Discover how AI is changing cybersecurity

AI seems to be everywhere these days – it’s certainly the buzzword of the moment! And, although we’re still all on a learning curve with what it can do, it’s already making waves as far as cybersecurity is concerned. Should businesses be worried? By staying aware of the latest developments, being cautious, and making informed decisions, companies stand the best chance of being able to protect their networks.

Do you recall when we were told that poorly written emails with spelling mistakes could be signs of a scam? It’s time to put that indicator aside. With a shedload of AI-powered text-generation chatbots freely available online, it’s easy for fraudsters to get them to write emails or messages with any bad spelling, punctuation, or grammar all ironed out. It seems we’re going to have to get wiser when it comes to spotting the signs.

Social engineering

Cyber attacks don’t always begin at the ‘company’ level, whatever that may be. Cybercriminals look for any small gap to give them a way into the network – that could easily be via you, the employee; personal attacks aren’t exclusively reserved for outside of the workplace.

The realistic nature of AI-powered chatbots and their human-like responses can quickly engage people and instill trust when there really shouldn’t be any. For instance, if you work in the Finance team, you could quite plausibly receive a communication from your company’s “bank” about suspicious activity on a business account, quoting relevant details and recent transactions, and engage with it without knowing it’s a scam until it is too late.

Deep fakes

Another thing to be on the lookout for is AI-generated deep fake video or audio recordings. These are increasingly used to target employees. If you get a highly realistic and credible message from your “manager” that sounds exactly like them, asking you to transfer company money for some reason (and that is sometimes part of your job), you would probably be highly likely to act on it. After all, you hear their voice every day, so why would you doubt it?

Unfortunately, we now need to question everything.

Employee education

The best way to tackle the new landscape of cybersecurity threats is to be alert to them – and that starts with employee education and raising awareness of the latest developments. Helping everyone to understand how AI is being used in social engineering cybersecurity attacks is the way for organizations and individuals to stay one step ahead.

Reinforcing the message that everyone should be cautious if they receive unexpected calls, emails, or messages and that they should verify the sender’s identity before acting on any request is fundamental. It’s the first line of defense in protecting your company’s network and keeping your systems and data safe.

Further reading: Guide to Chatbot Scams and Security