As the world becomes increasingly digitized, so does the risk of cybercrime. One of the biggest challenges in combating cybercrime is that it is constantly evolving, making it difficult for traditional security measures to keep up. This is where artificial intelligence comes in. By harnessing the power of artificial intelligence, we can make the fight against cybercrime more effective and help protect consumers from the ever-growing threat of online crime.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Aura’s founder, Hari Ravichandran, about the current challenges consumers are facing due to online threats and how Aura is developing intelligent safety technology to proactively solve these issues.
Gary Drenik: How do consumers feel about their online safety? Are they generally aware of the threats that exist on the web?
Hari Ravichandran: In today’s digital age, online safety is a major concern for consumers. With so much of our personal information available online, we understand that there is risk of our information being breached, but don’t always connect that risk to the bad outcomes of digital crime. While most people are risk-aware, they often don’t know how to protect themselves from these dangers or believe that having their information compromised is inevitable.
A recent Prosper Insights & Analytics survey found that nearly a quarter of US adults have taken no steps to protect their online and digital privacy.
And while most people worry a lot about data breaches (60%) and safety of their personal information online (52%), 34% say they have stopped paying attention to data breaches because they happen so often.
I founded Aura because I believe that most people know they need to protect themselves online but are overwhelmed with the solutions that exist in the market today. The majority of players in the industry are focused on protecting one piece of the digital security puzzle. But this approach is a burden to consumers, leaving them to figure out for themselves which solutions they need, set up and manage multiple services, and pay hundreds of dollars a month to be fully protected. If we can provide one, easy-to-use tool that can proactively protect every aspect of people’s online lives, the awareness consumers have today can begin to turn to action.
Drenik: Data security incidents set a record high in 2021. Can consumers keep up and respond to these sophisticated threats with today’s solutions?
Ravichandran: According to the Identity Theft Resource Center’s 2021 Data Breach Report, data security incidents hit a record in 2021 and show no signs of slowing down. While the solutions in the market today may have been enough 10 years ago, the threats consumers are facing have significantly evolved as more and more of our lives and personal information are moving online. According to a recent Prosper Insights & Analytics survey, only 33.5% of US consumers trust the companies collecting their information are using the data for their benefit.
The point solutions that may have provided decent protection in the past are no longer enough on their own. And while there are “all-in-one” solutions that exist in the market, they serve largely as alarm systems, notifying you once you already have a security problem versus proactively protecting against one.
In order to protect ourselves against the dangers that exist today, we need new, intelligent safety tools that have three key components: first, they need to be personalized to an individual’s unique needs and the way they live their life online. Second, they need to be predictive and have the ability to recognize potential security issues before they happen. And lastly, they need to be proactive, taking as much of the burden off the user as possible and responding to potential threats quickly and autonomously. This is what we are working to create at Aura.
Drenik: It seems there is a general sense of apathy around protecting ourselves online that leaves many individuals vulnerable. How can the industry adapt to help change that?
Ravichandran: In our increasingly digitized world, it’s more important than ever to protect ourselves from the risks posed by cybercrime. Unfortunately, there seems to be a general sense of apathy around protecting ourselves online that leaves many individuals vulnerable. According to Aura’s internal consumer research, most U.S. adults (79%) acknowledge that they may not be doing enough to protect their personal information online, but varied obstacles appear to stand in their way. Among those who feel they should do more, the top barriers preventing them from doing so include these steps being too time-consuming (36%) and not having the knowledge of what to do (33%).
One way the industry can adapt is by using AI and machine learning to develop proactive, adaptable tools that take the burden off customers when it comes to safeguarding their data. By making security more user-friendly and affordable, we can encourage people to take the necessary steps to protect themselves online and make the internet a safer place for everyone.
Drenik: AI and automation have been used in enterprise security for many years now. Why hasn’t the consumer side of the industry caught up?
Ravichandran: For years, AI and automation have been used in enterprise security to great effect. However, the consumer side of the industry has lagged behind, due in part to inadequate legacy systems that don’t allow for effective deployment of AI and automation. Consumer-grade security products are often delivered as individual point solutions to specific problems, leaving the consumer’s holistic needs unaddressed. Further, these narrow tools that do exist take a “one size fits all” approach, which does not account for the unique needs of individual users. As a result, users are left vulnerable with inadequate protection and overwhelmed by the volume of alerts they need to personally manage.
In contrast, enterprise security solutions are built on scalable data infrastructure that enables highly customized applications and allows for scale to meet the specific needs of each organization. As enterprises have become more aware of the importance of AI and automation in security, they have been investing more heavily in these technologies. At Aura, we aim to bring that level of world-class security—once only reserved for enterprises—to the consumer so that we can provide truly intelligent safety solutions.
Drenik: As the experience of virtual worlds grow richer, new risks and digital crimes are likely to emerge. How do you protect people in Web 3.0 and the metaverse?
Ravichandran: As the online world becomes increasingly immersive, the future of digital security is likely to be increasingly complex. In a Web 3.0 and metaverse world, where people interact with each other in virtual reality environments, the risks and challenges posed by cybercrime will be entirely new. To protect people in this future landscape, we will need to rethink the way we define trust and verify identity. We will also need to find new ways to mitigate risk. Only by anticipating the challenges of the future can we hope to keep people safe in a world where the boundaries between virtual and reality are becoming blurred.
Drenik: Thanks, Hari, for your insights on what’s now, new, and next in intelligent safety for our online lives. We are looking forward to seeing Aura’s progress as you continue working to create a safer internet for consumers.