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Zoho 2021 Predictions: AI trends to transform data security and process optimization

vmblog 2021 prediction series 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2021.  Read them in this 13th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

AI trends to transform data security and process optimization

By Ramprakash Ramamoorthy, Director of AI Research, Zoho Corporation

With COVID-19 disrupting former methods of business and most companies going fully or partially remote, data security has become an issue. With data no longer being stored within specific network and device parameters, business data has been left exposed and at risk. This is where AI will play an important role in 2021. Advanced AI technology will help enable data security by detecting potential threats and data breaches before they happen.

AI for data security

In the past, traditional cybersecurity systems had been rule-based, but today those systems are proving inadequate in securing data and protecting users from attacks. In the next year, AI will take available data and augment the rules with trend patterns to detect potential security risks. For example, multiple failed login attempts on a Monday morning at 9 am could be viewed as normal. The same failed login attempts on a Saturday at 3 am could be seen as an indicator of a security attack. With AI embedded in data security, suspicious activity like this will be flagged. Smart AI will become more common in tracking activity and learning from patterns to detect security issues and combat sophisticated phishing and hacking attacks. With AI setting thresholds becoming more sophisticated, 2021 will see breaches minimized thanks to more proactive security systems. 

AI's effect on privacy

While AI will play a critical role in cybersecurity in 2021, it could hurt user privacy at the same time. Personal data is embedded in everything from search engines to social networks to business applications and beyond. AI erodes all data boundaries, which allows it to make powerful predictions while simultaneously being very intrusive to user privacy. With business software including more surveillance elements, businesses risk their data and secrets being revealed. Additionally, if your business software has surveillance elements, you could be risking confidential data being leaked. That being said, businesses should up their privacy policies and educate themselves on their third-party tools and integrations. On the flip side, the fight against privacy is gaining traction, and government regulations are becoming more strict on protecting data security. Currently, the AI research community is investing in techniques such as differential privacy and confidential computing to enable privacy-first AI techniques.

Embedded AI for business optimization

Besides data security risks, the shift to remote work has forced companies to become more digitized rapidly. With so much more data generated from the efforts, the need for AI tools has become a necessity. In 2021, expect to see AI embedded into new and existing roles and workflows. AI will optimize everything from driving to helping businesses sell more. While AI will play a role in augmenting jobs for efficiency, it will never eliminate our jobs. Rather, AI will benefit us from helping us drive better, sell better, and even hire more effectively. AI will develop to become more of a powerful resource for businesses to do more, grow more, all while being more effective. The future will be a combination of AI and humans working together rather than competing.  

AI for process optimization

The benefits of AI in the next year will mostly come from process optimization and revenue maximization. AI will touch business software and redefine what is possible from an optimization standpoint. In the not too distant future, some AI capability will be embedded in virtually every piece of business software, and it might cease to be a huge differentiator. 
 
We'll see AI stepping up in virtually every aspect of business software in the coming year. At the same time, AI will have an emphasis on data protection from both a business perspective and a legal one. Data breaches have increased and they're costing businesses more than just money. With the power of AI, we'll see malware detection, root cause analysis, outage prediction, adaptive authentication, and more. As AI becomes more common in business software, we can expect the effects to be revolutionary for most businesses.  

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About the Author

Ramprakash Ramamoorthy 

Ramamoorthy has been instrumental in setting up Zoho's AI platform, which currently serves over one billion requests per day, and is growing rapidly. He is a passionate leader and enthusiast for emerging technologies.

Published Tuesday, December 01, 2020 7:31 AM by David Marshall
Comments
VMblog 2021 Industry Experts Video Predictions Series - Episode 1 : @VMblog - (Author's Link) - January 13, 2021 9:56 AM
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