also evolve. Among the security professionals who observed a rise in cyberattacks over the past year, 85% attribute these attacks to the use of generative AI. This emphasizes the need for a robust data and AI security strategy to prevent the potentially devastating consequences of a breach.

The future of data security: Predictions and preemptive measures

The future of data security and privacy is rapidly evolving. Gartner predicts that by 2025, privacy regulations will cover the personal data of 75% of the world’s population. This means that most people will be protected by laws that regulate the collection and use of personal data. This also implies that businesses will need to comply with a wide range of privacy regulations. Failure to comply could result in harsh penalties and legal consequences.

Moreover, by 2025, it’s anticipated that 60% of large organizations will adopt privacy-enhancing technologies for processing data in untrusted environments and multiparty data analytics. This indicates a growing recognition of the importance of strong data security measures, even in challenging environments and complex use cases.

However, despite these advancements, the risks associated with data breaches and AI-related security incidents are expected to increase. By 2026, fines due to mismanagement of subject rights could increase to over $1 billion. This underscores the financial consequences of failing to adequately protect personal data and respect individuals’ privacy rights.

Furthermore, through 2029, 70% of organizations that experienced exfiltration of conventionally encrypted data during the 2020s might face renewed extortion or ransom demands. This highlights the long-term risks tied to data breaches, as hackers can continue to exploit stolen data years after the initial breach.

Given these predictions, it’s evident that businesses must proactively secure their data and AI processes. A data breach could result in costly expenses involving forensic investigation, remediation, and regulatory fines. Beyond the financial loss, companies can also suffer a loss of customer trust and damage to their reputation, which can cost even more in the long run. As the world becomes more digitally interconnected and the volume of personal data grows, the need for robust data security measures becomes increasingly critical.

Act now to secure your data and AI processes

The risks and potential repercussions of inadequate data and AI security are clear. As businesses increasingly integrate data and AI into their operations, prioritizing the protection of these processes becomes not just a technical necessity, but a business imperative. Doing so will protect their financial interests, maintain their reputation, and foster customer trust.

Opaque’s solutions bolster security awareness and implement protocols to counter cyber threats, providing robust defense mechanisms for organizations grappling with data security challenges. Our solutions not only mitigate external threats but also focus on safeguarding against both unintentional errors and malicious insider activities, addressing the full spectrum of risks that could originate from within a company. The Opaque platform also enables businesses to comply with privacy regulations by keeping data encrypted and secure throughout its lifecycle.

As the digital landscape evolves, organizations must stay ahead by investing in cutting-edge data security and privacy technologies. To find out how to strengthen your AI-driven data workflows, you can request a demo of Opaque today. Let us help you navigate the complexities of data security and privacy, and equip your business to thrive in the digital age.

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