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8 questions about AI and compliance
AI is one of the hottest topics in tech right now. More than half of consumers have already tried generative AI tools like ChatGPT or DALL-E. According to a Gartner poll, 70% of executives say their business is investigating and exploring how they can use generative AI, while 19% are in pilot or production mode. Business use cases for AI range from enhancing the customer experience (38%), revenue growth (26%), and cost optimization (17%).
While there’s tremendous excitement around AI, there’s also concerns around potential risks. It’s important to do your due diligence before bringing any tool into your ecosystem to ensure your data remains secure. And AI is no exception.
At the same time, there are also risks that come with not innovating. Companies who implement AI are seeing major efficiency gains and revenue generating benefits. And the longer you wait to start using AI, the further ahead your competition gets. The time to start thinking about AI is now.
We recently hosted a webinar where we answered some of our community's most-pressing questions about AI and compliance. We’ve compiled some of them here to help you get started.
1. What are the biggest concerns to consider if I’m integrating ChatGPT into my product?
If you’re planning to integrate ChatGPT into the core functionality of your product, treat it like you would any other vendor you’re bringing into your ecosystem. The key is to make sure your provider is going to be a good steward of your data. The main thing to be concerned about is training on your data.
If you’re using the free version of ChatGPT (or any free tool), you can adjust your settings to ensure your data are not used to train the model. Even with these settings in place, we recommend that you don't put any confidential, personal, customer, or private company data into any free service provider as there is no guarantee what will happen to your data.
Being under a paid contract helps to reduce your risk as there are terms and conditions your vendor has agreed to about the use of your data. This is even more critical when integrating a new tool into your product.
We’ve recently gone through this process at Vanta and we know that OpenAI’s API doesn’t train on your data. The company guarantees you won’t need to worry about your data being shared with other customers.
2. Are there any laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines to consider when developing or deploying an AI system?
There are a variety of privacy laws to consider based on the region you do business in, where you customers and employees are, and which industry you’re in. Some noteworthy frameworks to consider include CCPA and other U.S. privacy regulations, as well as GDPR.
If you plan to use AI to augment or automate business decisions, it's important to be transparent about that. Many privacy regulations require that consumers be informed about how automated processes impact them and that they must be able to opt out of these processes. One example is using AI to filter job applications — applicants must be able to opt out of this. You’ll also need to take extra precautions to reduce the bias of the algorithm when using AI to make business decisions.
Over the coming months and years, more regulations and laws will be created specifically around the use of AI. The European Union has already proposed a law called the EU AI Act that would assign different risk levels to applications of AI and deem certain uses as unacceptable, high risk, or unregulated risk if the law passes.
3. Does OpenAI’s paid API align with SOC 2? Is it secure?
The short answer is yes — but it’s important to do your due diligence. OpenAI is a mature company with a robust security and compliance team. At Vanta, we recently went through this and saw no issues with SOC 2.
The SOC 2 criteria make no mention of AI nor do they deem AI to be any more risky than other tools. SOC 2 auditors don’t see AI as a red flag as long as you've done your due diligence and met all the risk assessment criteria for SOC 2.
4. What happens if you fine tune a model using anonymized data? Does that have CCPA and GDPR implications?
AI models are trained and enhanced with datasets. It’s important to ensure that an AI model is not trained using customer data as you risk sharing one customer's data with a different customer.
There are a few ways to finetune your AI models that prevents this:
- OpenAI’s fine-tuning API.
- You can run your own models internally and fine tune on other data or with a different service provider.
- Fine tune AI models for specific customers to eliminate the risk of sharing data between customers.
IIf you have truly anonymized data, which is data that can no longer be tied back to a person, that is no longer within the scope of CCPA or GDPR. This means that using fully anonymized data to train an AI model won’t breach your compliance with CCPA or GDPR (although you should also keep your contractual and extra-contractual commitments to your customers in mind). The only caveat is that you’ll need a commitment from any third parties you share the data with that they won’t try to re-identify the data and that you monitor them to ensure that they don't.
