The year 2023 has witnessed a growing concern over data privacy in the realm of cybersecurity. Consumers have become increasingly vigilant about how their information is collected and utilized, especially with the emergence of new technologies like AI that bring forth fresh risks.
At the forefront of the push for data privacy within organizations are Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs). In a constantly evolving environment, security leaders are consistently searching for IT solutions that will bolster customer confidence and ensure compliance with regulations. They understand all too well that failing to do so can lead to catastrophic consequences.
Looking ahead to 2024, CISOs will need to adapt to an array of new risks, with AI development and use being one of the chief concerns. AI presents novel challenges for cybersecurity, and regulators are taking notice. Recently, EU lawmakers agreed on the core elements to regulate AI, mandating that foundational AI models comply with transparency obligations and banning certain uses of AI. Additionally, the California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA) released a draft regulatory framework around “automated decision-making technology,” giving Californians the right to opt out of having their data used in AI models.
With AI set to be integral to long-term innovation across various sectors, CISOs must find ways to address the privacy risks associated with AI use, both internally and by external partners. It is essential for CISOs to recognize the existing limitations and emphasize the importance of discovering and monitoring the use of AI in their respective organizations. Rather than succumbing to the illusion of control, CISOs should leverage traditional tools to enhance efforts at discovery and monitoring. Data mapping and detection can assist cybersecurity teams in pinpointing where AI is being used within their organization and preventing the proliferation of shadow IT.
In addition to the challenges posed by AI, CISOs will also need to grapple with the evolution of data privacy regulations and enforcement. These dynamics continue to evolve, with an increase in data subject access requests (DSARs) serving as an indicator of consumers’ growing concern about the handling of their personal data. CISOs must proactively consider how to efficiently respond to consumer demands for data transparency, whether through automated processes or other means, in order to avoid fines stemming from regulatory violations and bolster consumer trust.
Furthermore, CISOs themselves will face greater scrutiny in the upcoming year. The weight of their responsibilities often results in burnout, dismissal, and legal consequences in the event of data breaches or cyberattacks. To retain and attract top talent, it is anticipated that CISOs will demand higher compensation and better indemnification guarantees while seeking an elevated profile within their organizations.
Looking at the broader cybersecurity landscape, it is evident that data privacy and the role of CISOs will continue to be at the forefront of discussions in the coming year. As technology continues to advance, so too will the challenges associated with protecting sensitive information, making it imperative for CISOs to remain proactive and adaptive in their approach to safeguarding data privacy.
About the author:
Daniel Barber, cofounder and CEO of DataGrail, has been a key figure in the data privacy sphere, leading revenue teams at various companies before building DataGrail in response to growing concerns over personal data collection and usage. His insights on data privacy have been featured in leading publications and security and privacy-focused outlets.
As the cybersecurity landscape continues to evolve, the role of CISOs and the challenges they face will undoubtedly remain a focal point in the ongoing conversation surrounding data privacy and security.