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Podcast: AI threats mean backup and security must work as one

Malicious use of artificial intellience against scattered data stores means data protection and security must go hand-in-hand. That’s the view of Gaidar Magdanurov, chief success officer at Acronis

In this podcast, we look at the context in which backup has to operate today, with data held in huge volumes and often scattered over many locations, with Gaidar Magdanurov, chief success officer with Acronis.

We talk about how artificial intelligence (AI) is used by bad actors to gain information from within data, which can be pieced together and exploited by automated tools.

Magdanurov also talks about how all this means backup and security tools and teams need to work together to help customers stay safe from AI-driven threats.

Antony Adshead: What key aspects of IT right now most impact backup and recovery?

Gaidar Magdanurov: I would name two. Cloud and remote work. That’s number one.

Now your data is carried everywhere – it used to be in one place, so you knew where it was and what to do with it, but now it’s everywhere.

You can use an analogy like Lego. Kids play with their Lego blocks, and when they start, they know where to find them and what to do with them, but once it’s scattered around the apartment it gets very hard to find the right block. Also, it’s pretty dangerous when you step on one.

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Kind of the same thing is happening with cloud and remote work, because there’s also a race of cyber security threats driven by AI. And AI allows bad guys to use the data in a way we couldn’t imagine before. They can extract information from virtually anything.

Imagine the data is scattered virtually everywhere. Someone can get access to it and get information out of it that you didn’t even think was possible to get at. Like, infer your political interest or get the answers to your secret questions for your bank account.

This is the major issue right now. Data is everywhere and it has to be protected in a way that is AI-proof.

Adshead: How does the rise of AI impact backup and recovery?

Magdanurov: This is exactly what I mentioned. That AI allows for extraction of data, or further information from the data, where we never thought it could be before. So, in the past you’d think, “That’s a secondary copy. If I lose it I can create another one.”

But now it is a valuable source of information by itself. The bad guys can use it to get some information about you. And the good guys, the security solutions, can learn from backup. So, this is the moment for the data protection industry being integrated with the security industry.

You have to have integration between security and data backup because security can learn from backup, but also backup should be secure.

If you think about the way AI is used by attackers for phishing, to create new types of ransomware, new types of exploits and quickly get into your systems, you would have to understand you would need multiple layers of protection.

I would say the major implication for data security of AI is that it forces you to integrate security and data protection into one solution.

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