December 26, 2023 | 4 minutes read

Part 6: Data Security 2.0: Challenges in the New GenAI Era

Series: Promoting Business Continuity & Resilience during Times of Crisis

Elad Schulman
CEO and co-founder, Lasso Security

Contributors: Lasso Security

As technology advances, so do the threats to corporate data, making it imperative for security experts to fortify their organizations against unauthorized access, breaches, and potential damage.
What is data security really? How can you secure your data, and what are the major data security challenges in GenAI today?

🤫 The Most (Un)Kept Secret: Your Company’s Data

Organizational data is the essence of its business – its secret sauce. Keeping organizational data secure is not merely a matter of storage. It is a strategic imperative for ensuring business continuity, informed decision-making, customer trust, compliance with regulations, and overall operational efficiency. It is an investment in the organization’s present and future success. It needs to be secure. A data breach poses immediate risks, including potential reputational and financial losses, customer trust erosion, and regulatory penalties.
Data protection focuses on data confidentiality both outside and inside the organization, ensuring that only authorized individuals have access to and/or can use this sensitive information. It involves safeguarding data from corruption, theft, and unauthorized alteration, that it remains accurate and trustworthy, thus preventing disruptions or downtime.

🛡️ Why protecting your data is important

A well-crafted data security strategy ensures sensitive data remains inaccessible to unauthorized entities, encompassing crucial information like payment details, healthcare records, and Personal Identifiable Information (PII). Trust is paramount, a strong data security framework creates a trustworthy environment, preserving your organization’s reputation among clients, partners, and the industry. When data breaches are a daily concern, robust data security sets you apart, providing a competitive advantage.

❗ Common Data Security Solutions

Staying ahead of potential threats requires leveraging cutting-edge solutions. Multiple common data security solutions can enhance your arsenal in the battle against cyber threats, it’s up to the organization’s security experts to find their right fit. Here we lay some of the common security methods:
1. Data Loss Prevention (DLP): Preventing unauthorized transfer of sensitive data outside the organization.
2. Data Security Posture Management (DSPM): Identifying where sensitive data is stored and making sure it’s not exposed and used in an unauthorized manner.
3. Endpoint Security Solutions: Endpoint security solutions protect individual devices (endpoints) from malicious activities and authorized access to the organization’s network.
4. Cloud Security Solutions: Cloud security solutions provide tools and measures to protect data stored in cloud environments.

🤖 Everybody’s ready for Generative AI, except your data

The Generative AI (GenAI) and Large Language Models (LLMs) revolution is well underway, and even early adopters are still relying on conventional cyber security tools. GenAI has introduced rapid change, leaving many organizations in a race to catch up. Nevertheless, the new security challenges posed on your organization’s data deserve an all-new tool kit.
Existing tools lack the capacity to understand the context of each LLM interaction. Without context, there’s no way to identify anomalies and threats, let alone respond to them by escalating to security operations teams. Most existing security tools expect structural interactions, but LLMs are inherently more contextual and conversation-based, making these tools largely obsolete. For example:

Prompt Injection – This threat involves users inserting malicious input to alter intended behavior, whether through direct user input or indirect third-party sources.
Attackers can trick organizations’ LLM to reveal data, exploiting the contextual nature of the LLM, using a method like ‘Jailbreak’ and ‘prompt injection’. In this case, organizations can prevent the leakage of sensitive information into unsecured models with LLM-based classifications, and ongoing monitoring of every LLM interaction.

Training Data Poisoning – This occurs when LLM training data is tampered with, introducing vulnerabilities or biases that compromise security, effectiveness, or ethical behavior.
Each LLM behaves differently, as it is trained on different data sets. Therefore, these scenarios require unique security tools to identify which data set is being used, have visibility into every touchpoint, and deal with multiple LLM’s.

Model Theft – This attack involves unauthorized access, copying, or exfiltration of proprietary LLM models.

Mitigating data breaches through model theft requires specialized solutions tailored to the unique characteristics of machine learning models. LLMs and ML undergo continuous training, this dynamic lifecycle poses challenges for common data security tools, as the models evolve. Organizations should establish dynamic security measures that can adapt to these changes.

🔗 Securing the LLM Frontier with LLM-Focused Cyber Security Tools

Data security is not just a regulatory obligation; it’s a strategic imperative for the survival and success of any modern organization. By understanding its intricacies and implementing best practices, security experts can fortify their digital fortresses, ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of critical data.
As the technology changes and GenAI and Language Learning Models adoptions continue to grow, security teams will require dedicated tools designed for LLM security challenges. Safeguarding information is not just a responsibility—it’s an ongoing commitment to the trust and well-being of both organizations and their clientele.