Corporate Cyber Security - The Risk of AI
The emergence of large language model-based chatbots such as ChatGPT and Bard has projected AI to the forefront of everyone’s minds. Since chatbots are now readily available to the public, we can get personalised responses to questions in an instant, provide customer service, automate tasks, act as a personal assistant, and more. However, like with all technology, AI presents malicious actors with an opportunity to use the innovative software to their advantage. The cyber risks presented by malicious actors will inevitably affect businesses and individuals alike. Here are some of the ways in which they will try to access your data, and what you can do to protect your corporate cyber security.
Phishing– The most common form of cyber attack is phishing, which is where malicious actors send spam messages that contain links that are designed to download malware or direct a user to a malicious link. Chatbots are capable of creating text from prompts, producing messages without spelling or grammatical errors that seem at first glance to have been written by a human. AI chatbots can stylistically produce more persuasive phishing messages than a human, making this a major cyber security risk for all businesses and individuals.
Malware Code Attacks – AI has the potential to create malware for malicious actors. Chatbots are great at generating code, so it is no surprise that attackers are using this new technology to create malicious code. Despite chatbots having measures to ensure malware code is not produced, cyber criminals may bypass this, giving them free rein to create endless streams of malware for unsuspecting individuals or organisations. The malware produced can infiltrate devices, disrupt, and damage systems, and steal data and information.
Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) – APTs are prolonged cyberattacks where malicious actors establish their presence in a network anonymously to steal data over a prolonged period. AI has allowed attackers to become even harder to detect as they make APTs more complicated.
Deep faking – This technology was initially used to create engaging visual content, malicious actors have leverage to manipulate their victims. A deep fake is a synthetic video where a person’s face or body is digitally altered so they appear to be doing something else. Due to the rapid advancement of AI, deep fakes possess the capability to damage the image of an individual enormously. This is achieved through targeting an individual and their relations to create a narrative that will sway the opinions of the public. Blackmail and imitation are the main consequences of this cyber threat.
Voice Cloning – Similarly to deep faking, voice cloning aims to deceive innocent people through the replication of an individual’s voice. AI allows malicious actors to accurately replicate the voice of an individual. By doing this, the actors intend to acquire access to sensitive material through impersonation.
Password Cracking – AI can compromise passwords incredibly quickly by learning from leaked passwords online. The software automatically analyses them and realises how they were created. In the hands of cyber criminals, this technology can be used to infiltrate seemingly secure data and personal information, compromising your corporate cyber security.
How to stay cyber secure against the threats
This is all very bleak, so what can we do?
- Retrain employees in cyber security awareness – Training employees in cyber security awareness is very important for all organisations. This will help them identify phishing emails, create strong passwords, and avoid downloading malware. However, there are new threats thanks to AI, so cyber security training should be updated and reimplemented. Informing the team about new threats like voice cloning and deep faking and how to respond will reduce the likelihood of a security breach.
- Introduce multi-factor authentication – Multi-factor authentication, or MFA, is when additional layers of authentication are added before access is granted to a system. Rather than simply entering a password, additional knowledge such as a PIN, a physical object like a security token or a bank card, or a biometric like a fingerprint is needed in addition to a password to allow access. Additionally, a third-party authenticator app can be used. An example of this is Microsoft Authenticator, which randomly generates a code that refreshes on a timer.
- Update software – Malicious actors often target vulnerabilities in outdated software, so updating software is important in maintaining corporate cyber security.
- Use email security solutions – Email security software detects malware and phishing threats from cyber attackers. Using a specialist like Egress ensures organisations’ email security is highly effective in protecting against AI security threats.
- Regularly conduct vulnerability assessments – Performing regular vulnerability assessments highlights security weaknesses. Scanning systems, and prioritising weaknesses that arise in cyber-security can reduce the risk of future attacks. Hiring specialists to complete a cyber security audit is a great way of assessing your vulnerabilities.
- Create a data backup plan - It is crucial to establish a data backup strategy to safeguard your business operations in case of unforeseen events. By backing up data onto a remote or cloud server, you improve your protection and data retrieval, even in situations where the primary backup is inaccessible.
The rise of AI chatbots has revolutionised the way we interact with technology, offering unparalleled convenience and efficiency in various aspects of our lives. However, as with any innovation, there are inherent risks to corporate cyber security. Malicious actors are quick to adapt and exploit these new technologies for their nefarious purposes, posing significant threats to both individuals and businesses.
By taking these proactive steps, you can significantly enhance your corporate cyber security and safeguard your organisation against the ever-changing landscape of AI-related threats. As technology continues to advance, staying informed and prepared is the key to mitigating risks and ensuring a secure digital environment for your business and personal data.
To find out how our team of experts can help you strengthen your business’ cyber security please go to https://hubs.li/Q01GKl4h0 or call us on 020 3727 6020.