5. When it comes to getting standards like ISO 27001 or SOC 2, how can AI help companies?
Getting a ISO 27001 or SOC 2 can be a complex and time-consuming process when done manually. AI and automation tools can streamline the compliance process.
There are intelligent automation tools that can help you easily integrate systems, tools, and applications connected to your ecosystem that need to be included in the scope of your ISO27001 or SOC 2. There’s also tools that offer continuous monitoring capabilities that can detect risks in real-time. These are two capabilities of Vanta that make getting compliant easy.
Looking toward the future of cybersecurity, AI will be baked into the cybersecurity toolkit at every level. While cyber criminals will start using AI, there will be AI on the other side detecting and preventing cybercrimes. AI will perform predictive analysis, enhance access monitoring, and get better at identifying bad actors who are using AI for things like deep fakes or phishing scams. AI will be helping to fight AI!
6. What tools are there to help us manage or mitigate all these different sources of AI risks?
It’s important to use general cybersecurity best practices and tools that protect your organization from any outside vendor, including an AI vendor. This includes tools and process like:
- Having robust risk management tools to monitor your business’ risk holistically and continuously.
- Using vendor risk management tools to manage your third-party risk and review processes.
- Reducing risk from employees who may be using tools that aren’t onboarded and vetted for security.
7. What are some ways that AI can help my team in the audit process?
Many organizations are in the early stages of implementing AI tools into their offerings, and there are some early examples of how this is improving the audit process. One example is Github Co-pilot, an AI-powered programmer, that can help your developers write well-structured code that aligns with your organization’s standards. Other AI-powered tools can help identify and remediate security vulnerabilities ahead of a breach.
Over the coming years, we expect there to be vast opportunities for AI-assisted tools in security and compliance. We anticipate that thousands of new tools will emerge into the market and that existing tools will enhance and extend their capabilities with AI and machine learning.
8. How is Vanta going to integrate AI into its products?
We’re in the process of doing just that! While we won’t give too much away, AI plays an important role in Vanta’s products. We’ll have more news to announce very soon. Stay tuned! 😉
To learn more about AI and compliance, watch the full webinar.
Determine whether the GDPR applies to you and if so, if you are a processor or controller (or both)
Do you sell goods or service in the EU or UK?
Do you sell goods or services to EU businesses, consumers, or both?
Do you have employees in the EU or UK?
Do persons from the EU or UK visit your website?
Do you monitor the behavior of persons within the EU?
Create a Data Map by taking the following actions
Identify and document every system (i.e. database, application, or vendor) which stores or processes EU or UK based personally identifiable information (PII)
Document the retention periods for PII in each system
Determine whether you collect, store, or process “special categories” of data
Determine whether your Data Map meets the requirements for Records of Processing Activities (Art. 30)
Determine whether your Data Map includes the following information about processing activities carried out by vendors on your behalf
Determine your grounds for processing data
For each category of data and system/application have you determined the lawful basis for processing based on one of the following conditions?
Take inventory of current customer and vendor contracts to confirm new GDPR-required flow-down provisions are included
Review all customer contracts to determine that they have appropriate contract language (i.e. Data Protection Addendums with Standard Contractual Clauses)
Review all in-scope vendor contracts to determine that they have appropriate contract language (i.e. Data Protection Addendums with Standard Contractual Clauses)
Have you performed a risk assessment on vendors who are processing your PII?
Determine if you need to do a Data Protection Impact Assessment
Is your data processing taking into account the nature, scope, context, and purposes of the processing, likely to result in a high risk to the rights and freedoms of natural persons?
Review product and service design (including your website or app) to ensure privacy notice links, marketing consents, and other requirements are integrated
Does the notice to the data subject include the following items?
Does the notice also include the following items?
Do you have a mechanism for persons to change or withdraw consent?
