Breaking Down Barriers: AI’s Role In Improving Compliance

AI-powered technology is making real inroads across a wide variety of industries, and it’s increasingly clear that while there has been a great deal of hype, its potential is quickly turning into real financial growth.

As is the case with numerous other sectors, compliance and risk stands to see significant benefits from the introduction of AI. In particular, it will help automate repetitive, time-consuming tasks, and mundane tasks to give professionals the bandwidth to focus on more strategic, high-value priorities.

Improving Compliance With AI

One recent piece of industry research, for example, revealed that “the global business spend on AI-enabled financial fraud detection and prevention strategy platforms will exceed $10 billion globally in 2027, rising from just over $6.5 billion in 2022.”

Indeed, implemented and managed correctly, AI tools offer a way forward whereby compliance teams can utilize the technology to become significantly more effective. For example, AI systems are emerging that can analyze vast amounts of compliance and risk-related data at a much greater speed than current human-powered processes can hope to match.

In doing so, organizations can reveal deeper and more immediate insight into their risk profile. The range of use cases varies considerably, from assessing hugely detailed regulations and providing recommendations on how to remain compliant to revealing potential breaches. In this context, compliance and risk professionals can focus much more time on applying AI-enabled insight to improve security.

Breaking Down Resource And Performance Barriers

AI also offers huge potential for organizations to break down resource and performance barriers, whereby smaller teams can be empowered to develop their compliance capabilities to a level that wouldn’t have been possible before.

This will not only help optimize operations but also pave the way for a more streamlined, proactive, and adaptive approach to ensuring businesses stay ahead of potential pitfalls.

Exposing data to AI technologies, however, comes with an important caveat in that their outputs are only going to be as good as the data they are provided with. If source data contains errors or any inherent level of bias, it’s more than likely that any AI solution will apply these shortcomings to the results they generate.

For compliance and risk professionals, this is a significant red flag because of its potential to skew findings, miss important details, and create gaps in compliance and security. As a result, any organization seeing the possibilities of AI for improving compliance and reducing risk must also be mindful that their data sources are carefully managed.

It’s these kinds of uncertainties and question marks that mean some people are calling for AI to be better controlled and regulated. How this debate develops is likely to have a significant impact on how governments and other compliance-focused bodies react to the growth of the technology in the years ahead.

A Transparent, Structured Approach

Given these various opportunities and challenges, how can compliance functions benefit from applying AI to existing processes and tasks to improve organizational security? At the heart of any significant AI investment should be a properly structured approach that ensures implementation is transparent, fully tested, and closely monitored.

Doing so means compliance teams are strongly placed to assess AI’s impact – both positive and negative on their risk profile and associated security posture.

Keeping Control Over Functional Parameters

And with longer-term planning in mind, AI-powered technologies should only be adopted when teams have precise control over functional parameters. This can be achieved by implementing a range of processes, including manual oversight and ad-hoc testing, to ensure performance levels are continually monitored and optimized.

The current and most efficient way of achieving this is to ensure human experience and expertise work in tandem with AI.

Given the growing use of AI by threat actors looking to deploy more sophisticated criminal tactics, it’s clear that organizations will need to fight fire with fire and use AI to deliver more effective compliance – and, by definition – better security. This objective will only grow in importance as regulators update compliance rules to address the enormous impact AI will have on society in the years ahead.

Without regulation, however, it’s likely that serious mistakes will be made or that organizations will move too fast too soon. If this happens, AI’s potential to break down barriers for cybersecurity in general and compliance professionals in particular will face some serious difficulties.


Gary Lynam has been an integral part of establishing and growing Protecht since he joined as Director of ERM Advisory five years ago. Prior to Protecht, Gary served as a risk advisory consultant to three major banks, including NatWest. He started his career in Risk Advisory at KPMG. During his time at Protecht, Gary has led the customer success division, overseen multiple successful global GRC system implementations, and contributed significantly to helping its customers achieve their risk management objectives. 

Gary Lynam, Managing Director EMEA at Protecht

Lavanya Rathnam

Lavanya Rathnam is an experienced technology, finance, and compliance writer. She combines her keen understanding of regulatory frameworks and industry best practices with exemplary writing skills to communicate complex concepts of Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) in clear and accessible language. Lavanya specializes in creating informative and engaging content that educates and empowers readers to make informed decisions. She also works with different companies in the Web 3.0, blockchain, fintech, and EV industries to assess their products’ compliance with evolving regulations and standards.

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