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The future of data protection and machine learning: Guess less and focus more

We’re thrilled to welcome Charlie Drake as a guest contributor to the TITUS blog, where she’s kicking off a series of blog posts on how to help your people understand and get engaged in the process of securing data – even as more and more organizations are adding machine learning and other artificial intelligence capabilities to their security arsenal. Charlie is a creative communicator whose work influences cultures and helps change mindsets. She has a passion for people and the role they play in enhancing the impact of technology.

Every one of us has been at that point where it’s all got a bit too much and you can feel the pull to just get off the merry go round of your life to just stop for a bit, reflect, and take stock.

And I’ve been doing just that lately, pondering over lots of things during my time off. I’ve been thinking about the future a lot.

What will happen from a political, environmental and technological standpoint? And how will this affect me and those I care about?

Although I haven’t been thinking about work as much as possible, I do keep coming back to what the workplace of the future looks like and what it will feel like for all of us.

The impact of technology on the workplace

It won’t surprise any of you that, as employees, we all have much bigger and more complicated roles than we ever did in the past.

Technology has transformed the workplace in the last two decades. Many modern startup businesses seem to be jumping on that roller-coaster and embracing the thrill of these new ways of working and being effective. But it also feels like many other, more traditional businesses could be being left behind.

You know what else became really clear to me as I was pondering this? Just how important it’s going to be for businesses to invest in making sure their people not only understand how significant things like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will be in every role and process very soon, but also how critical it is that they embrace and accept it as the helping hand it really is.

It’s human nature to panic about change

I’ve always been fascinated with how people think and what drives them to behave in certain ways. It’s why I’ve always had a knack for change communications and campaigns around security and ethics.

People will quite often naturally panic about new technologies because they seem too ‘out there’ or scientific, which then moves to them thinking about films like Terminator or AI and how machines or technology could take over – funny thing, the human mind!

Now that machine learning (ML) is being adopted and played with by pretty much every company (whether you’re aware of it as an employee or not), we’re moving into a brave new world which will be an awesome rollercoaster ride for the who embrace it and more of a house of horrors for those who don’t.

The business benefits of machine learning

Machine learning is transforming how companies deal with fraud/risk indicators, saving companies millions. It’s helping to cross-sell relevant products to customers based upon what its learnt about their behaviour: How do you think Amazon or Netflix know what you want to buy or watch before you do?

And in the workplace, ML is being used for data classification.

I’ve introduced classification technology in two businesses and I can really see it changing how we assess and classify information, helping us all become more secure by allowing employees to guess less and focus more. Leading companies in this space, such as TITUS, are embracing machine learning and leading the way in taking it to the next level to support their customers.

Machine learning allows people to guess less and focus more

It’s safe to say most employees view essential, everyday tasks like the classification of data as a pain or an unnecessary task for them to do. (Don’t even get me started on GDPR!)

When someone is busy, overwhelmed or even disengaged, they are much more likely to make quick decisions and potentially classify wrongly or not even bother changing the default to get that email out or report finished. This will most certainly lead to breaches or other issues later down the line.

Trust in technology to help minimize risk

So, what if you could confidently trust the intelligence of a system that has interrogated and understood the classification parameters of your business? What if that system has already read hundreds of thousands of documents produced by your employees?

Once learnt by the technology, the system can classify documents automatically for you and even flag to you if you’ve classified something wrongly based upon its content.

I believe that very soon, the machine learning technology being developed by companies like TITUS will take the stress out of data classification and give strong reassurance to execs that their information is being protected.

Now, wouldn’t that make life easier?

Charlie Drake has had a diverse management career covering internal communications, employee engagement, leadership management, culture change and CSR. She’s developed a strong reputation as a creative leader who always makes a difference. She’s had roles at Aviva, Vodafone, Virgin Media and others where she’s turned complex strategies and processes into tangible, understandable stories for employees.

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