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Gen AI Enhancing Data Security and Privacy in India, Infogain CISO shares insights with ObserveNow

According to a blog post released by Resecurity, an American cybersecurity firm, revealed that personally identifiable information of 815 million Indian citizens, such as Aadhaar numbers and passport details, is being sold on the dark web. It states that the data is being offered for $80,000 and has been verified as authentic. The sellers of this data claim it was obtained from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), which faced around 6,000 cyber-attack attempts last year. The critical need to bring in strong cybersecurity measures and traditional techniques are finding it hard to keep up with the constantly evolving cyber threats.

This is where Artificial Intelligence (AI) proves to be transformative. AI goes beyond merely detecting threats; it aims to create a cybersecurity framework in India that can withstand future challenges. The integration of AI with blockchain technology can provide tamper-resistant data storage, significantly enhancing defenses against hackers.


By leveraging advanced encryption and authentication methods, anomaly detection, and dynamic risk assessment, Gen AI enhances data security while preserving privacy. These AI-driven approaches not only provide innovative solutions for protecting sensitive information but also promote collaborative threat intelligence sharing and ethical governance, ensuring accountability and respect for individual rights. This comprehensive approach underscores the potential of Gen AI to safeguard citizen data in an increasingly interconnected world. In this regard, Siddharth Mala, Correspondent, ObserveNow interacted with Ravinder Arora, Global CISO & Data Protection Officer, Infogain.


Here are a few edited excerpts from the interview:

How do Gen AI approaches address the challenges of securing citizen data in an increasingly complex digital ecosystem?

Ans. Gen AI approaches offer a multifaceted strategy for securing citizen data in an increasingly complex digital ecosystem through advanced encryption and authentication methods, anomaly detection, and threat monitoring. They enable privacy-preserving data analysis and adapt security measures dynamically. AI facilitates collaborative threat intelligence sharing and incorporates ethical governance principles to ensure accountability and respect for individual rights. These approaches collectively enhance data security while safeguarding privacy in an ever-evolving digital landscape.

⁃ Advanced encryption and authentication methods:

  • Such as homomorphic encryption, which allows computations to be performed on encrypted data without decrypting it. This ensures that even if data is intercepted, it remains secure.
  • AI-powered authentication methods such as biometrics or behavioral analysis can enhance security by verifying the identity of users without relying solely on passwords.

⁃ Anomaly detection, and threat monitoring:

  • AI algorithms can continuously monitor network traffic, user behavior, and system logs to identify anomalies or suspicious activities indicative of potential security breaches. These systems can detect patterns that human analysts might miss.
  • Enabling rapid response to the emerging threats and minimizing the impact of security incidents.

⁃ Privacy-Preserving Data Analysis: Gen AI approaches enable organizations to perform data analysis while preserving the privacy of individual citizens.

  • Techniques such as federated learning allow models to be trained across distributed datasets without sharing sensitive information.
  • Differential privacy techniques add noise to query results, ensuring that aggregate insights can be derived without compromising the privacy of individual data points.

⁃ Dynamic Risk Assessment and Adaptive Security Measures:

  • Gen AI approaches enable dynamic risk assessment by continuously evaluating the security posture of systems and adapting security measures accordingly.
  • AI algorithms can prioritize security resources based on the current threat landscape and adjust access controls or security configurations in real-time to mitigate emerging risks.

⁃ Collaborative Threat Intelligence Sharing:

  • AI-powered platforms facilitate collaborative threat intelligence sharing among organizations, allowing them to collectively pool their knowledge and resources to defend against common threats.
  • By aggregating and analyzing security data from multiple sources, these platforms can identify global trends and provide early warnings about potential cyberattacks.

⁃ Ethical AI Governance and Accountability:

  • Gen AI systems incorporate ethical considerations into their design and operation, ensuring that security measures respect individual rights and societal values.
  • Transparency and accountability mechanisms enable stakeholders to understand how AI algorithms make security decisions and hold responsible parties accountable for their actions.

Can you elaborate on the ethical considerations associated with utilizing citizen data in Gen AI applications, and how these concerns are addressed?

Ans. Utilizing citizen data in Gen AI applications raises ethical concerns including privacy, consent, bias, and discrimination. To address these, measures such as informed consent, robust data security, bias mitigation, and public engagement are essential. Ethical guidelines, privacy-preserving technologies, independent oversight, and algorithmic audits can help ensure responsible development and deployment of Gen AI, balancing benefits with risks to individuals and society.

Some of the key points of considerations are:

Privacy concern: Collecting and using citizen data for Gen AI applications can potentially infringe upon individuals’ privacy rights. This data may include sensitive personal information such as genetic data, health records, behavioral patterns, and biometric data. There is a risk of unauthorized access, misuse, or unintended disclosure of this information.

Informed Consent: Obtaining informed consent from individuals before collecting and using their data is essential. However, in the case of genetic data, there are additional complexities. Genetic information is inherently identifiable and carries implications not only for the individual but also for their biological relatives. Therefore, ensuring that individuals fully understand the implications of sharing their genetic data is crucial.

Data Security: Safeguarding citizen data against unauthorized access, breaches, and misuse is paramount. Gen AI applications should implement robust security measures, including encryption, access controls, and regular security audits, to protect sensitive information.

Bias and Fairness: Biases in data collection and algorithmic decision-making can lead to unfair or discriminatory outcomes, especially in healthcare and other critical domains. Gen AI applications must be designed and tested to mitigate biases and ensure fairness, transparency, and accountability in their decision-making processes.

Ownership and Control: Clarifying the ownership and control of citizen data is essential. Individuals should have the right to access, modify, and delete their data, as well as the ability to revoke consent for its use in Gen AI applications at any time.

The above concerns can be addressed by applying several strategies:

Ethical Guidelines and Regulations: Governments, industry bodies, and research institutions can develop and enforce ethical guidelines and regulations governing the collection, use, and sharing of citizen data in Gen AI applications. These guidelines should prioritize privacy, consent, transparency, fairness, and accountability.

⁃ Ethical Review Boards: Establishing independent ethical review boards or committees to evaluate the ethical implications of Gen AI research and applications can provide oversight and ensure adherence to ethical principles.

Algorithmic Audits and Impact Assessments: Conducting regular audits and impact assessments of Gen AI algorithms and systems can identify and address biases, risks, and unintended consequences.

Privacy-Preserving Technologies: Utilizing privacy-preserving technologies such as differential privacy, and homomorphic encryption can enable the analysis of sensitive data while protecting individual privacy.

Gen AI approaches are pivotal in addressing the multifaceted challenges of securing citizen data within a complex digital ecosystem. Through advanced encryption, AI-powered authentication, continuous anomaly detection, and adaptive security measures, these technologies offer a proactive defense against emerging threats. Moreover, by facilitating privacy-preserving data analysis and fostering collaborative threat intelligence sharing, Gen AI promotes a safer and more resilient digital environment. Coupled with a strong ethical framework, including informed consent, bias mitigation, and transparency, Gen AI ensures that the protection of citizen data is balanced with respect for individual privacy and societal values. These efforts collectively enhance the security landscape, demonstrating the critical role of Gen AI in the digital age.

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