Last updated: Cloud data protection: Balancing AI innovation with security

Cloud data protection: Balancing AI innovation with security

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Across industries, the buzz around generative AI is inescapable. Conversations around AI among business professionals increased by an astounding 70% over the past year, according to a recent LinkedIn report.

But as business leaders plan ways to put gen AI to work in their digital transformation, the technology raises ethical and cloud data protection issues.

For example, a survey conducted by PWC indicated that 69% of senior executives will use gen AI for cyber defense in the next 12 months.

Using gen AI-tools to analyze emails and messages for malicious code and phishing attacks brings up questions about using data for training models and potential leaks.

How can businesses harness the full power of AI while safeguarding sensitive data?

Innovation and data protection risks

Organizations should recognize that digital transformation projects carry risks that must be evaluated in order to maximize the opportunities associated with their data.

A low-risk approach may seem like better data protection and security, but it can hamstring an organization’s ability to address internal and external customer requirements and unlock the value of the data.

In some cases, it may even lead to shadow IT projects with uncontrolled data sharing, potentially feeding the large language models behind gen AI.

Although done with good intentions, the consequences of your data turning up in the results of a gen AI conversation can be very harmful to your company and its reputation.

Ultimately, the key to harnessing the full power of AI while safeguarding sensitive information lies in choosing a cloud provider that not only understands these data protection intricacies, but also prioritizes them.

Cloud data protection: Maximizing opportunity, reducing risk

Cloud delivery options enable you to manage and protect your data in accordance with local and global laws, and regulations. There are flexible options to meet your internal needs for security and your risk appetite.

From public cloud and hybrid cloud to private and sovereign clouds, organizations have a range of options for driving innovation, regulatory compliance, and security.

Depending on your risk preference, for some data processing scenarios, you’ll need a cloud that might be less feature rich but has additional security controls. But in other cases, a standard public cloud offering might provide greater flexibility at a lower cost.

It also could be that your risk appetite can evolve if certain conditions are met, such as where data is hosted or how encryption keys are controlled with the result that greater value can be extracted from that data.

SAP helps customers transform their systems and processes within their technology boundaries to maintain security, compliance, and governance of data in the cloud.

Examples of cloud types for every data protection and compliance need

Whether it’s adhering to regional data storage laws, meeting stringent government standards, or ensuring industry-specific certifications, there’s a cloud to meet your needs.

Here are examples of how different types of clouds help businesses meet their goals while maintaining data securely and adhering to regulatory requirements:

  1. An EU-based company needs contractual commitments that data will be stored and processed within its region: Private and public cloud solutions with EU access controls.
  2. A US government entity that requires FedRAMP Moderate and Department of Defense (DoD) level compliance: Public services and industry-tailored cloud services such as SAP NS2.
  3. Industry-specific local certifications such as Health Data Hosting in France or country specific audits such as BSI C5 in Germany: Public and private cloud solutions with EU access controls.
  4. A public services organization needs solutions that have been assessed and audited to local requirements and run by security cleared personnel sitting in the countries of Australia, New Zealand, UK, and Canada: Sovereign cloud.

Flexible, resilient, compliant and secure

Organizations that make the right cloud choice can navigate the complexities of the modern digital landscape with confidence. They also can establish a resilient defense against ever evolving cyber threats, safeguarding their most golden asset, data.

In doing so, they not only protect their data, but foster an environment where AI and digital transformation can flourish responsibly and ethically.

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