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Leveraging AI for data protection

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Lizelle van der Klashorst, head of iDnA governance, risk and compliance at FNB.
Lizelle van der Klashorst, head of iDnA governance, risk and compliance at FNB.

Organisations must leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in to protect data.

So said Lizelle van der Klashorst, head of iDnA governance, risk and compliance at FNB, speaking at the ITWeb Security Summit 2019. She shared a case study of how FNB is protecting data across complex legacy and modern IT systems.

“One way to better understand data utilisation and security is to apply analytics, data science, and predictive machine learning models for more effective security,” said Van der Klashorst.

While the use of data has become the lifeblood of any business, in terms of performance and competitive advantage, she observed that the pervasive availability and access to data, including very sensitive data, has become a concern, and definite area of focus for companies.

In addition, she said large organisations are faced with a mix of legacy and new systems with high probability of duplication. This poses significant risk from a regulatory compliance perspective that may lead to hefty fines as well as reputational damage if not handled properly.

“Artificial intelligence and machine learning will become increasingly necessary as the volume of data being generated and collected increases, and the need to analyse data becomes a necessity,” she said.

Greater accountability is expected

“The number of businesses that are required to provide some form of security assessment, audit report, or attestation will increase along with general cyber security awareness. Third-party security risks, compliance, and cyber security standards are all growing topics across business industries.”

She pointed out that cyber warfare has become a household term as there has been increase in the attacks on critical infrastructure as well as individuals. “Until the loss of personally identifiable information is controlled, that data will be used for targeted attacks against individuals.”

Van der Klashorst added that more and more organisations will continue to shift their workloads into the cloud as their on-premises systems become end-of-life and they look to leverage the latest technology and tools available.

“As systems are moved to the cloud and as more of today’s workforce shifts to a remote working environment, we’ll see a blurred line of where enterprise data lives and who is responsible for its integrity.

“This presents cyber security challenges as data moves out of the enterprise environment and onto shared systems like mobile workstations and virtual machines.”

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