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Navigating Cybersecurity and Privacy Considerations in Generative AI Adoption

Generative AI, with its promise to revolutionize various industries, also brings forth critical cybersecurity and privacy challenges for organizations. As this technology becomes more prevalent, businesses must be proactive in addressing the following four prominent considerations to protect their data, users, and reputation.Increased Cyber Threats:Generative AI opens up new avenues for cyber threat actors to exploit vulnerabilities and launch sophisticated attacks. Malicious actors can use AI to create advanced malware, personalized phishing emails, deep fake data, and overwhelm security systems. Moreover, businesses utilizing their AI models also face potential risks of exploitation.Mitigating This Risk:Organizations need to prioritize cybersecurity by developing comprehensive incident response plans, conducting risk assessments that account for emerging threats, and making security a top-level priority. Additionally, they should actively identify and counter fraudulent domains that mimic their legitimate ones. To safeguard their own AI models, regular patching of third-party models, bug-fixing of internal models, and employee training on responsible use are essential.Privacy Compliance Generally:The continuous enactment of privacy laws by various states has placed significant obligations on organizations to protect consumer data. Generative AI’s automated decision-making and data processing capabilities have implications on compliance with these laws. Organizations must address disclosure and consent requirements, opt-out rights, and contractual obligations.Mitigating This Risk:A comprehensive understanding of the AI tools used, underlying data sources, relevant laws, and potential impact on consumers is necessary. To ensure compliance, organizations should review terms of use or contracts with AI product providers, prepare appropriate notices and consents, conduct risk assessments, provide opt-out rights, maintain proper recordkeeping, and establish means to review and override the AI tool’s decisions. Special attention should be given if the AI products handle employee data or if the organization is subject to specific industry regulations.Avoiding Blind Spots:Companies must consider the potential use of AI tools by their vendors, as they often carry the obligation to secure consumer consent for such processing. Failure to disclose AI tool usage by vendors may lead to unintended liability for the business.Mitigating This Risk:Before entering into agreements, businesses should gather information about their vendors’ processing methods and AI tool usage, including any opt-out rights exercised by the vendors. During vendor due diligence, questions related to AI tool usage should be included alongside other data processing inquiries.Avoiding Deceptive Trade Practices:Misalignment between an organization’s privacy policy and its actual practices can result in allegations of deceptive trade practices and enforcement actions. Generative AI usage that deviates from stated privacy policies may expose companies to scrutiny.Mitigating This Risk:A multidisciplinary approach involving stakeholders from various groups is necessary to vet and implement generative AI. Organizations should evaluate existing practices, contracts, and privacy policy disclosures to ensure transparency and alignment.By addressing these cybersecurity and privacy considerations, organizations can embrace the transformative potential of generative AI while safeguarding their assets and reputation. Proper preparation and vigilance will enable businesses to harness this innovative technology responsibly and ethically.

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