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Business Strategy • Nov 9th, 2018 • Jessica Kuznia

AI and Cloud Computing Security in Business

Paradoxical or transformational? What is the effect of AI and cloud computing security in business?

2018 has been a big year for artificial intelligence (AI). The UK government alone is currently funding 70 national projects with the aim of launching self-driving cars on the road by 2021. The NHS is investing heavily in new AI to make it easier to diagnose and treat a wide range of illnesses from cancer to heart disease.

With so much investment being poured into this technology, along with increased publicity, public backlash toward the use of AI has also grown. The main concern is whether or not AI will steal jobs and cause mass unemployment. This isn’t unexpected, as most new technology is initially met with suspicion and doubt. After all, people even objected to the use of the printing press! However, the focus on the potential threat of AI as a tool that will take over jobs might have overshadowed a much more present issue with AI: how well are AI systems complying with cloud computing security regulations?

AI & GDPR Compliance

AI is now being implemented and used in a wide range of business processes, from marketing automation to sales prospecting and even accounting. However, with the release of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) earlier this year, many experts have observed that the use of AI is at odds with the new data security regulations. Going through the new GDPR regulations, one can easily see how AI might have some innate cloud computing security issues. GDPR prohibits businesses from storing unnecessary data on individuals. AI systems on the other hand, work by collecting vast amounts of data to try and make sense and find patterns in how customers and workers behave.

AI systems are also not rule based, meaning there is no way of knowing exactly what the outcome of collecting the data will be. This makes it impossible to gain explicit consent for the use of the data before it’s been processed, which is compulsory under GDPR. GDPR also states that individuals have the right to have their personal data deleted. Since AI systems are full of personal data, businesses would need to be able to extract and delete individual information if requested.

This would not only limit the function of your AI system but would be virtually impossible to do.

Conversely, if we consider the cloud computing security of a traditional cloud system, complying with GDPR becomes less of an issue. These systems would only store the data that you need, meaning you’d easily be able to inform clients about what and how data is being used and gain explicit consent. A traditional cloud system would also make it easy to locate and manually delete all data if requested by a client.

AI Vulnerability to Hacking

All computer systems are at risk of potential hacking attacks and AI is no different. However, the risks of threat to AI seem to have been overlooked by a lot of businesses in their excitement to adopt the latest technology. More and more machine-learning scientists are now speaking up on the risks of attacks against AI systems.

The difference between suffering an attack to your regular computer system and your AI system is that an AI attack might be more difficult to discover. This is because AI systems are designed to evolve and learn on their own. It makes it hard to know if something is an abnormality in the system or not.

The AI technology itself might also help the hacker by locating the information for them, rather than having to trawl through hours of data to find what they are looking for. This might minimize their risks of getting caught before getting a hold of the information.

Considerations Before Implementing AI

For big organizations with large data security teams AI security may not be an issue. But for smaller businesses thinking about implementing AI for the first time, they may need to consider their cloud computing security before doing so. Organizations dealing with EU citizens need to make sure the system complies with all GDPR requirements. They must also have security measures in place to protect the system from potential attacks.

More importantly, businesses should consider if they need an AI system at all. Before implementing a new system, they should consider the need and how the technology will be used. For many, making improvements to technology adoption and making more effective use of their current systems will far outweigh the need for AI.

AI technology shows no sign of slowing down just yet, however, only the future will tells us if AI has the ability to transform society as we know it. While AI has the possibility to improve your current business processes it’s not without its risks. Careful consideration of your cloud computing security policy and how your AI technology fits into that is required before implementation and crucial to keeping your business safe.

Not quite yet ready for AI? Don’t worry there is lots of business software out there that can help speed up and streamline your processes with no AI technology needed. You could start by signing up for a cloud CRM system.

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