AI: Data's guardian angel


AI is one of the biggest tech-driven talking points of recent years. It's a debate that also translates into some very big numbers, with the global Artificial Intelligence market predicted to grow in size from $51.08 Billion in 2020 to $641.30 Billion by 2028 in a huge acceleration of investment. For AI, industry hype is increasingly being reflected in reality.

Indeed, organizations across the public and private sectors have already seen widespread benefits, particularly its impact across complex applications such as automation, digital assistance, and data analytics.

Despite the many advantages it offers, AI also brings additional and novel challenges. Consider, for instance, its role in the transfer and management of large volumes of data at high speed, where the danger is that it can be exposed to risk. In particular, AI is playing an increasingly significant role in the use -- and, by definition, the security -- of sensitive data. In this context, data protection plays a key role in ensuring organizations can reap the benefits without exposing data to heightened risk.

With data privacy regulation and enforcement operating with greater reach and impact than ever before, the rush to benefit from AI-powered innovation risks being derailed if it comes at the expense of privacy and security. The problem is, cybersecurity remains a major challenge, with trends such as the distributed workforce model leaving many organizations at greater risk of attack and compromise than ever before.

Data protector

In its role as 'data protector', however, AI can be implemented to create a formidable data management and protection strategy. For instance, AI processes can be used to identify patterns and anomalies that may indicate security or data protection weaknesses in operational processes.

This means AI bots can be employed to identify, route, and manage privacy data, and in doing so, process requests faster and with greater accuracy than traditional methods. It's an approach analogous to that used by AI assistants such as Siri or Alexa to manage complex voice requests. And there's much more. AI can, for instance, be used to manage data classification, such as in the analysis of siloed data stores, or be assigned to compliance tasks as well as to manage and safeguard sensitive data.

The technology can also be applied to eliminate malicious cybersecurity vectors, and it can be effective in safeguarding sensitive data that involves human data handlers or operators. This is because AI can analyze large amounts of data while also identifying any malicious human intervention, helping to keep critical data assets secure.

In addition, AI is playing an increasingly important role in the management of sensitive data -- such as healthcare or financial records -- which can be prone to misuse or is frequently a target for cybercriminals. As a result, its role in managing risk, fraud, and cybersecurity has latterly become a major growth area for AI, as organizations look to build better defenses against increasingly sophisticated cyber attack strategies.

Backup and recovery

Despite considerable progress, AI remains relatively underutilized across data backup and recovery solutions. This is an important consideration because backup typically addresses both critical and sensitive data, as well as applications that are required for daily operations.

But, by applying the power and agility of AI to data protection and management, backup providers are in a good position to further empower organizations to derive value-added insights so data can be used to drive business innovation.

What's more, today's most advanced backup solutions already utilize predictive analytics to enhance the efficiency and speed of IT administrators, and through this, automate tasks that previously consumed valuable human resources and expertise.

As organizations across every sector become increasingly reliant on AI, they must balance the benefits it brings with their responsibility to ensure it is used in a secure and robust way. In doing so, we are much more likely to benefit from a win-win where AI delivers on its potential to benefit commerce and society while also playing an equivalent role in keeping valuable data safe.

Image Credit: Mopic / Shutterstock

Steve Young is UKI Sales Engineering Director at Commvault.

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