Does ChatGPT Increase Cybersecurity Risk?
The past chatbots had an eerie, inhuman quality that flared the senses. Does ChatGPT increase cybersecurity risk? Unfortunately, Chatbots reveal the results to any human observer. In addition to positive and negative job impacts, we have seen minimal security coverage in the current frenzy around ChatGPT. Bad actors use technology for evil. Accounting professionals use ChatGPT for good.
How Is Generative AI Different Than Prior Artificial Intelligence?
The discomfort from old-generation artificial intelligence (AI) has dissipated. Machine learning, complex data set inputs, and up-scaled pattern recognition improve AI results. For example, ChatGPT, a large language model created by OpenAI, is fascinatingly extraordinary at emulating conversation — and it’s still learning.
ChatGPT is a fundamental entry in generative AI technology exploding on the scene. These next-gen AI systems analyze enormous amounts of data, glean patterns quickly, and generate innovative ideas or content based on existing information. The coherency and accuracy in understanding a typed text and replicating human interaction with little delay may seem a relatively minuscule development. However, old-gen chatbots had a narrow purpose. The chatbots had a determinable quota in their conversational abilities. The creators of the generative AI algorithms have not throttled the answers and have few restrictions. As a result, products sometimes make up results (“hallucinating”). Since there are minimal limitations on text and image creation, this is a legitimate technological revolution.
As the successful implementation and launch of AI tooling take root in the mainstream, business owners and executives must remain ahead of the curve to protect their data. Protecting data requires collaboration with cybersecurity firms that incorporate AI into their protocols without disregarding the human factor in cyberattacks.
ChatGPT Can Both Help And Harm A Business's Cybersecurity
As technology advances, so do the techniques and tactics of cyber attackers. This constant game of cat and mouse requires businesses to partner with proactive firms, set out early traps, and remain vigilant for all future threats.
Generally, bad actors seeking access to information are looking for backdoors or other hidden entries, often made through human error or misjudgment. As a result, computer systems and networks that store sensitive details and data are picked apart, damaged, or robbed of their information. The most common attacks in the traditional sense include phishing attacks, malware, and denial-of-service attacks (DoS). However, ChatGPT can provide innovative attack vectors.
The Human Element In Cybersecurity
Executives and IT teams should balance AI cybersecurity, like ChatGPT, and the human element when selecting cybersecurity consultants. The introduction of generative AI complicates phishing attacks even more so. Phishing attacks manipulate the human factor by posing as a trusted source. As a result, bad actors can procure sensitive information, including banking information, credit cards, passwords, and other data, with ChatGPT.
For example, an attacker could have an AI system analyze public social media information. Then, they could invent a parallel social media account undetectable from the original. Next, an attacker could elicit information from their target. Duplicating a social media presence also includes replicating or creating pictures, videos, or voice messaging. In turn, cybersecurity firms can help businesses use AI-powered phishing detection software. The AI platform can identify messaging patterns to alert human users of suspicious activity. The identification of these sophisticated attacks is made by analyzing both the content and context of the message sent.
Malware, or “malicious software,” comes in various forms, such as viruses, spyware, ransomware, Trojan horses, and more. These forms of malicious software tend to either slow down, damage, infect, steal, or collect user data without consent. As a result, computer systems, networks, or devices are vulnerable to attacks by malware. Users spread malware through email attachments, malicious websites, infected software downloads, and other means. In addition, computer viruses can replicate themselves and march on to infect other files like little toy soldiers, eventually causing damage to systems.
Partnerships Help Bolster Cybersecurity Measures
AI that prevents malware can also be used to train human users. Users can identify legitimate software more effectively. Early detection contains Trojan horses seeking to steal data or gain system access. As students in computer labs have often encountered, security methods act as bouncers. These security approaches block specific sites, not on the approved “list.” Advanced systems protect businesses intelligently.
The goal of protection is to establish and achieve effective security measures. Business owners must form partnerships with cybersecurity experts who understand the limitations of AI in terms of subjective reasoning and nuanced context. These partnerships allow businesses to implement dependable security systems. Security systems effectively shield their assets against potential cyber threats and ensure their information’s confidentiality, integrity, and availability.
So, does ChatGPT increase cybersecurity risk? Ultimately, the personalization of cyberattacks is difficult to replicate through traditional computing systems. However, through AI, cyber attackers can use machine learning capabilities to impersonate others, spread disinformation, cause financial and systematic damage, and reveal large amounts of data. Therefore, business leaders seeking collaborations with cybersecurity experts should look to those offering layered protections. Cybersecurity experts are proactive and understand the risks. Further, cybersecurity providers stay current on the latest advancements that could impact cybersecurity and your data. Finally, the human factor, fooled by bad actors with AI-powered tooling, is a significant risk.
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The ideas in this article came from Greg Hatcher, CEO of White Knight Labs, who transitioned from the military in 2017. He dove headfirst into networking and then pivoted quickly to offensive cyber security. He has taught at the NSA and led red teams while contracting for CISA. In 2021 he joined forces with John Stigerwalt to start a boutique offensive cyber security consultancy called White Knight Labs.