Arun Shrestha, Co-founder and CEO at BeyondID – AITech Interview

Can you provide a brief overview of your background and your current role as the Co-founder and CEO at BeyondID?

I have over 20 years of building and leading enterprise software and services companies. As CEO, I’m committed to building a world class organization with the mission of helping our customers build secure, agile, and future-proof business. I pride in partnering with customers to strategize and deploy cutting edge technology that delivers top business results.

Prior to co-founding BeyondID, I worked at Oracle, Sun Microsystems, SeeBeyond and most recently Okta, which went public in 2017. At Okta, I was responsible for delighting customers and for building world class services and customer success organizations.

The misuse of AI and deep fakes is becoming a serious concern in the realm of identity and security. Could you share your thoughts on how bad actors are leveraging these technologies to compromise trust and security?

The use of AI-powered deepfakes to create convincing images, audio, and videos for embarrassing or blackmailing individuals or elected officials is a growing concern. This technology can be used for extortion and to obtain sensitive information that can be used in harmful ways against individuals and businesses. Such actions can erode trust and harm society, as individuals may question the authenticity of genuine content, primarily if it depicts inappropriate or criminal behavior, by claiming it is a deepfake. Malicious actors can also use AI to mimic legitimate content and communications better, making it harder for email spam filters and end users to identify fraudulent messages and increasing phishing attacks. Automated AI attacks can also identify a business’s system vulnerabilities and exploit them for their own gain.

In the context of a zero-trust framework, could you explain the concept of verifying and authenticating every service request? How does this approach contribute to overall security?

The Zero Trust philosophy is founded on the belief that nobody can be fully trusted, and so it is essential to always authenticate any service request to ensure its authenticity. This can only be achieved through the authentication, authorization, and end-to-end encryption of every request made by either a human or a machine. By verifying each request, it is possible to eliminate unnecessary access privileges and apply the appropriate access policies at any given time, thereby reducing any potential difficulties for service requestors while providing the required service.

In conclusion, what would be your key advice or message to organizations and individuals looking to strengthen their security measures and ensure trust in an AI-driven world?

Consider adopting Zero Trust services as the fundamental principle for planning, strategizing, and implementing security measures in your organization. The Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has recently released a Zero Trust Maturity Model that provides valuable guidance on implementing Zero Trust Security. Identity-First Zero Trust Security is the most effective approach to Zero Trust because it focuses on using identity as the main factor in granting access to human and machine services.

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