Recently, we discussed emerging open-source AI threat vectors, including the proliferation of potential open-source threats to private servers and data chains. Today, we’ll take a closer look at the history of AI data governance and discuss whether emerging trends in the marketplace can address them. 

When it comes to data security, AI presents a whole new field of dangers. But despite the high-tech nature of the data protection industry, even leading companies and government agencies are burying their heads in the sand and relying on existing security protocols to manage these threats. Regardless of whether or not your organization is on board with AI, these tools are here to stay. Reports have predicted that the AI market will experience a shocking Combined Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of between 20.1% and 32.9%. As such, data privacy methodologies must pivot to take these AI tools into account.

AI Data Gathering and Security 2013–2023

While the underlying principles of artificial intelligence have existed for a long time, the widespread emergence of usable AI tech is less than a decade old. Depending on your definition, you may consider early algorithms introduced in the 1990s to be a precursor to current machine learning tools, but many experts generally regard 2013 as the origin of usable “deep learning,” as we now know it. 

The primary revolution at this stage was the use of five convolutional layers and three fully-connected linear layers and parallel graphics processing units (GPUs), as well as the introduction of a more efficient rectified linear unit for activation functions. 

The following year, in June 2014, the field of deep learning witnessed another serious advance with the introduction of generative adversarial networks (GANs), a type of neural network capable of generating new data samples similar to a training set. Essentially, two networks are trained simultaneously: (1) a generator network generates fake, or synthetic, samples, and (2) a discriminator network evaluates their authenticity.

2017 saw the introduction of transformer architecture that leverages the concept of self-attention to process sequential input data. This allowed for more efficient processing of long-range dependencies, which had previously been a challenge for traditional RNN architectures. 

Unlike traditional models, which would process words in a fixed order, transformers actually examine all the words at once. They assign something called attention scores to each word based on its relevance to other words in the sentence.

Generative Pretrained Transformer, or GPT-1, was introduced by OpenAI in June 2018. Since then, the program has gone through numerous evolutions. While OpenAI has not disclosed the specifics, it is assumed that the current iteration, GPT-4, has trillions of parameters. 

Emerging Trends in AI Data Security

On the other side of the same coin, some data security companies have already introduced tools utilizing the same AI protocols. These programs utilize the information-gathering and analytical capabilities of machine learning to identify potential threats and suggest courses of action to mitigate them. 

However, it’s important to note that — despite the use of new, powerful machine learning technology — the fundamental premise of this solution is based on a conventional understanding of data security. The system’s proactivity only extends as far as any traditional perimeter security and threat analysis (albeit in a more efficient manner). 

This inherent inadequacy means that even the most sophisticated form of conventionally-minded AI security can (theoretically) be exploited or circumvented by the same means as their predecessors.  

As such, truly addressing all potential threat vectors requires a complete rethink of how secure data governance is handled, rather than applying new technology to existing systems. 

AI-Informed Secure Data Governance 

Though many “leading” commercial tools rely on outdated security structures, a better solution is already available. Unlike traditional data privacy, Zero Trust security provides a proactive method for mitigating attacks. 

The key differentiator between Zero Trust and other, more traditional solutions is letting go of the (incorrect) assumption that sensitive databases can be secured simply by keeping malicious actors out. Rather than rely on a series of firewalls and trust that those with access are legitimately allowed to be there, Zero Trust security gives data the ability to protect itself. 

Following this methodology, Sertainty has redefined how information is protected to ensure data privacy even where firewalls fail. Using cutting-edge protocols and embedding intelligence directly into datasets, Sertainty leverages proprietary processes that enable data to govern, track, and defend itself. These protocols mean that even if systems are compromised, data remains secure. 

With specific regard to emerging AI threats, the core Sertainty UXP Technology empowers data chain custodians to opt in or out of the use of Personal Identifying Information (PII) by AIs like ChatGPT. This ensures that organizations exposed to ChatGPT — as well as their employees and clients — maintain privacy, regulatory compliance, and protection in all scenarios. 

Sertainty UXP Technology also allows developers working with open-source AI programs like those from OpenAI to maintain their own privacy commitments by giving data files the ability to protect themselves and generating repositories of those who approve the processing or those who wish to opt out of data sharing.

Even regulators have taken notice of the shortcomings inherent in today’s cybersecurity paradigm and expressed interest in this new way of approaching data privacy. Prompted by both real and potential dangers, including AI threat vectors, an Executive Order titled “Improving The Nation’s Cybersecurity” has outlined the need for US federal agencies to move toward a zero-trust security model. 

Sertainty Data Privacy 

In the current landscape of trendy tech and buzzwords, concrete solutions are more vital than ever. Sertainty Zero Trust technology enables secure data governance and the training of AI models with a tried-and-true multi-layer security solution.

Sertainty leverages proprietary processes through its UXP Technology that enable data to govern, track, and defend itself — whether in flight, in a developer’s sandbox, or in storage. These UXP Technology protocols mean that even if systems are compromised by AI tools or accessed from the inside, all data stored in them remains secure. 

At Sertainty, we know that the ability to maintain secure files is the most valuable asset to your organization’s continued success. Our industry-leading Data Privacy Platform has pioneered what it means for data to be intelligent and actionable, helping companies move forward with a proven and sustainable approach to their cybersecurity needs.