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Is AI a threat to businesses without the correct cyber security frameworks?

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When it was first introduced in December 2022, ChatGPT (Artificial Intelligence Chatbot) caused a lot of excitement in the world of business for various reasons. Business owners were excited because they saw it is a way to automate a lot of reports and reduce the need for employees. Automation would mean that work and jobs would require less time to complete and therefore costs would be lower. There was also excitement from employees who saw a chance to reduce the work they had to do. The chatbot is meant to be able to take your information into a long-form article or report, and employees were certainly taking advantage of this fact. However, there are some challenges that are presenting themselves, which businesses need to take heed of. Cyber security experts have noted that artificial intelligence is presenting potential security concerns, with employees using ChatGPT (and others like Bard), to input sensitive data. Read on to see whether your business could be impacted by the pitfalls of AI, and understand whether AI is a threat to businesses and companies in all industries.

What are the cons of AI for businesses?

As we mentioned earlier, it can be an exciting time for businesses if they implement and use AI properly. However, despite the best intentions for the workplace, AI can be a threat to businesses. The invention of Microsoft Copilot is a great example of how this works. Used correctly, businesses are able to automate systems and jobs which would have usually taken a lot of time. But how is this a con – it seems like a good thing for businesses to be able to reduce costs. AI can revolutionise industries, reshape employee’s work and lifestyle, and drive substantial technological progress. But there are also significant implications for cyber security, both in terms of enhancing cyber security defences and creating new challenges and risks.

What cyber attacks can AI aid threat actors with?

One example being that in the summer of 2023, companies using Microsoft Teams found out that a Russian hacker group, Midnight Blizzard, was using Microsoft Teams to carry out phishing attacks. These hackers used Microsoft 365 accounts from small businesses that had been hacked before to launch new social engineering attacks. This adds a new angle to a known attack strategy, and it’s important for businesses working with Microsoft Teams to be aware of these risks. It is thought that cyber criminals orchestrating these types of phishing attacks are using AI to enhance their scams. The software helps to improve spelling and can be quite persuasive. It removes one of the obvious signs of a phishing email, which is bad spelling and grammar.

Plagiarism and incorrect information

Another threat of AI to businesses is plagiarism and misinformation. AI language models are not yet perfect and do not always provide the right information. So whilst this may impact businesses from a plagiarism point of view, as the software tends to regurgitate information that is already on the internet, it prevents a very real opportunity for cyber criminals. Threat actors and hackers working from their bedroom are able to deliberately mislead the general public and emmployees by feeding the model information that is not correct.

A lot of businesses are tending to use chatbots (powered by language models) to operate their customer service operations now. If a cyber criminal knows this, then they can deliberately give the chatbot misinformation, meaning it could possibly regurgitate the fiction that it has been provided with. There have been examples of businesses using chatbots for customer services, and customers asking the bot for information on other companies. The bot has complied and given details of companies which are completely different to the industry or business that it is meant to be representing.

AI is providing privacy concerns for businesses

AI systems need lots of data to work well. However, this can be a privacy concern because collecting and handling sensitive info might lead to privacy problems. To balance security and privacy, it’s essential to use good data rules and methods that protect privacy in AI.

There is a concern about the amount of private and confidential data that AI language models and software will hold. If these systems aren’t secured properly, they can be targeted, leading to unauthorised access or data breaches. This puts people’s private info at risk. Ensuring secure AI systems is crucial to avoid privacy issues and protect sensitive data.

Additionally, AI systems learn from old data that might have biases. AI systems can be unfair or discriminatory if these biases aren’t fixed, causing social and ethical issues. Fixing these unintended problems is essential to ensure AI is responsible and fair.

What can be done to counteract AI concerns?

A lot of issues faced by businesses is that employees are negligent or unaware of the dangers of AI. Similar to phishing, there are many instances where a business disaster can be avoided IF the employee has sufficient cyber security training but also is aware of what is going on. Neuways provide phishing awareness training for a reason to help employees spot a phishing attack or a scam email. It won’t be long until companies are offering courses on AI safety as part of their cyber security platforms. The reason for this is that AI manipulation and traps set by cyber criminals would be easier to avoid if employees know the pros and cons.

There are obvious ways to avoid giving cyber criminals any sensitive data via AI. While it’s not expected for AI language models to take your data, someone secretly watching your chat could harm your security and privacy. When talking with chatbots or language models like ChatGPT, always be careful about what you share. Don’t share private details like your name, address, login, or credit card details.

Also, you must constantly update your software and cyber security certificates. Ensure your software is always the latest version. Updates often fix security issues that someone might exploit to access your data.

Watch out for online scams

To safeguard against online scams, it’s crucial to exercise caution when sharing personal information. Two critical practices include verifying the legitimacy of a ChatGPT account or chatbot before sharing sensitive details and ensuring the authenticity of any service or platform, mainly when prompted for payments by unknown sources.

Cyber criminals often employ phishing tactics, using ChatGPT to lead individuals to fraudulent requests for personal information.

Conclusion – Update your software and seek the help of cyber security experts

Businesses can enhance their protection by regularly updating anti-malware software, implementing firewalls, and encrypting sensitive data stored on systems. Being wary of clicking links from ChatGPT profiles, staying informed about cyber security developments, securing data access within organisations, and educating employees on identifying and reporting potential scams are additional measures to strengthen your cyber security against evolving threats associated with ChatGPT.

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Contact Neuways to help your business become

Cyber Safe

If you need any assistance with cyber security assistance, then please contact Neuways and we will help you where we can. Just get in touch with our team today.

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