Artificial intelligence poses an excellent opportunity for growth and transformation as we move through an era of never before seen technological advancements. At the same time, this emerging technology also presents a significant risk to cybersecurity and risk management strategies. As AI becomes more sophisticated, complicated, and widely used, its capabilities could be used for harm and put individuals and businesses unknowingly at risk. Exploring the potential risk of ChatGPT and similar AI technology models can highlight the need for proactive mitigation of new cyber threats.
What is ChatGPT?
Chat GPT is a natural language model (NLP) chatbot driven by artificial intelligence. This model can answer questions in a human-like way, and assist users with tasks like writing, editing, structuring, and brainstorming. While other models similar to Open Ai’s ChatGPT have emerged and been utilized by businesses and researchers, this model has stirred significant buzz for being the first sophisticated model open to the public for free. Because the technology is so new, there is little to no regulation and how and where this information can be used. Where most impactful technologies have regulations, either within the company or federally, anyone with internet access can use the ChatGPT model however they wish to. While it’s easy to recognize the benefits of this level of technology, it also poses significant threats to cyber security and current risk management processes.
What Other AI Advancements Are Trending?
Aside from ChatGPT, multiple AI chat boxes with similar user experiences have emerged. Some of them are open source while others are private, but in most cases, there is a free, accessible version. In addition to Chat boxes, software for deep learning, automated decision-making, correct process management, and the integration of AI in commerce and manufacturing.
AI is the fastest-growing industry right now, with a projected growth rate of 37% annually through 20230. This technology is being seen as a must-have for businesses to stay competitive, reduce costs, and increase productivity.
Why Does AI Pose Cyber Risks?
Although AI can be used to help fight cyber risk through intricate tracking and sourcing, it can also be used by hackers to create complex, unidentifiable malware and schemes. AI is designed to gather high-level information specific to a user's request, so in theory, a hacker could ask for malware to be generated, that would be undetectable by modern security software. It’s also software in itself, so it has the potential to be hacked at the source.
Currently, ChatGPT explains that their software will not generate harmful information or structure, because it is designed in such a way to deny these types of requests. However, hackers with experience have been able to alter the natural response systems to surpass these regulations and create dangerous malware. In recent examples, hackers used ChatGPT to generate malware that would be spread across Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram. As more businesses implement AI software and use it to process personally identifiable information or business decisions, the fear is that this information will be manipulated and improperly used.
What Specific Risks Are Concerning?
The full spectrum of AI-related cybersecurity risks is not yet known, as the technology is still relatively new. However, in the last year since more products have been released, there are a few key risks that have circulated that individuals and businesses should be aware of.
AI-generated hacking involves cybercriminals using machine learning tools, such as ChatGPT, to write complex malware codes that are challenging to detect. Standard malware is already a huge threat to the cyber world, and with the added sophistication of AI integration, malware has the potential to be much more damaging and challenging to control.
AI Phishing Schemes
Phishing schemes are an approach to hacking where a cybercriminal poses as someone else seeking private and personally identifiable information. This is a common approach in the workforce where a hacker will pose as an executive or colleague and request access to banking information or secure files. This approach commonly works, since hackers generate fake emails and even include matching signatures, photos, and writing tones. With AI assistance, these schemes are becoming extremely realistic, making it quite hard to detect until a hack has been completed.
One of the newer and most concerning AI risks is deepfakes. Deepfakes are a form of AI that creates convincing audio, video, and images posing as someone or something else. They can match voice, tone, and facial features almost exactly, making an untrained individual unable to tell the difference in many cases. Hackers can use deepfakes to hoax individuals or organizations with false messaging.
How Can Organizations Avoid AI Threats?
If your organization is implementing an AI strategy, it should include the use of AI to detect AI cyber scams. Though it won’t reduce your risk entirely, it will help to manage the overall threat of AI crime. In addition, using highly studied and reviewed software, rather than newly released and unregulated software can lower your chances of attack. Any business that centers its strategy around AI should have thorough employee training so everyone involved understands what to look for, and how to manage a potential AI cyber risk.
Cyber Insurance with ECBM
ECBM has extensive knowledge and experience in protecting businesses against cybersecurity threats. We work with top-rated carriers and understand the coverages needed to keep your organization secure. With cyber becoming an ever more present aspect of the working world, it’s more important than ever to have adequate coverage in the event of a claim. For more information on how we can serve your organization, contact one of our agents.