Update internal privacy policies to comply with notification obligations
Update internal privacy notices for EU employees
Determine if you need to appoint a Data Protection Officer, and appoint one if needed
Have you determined whether or not you must designate a Data Protection Officer (DPO) based on one of the following conditions (Art. 37)?
If you export data from the EU, consider if you need a compliance mechanism to cover the data transfer, such as model clauses
If you transfer, store, or process data outside the EU or UK, have you identified your legal basis for the data transfer (note: most likely covered by the Standard Contractual Clauses)
Have you performed and documented a Transfer Impact Assessment (TIA)?
Confirm you are complying with other data subject rights (i.e. aside from notification)
Do you have a defined process for timely response to Data Subject Access Requests (DSAR) (i.e. requests for information, modification or deletion of PII)?
Are you able to provide the subject information in a concise, transparent, intelligible and easily accessible form, using clear and plain language?
Do you have a process for correcting or deleting data when requested?
Do you have an internal policy regarding a Compelled Disclosure from Law Enforcement?
Determine if you need to appoint an EU-based representative, and appoint one if needed
Have you appointed an EU Representative or determined that an EU Representative is not needed based on one of the following conditions?
If operating in more than one EU state, identify a lead Data Protection Authority (DPA)
Do you operate in more than one EU state?
If so, have you designated the Supervisory Authority of the main establishment to act as your Lead Supervisory Authority?
Implement Employee Trainings to Demonstrate Compliance with GDPR Principles and Data Subject Rights
Have you provided appropriate Security Awareness and Privacy training to your staff?
Update internal procedures and policies to ensure you can comply with data breach response requirements
Have you created and implemented an Incident Response Plan which included procedures for reporting a breach to EU and UK Data Subjects as well as appropriate Data Authorities?
Do breach reporting policies comply with all prescribed timelines and include all recipients i.e. authorities, controllers, and data subjects?
Implement appropriate technical and organizational measures to ensure a level of security appropriate to the risk
Have you implemented encryption of PII at rest and in transit?
Have you implemented pseudonymization?
Have you implemented appropriate physical security controls?
Have you implemented information security policies and procedures?
Can you access EU or UK PII data in the clear?
Do your technical and organizational measure ensure that, by default, only personal data which are necessary for each specific purpose of the processing are processed?
Develop a roadmap for successful implementation of an ISMS and ISO 27001 certification
Implement Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) process to recognize challenges and identify gaps for remediation
Consider ISO 27001 certification costs relative to org size and number of employees
Clearly define scope of work to plan certification time to completion
Select an ISO 27001 auditor
Set the scope of your organization’s ISMS
Decide which business areas are covered by the ISMS and which are out of scope
Consider additional security controls for business processes that are required to pass ISMS-protected information across the trust boundary
Inform stakeholders regarding scope of the ISMS
Establish an ISMS governing body
Build a governance team with management oversight
Incorporate key members of top management, e.g. senior leadership and executive management with responsibility for strategy and resource allocation
Conduct an inventory of information assets
Consider all assets where information is stored, processed, and accessible
- Record information assets: data and people
- Record physical assets: laptops, servers, and physical building locations
- Record intangible assets: intellectual property, brand, and reputation
Assign to each asset a classification and owner responsible for ensuring the asset is appropriately inventoried, classified, protected, and handled
Execute a risk assessment
Establish and document a risk-management framework to ensure consistency
Identify scenarios in which information, systems, or services could be compromised
Determine likelihood or frequency with which these scenarios could occur
Evaluate potential impact of each scenario on confidentiality, integrity, or availability of information, systems, and services
Rank risk scenarios based on overall risk to the organization’s objectives
Develop a risk register
Record and manage your organization’s risks
Summarize each identified risk
Indicate the impact and likelihood of each risk
Document a risk treatment plan
Design a response for each risk (Risk Treatment)
Assign an accountable owner to each identified risk
Assign risk mitigation activity owners
Establish target dates for completion of risk treatment activities
