As our dependence on digital channels for practically everything—work, shop, entertain, and now even socialize—increases, we are leaving increasing amounts of personal data everywhere on the internet. Whether it is to sign up for a new service, log in to an existing account, or make payments digitally, our digital footprints are scattered all over the internet for easy picking.
This digital data is a treasure chest of information that empowers businesses to personalize their services according to consumer preferences. That said, if cyber criminals gain access to this data, they can exploit it in many ways to cause financial and reputational damage to businesses. Consumers face a far greater risk of losing their digital identities, which, in worst cases, may take an entire lifetime to restore.
Harness data to gain actionable insights
Data fuels today’s digital economy. Both businesses and cyber criminals are aware of the potential worth of data; and, therefore, engage in a continuous tussle to safeguard and infiltrate data, respectively. Cyber criminals use stolen data to make money and improvise their attack techniques. Easy availability of criminal toolkits—some of them are available for free—on the internet makes it ridiculously easy for cyber criminals to launch specialized attacks. Businesses have a lot at stake—revenue, brand image, customers. Therefore, to be successful in an increasingly competitive marketplace, digital businesses must win this data combat.
The first step that the businesses can take, in this combat, is to efficiently harness the data at hand. This must also include the historical data for which decisions have already been taken. When businesses analyze data, they can retrieve actionable insights, which can inform them about the anomalies and allow taking appropriate corrective measures.
Look towards technology, improve decisions
As the volumes of data increase, businesses may find it challenging to manage it. Data residing in silos—across business units—can further obstruct meaningful analysis. On the other hand, cyber criminals adopt the latest technologies and share ‘expertise’ to plan and launch strategic attacks.
It is high time that businesses leveraged advanced technologies to sustain business growth and mitigate risks. Machine learning models and behavioral analytics can help businesses ingest data— both structured and unstructured—from varied sources and analyse it rather quickly for deep dive insights into potential risks and threats. This will allow businesses to authenticate users in near real-time and protect their businesses from bad actors.
Business growth, however, is generally accompanied by increased exposure to a myriad of threats. Businesses must tap into the technological advancements in artificial intelligence—machine learning, in particular—to improve automated decisions that can help stop cyber criminals early in their tracks. This will also enable businesses to safeguard their business and customer interests.
The article has been written by Neetu Katyal, Content and Marketing Consultant
She can be reached on LinkedIn.