Complete the Statement of Applicability worksheet
Review 114 controls of Annex A of ISO 27001 standard
Select controls to address identified risks
Complete the Statement of Applicability listing all Annex A controls, justifying inclusion or exclusion of each control in the ISMS implementation
Continuously assess and manage risk
Build a framework for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and continually improving the ISMS
Include information or references to supporting documentation regarding:
- Information Security Objectives
- Leadership and Commitment
- Roles, Responsibilities, and Authorities
- Approach to Assessing and Treating Risk
- Control of Documented Information
- Internal Audit
- Management Review
- Corrective Action and Continual Improvement
- Policy Violations
Assemble required documents and records
Review ISO 27001 Required Documents and Records list
Customize policy templates with organization-specific policies, process, and language
Establish employee training and awareness programs
Conduct regular trainings to ensure awareness of new policies and procedures
Define expectations for personnel regarding their role in ISMS maintenance
Train personnel on common threats facing your organization and how to respond
Establish disciplinary or sanctions policies or processes for personnel found out of compliance with information security requirements
Perform an internal audit
Allocate internal resources with necessary competencies who are independent of ISMS development and maintenance, or engage an independent third party
Verify conformance with requirements from Annex A deemed applicable in your ISMS's Statement of Applicability
Share internal audit results, including nonconformities, with the ISMS governing body and senior management
Address identified issues before proceeding with the external audit
Undergo external audit of ISMS to obtain ISO 27001 certification
Engage an independent ISO 27001 auditor
Conduct Stage 1 Audit consisting of an extensive documentation review; obtain feedback regarding readiness to move to Stage 2 Audit
Conduct Stage 2 Audit consisting of tests performed on the ISMS to ensure proper design, implementation, and ongoing functionality; evaluate fairness, suitability, and effective implementation and operation of controls
Address any nonconformities
Ensure that all requirements of the ISO 27001 standard are being addressed
Ensure org is following processes that it has specified and documented
Ensure org is upholding contractual requirements with third parties
Address specific nonconformities identified by the ISO 27001 auditor
Receive auditor’s formal validation following resolution of nonconformities
Conduct regular management reviews
Plan reviews at least once per year; consider a quarterly review cycle
Ensure the ISMS and its objectives continue to remain appropriate and effective
Ensure that senior management remains informed
Ensure adjustments to address risks or deficiencies can be promptly implemented
Calendar ISO 27001 audit schedule and surveillance audit schedules
Perform a full ISO 27001 audit once every three years
Prepare to perform surveillance audits in the second and third years of the Certification Cycle
Consider streamlining ISO 27001 certification with automation
Transform manual data collection and observation processes into automated and continuous system monitoring
Identify and close any gaps in ISMS implementation in a timely manner
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Determine which annual audits and assessments are required for your company
Perform a readiness assessment and evaluate your security against HIPAA requirements
Review the U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights Audit Protocol
Conduct required HIPAA compliance audits and assessments
Perform and document ongoing technical and non-technical evaluations, internally or in partnership with a third-party security and compliance team like Vanta
Document your plans and put them into action
Document every step of building, implementing, and assessing your compliance program
Vanta’s automated compliance reporting can streamline planning and documentation
Appoint a security and compliance point person in your company
Designate an employee as your HIPAA Compliance Officer
Schedule annual HIPAA training for all employees
Distribute HIPAA policies and procedures and ensure staff read and attest to their review
Document employee trainings and other compliance activities
Thoroughly document employee training processes, activities, and attestations
Establish and communicate clear breach report processes
to all employees
Ensure that staff understand what constitutes a HIPAA breach, and how to report a breach
Implement systems to track security incidents, and to document and report all breaches
Institute an annual review process
Annually assess compliance activities against theHIPAA Rules and updates to HIPAA
Continuously assess and manage risk
Build a year-round risk management program and integrate continuous monitoring
Understand the ins and outs of HIPAA compliance— and the costs of noncompliance
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