As we usher in an era of rapidly advancing artificial intelligence technologies, we’re also navigating a corresponding wave of novel cybersecurity threats. The introduction of generative AI, a branch of artificial intelligence capable of creating new text, images, videos, and other content types, has both revolutionized many fields and introduced a plethora of ethical and safety challenges. This article is based on a CNBC post: How generative AI is creating new cybersecurity threats at scale, and we’ll dissect the key points presented.
Generative AI’s Influence on Cybercrime
Generative AI, like OpenAI’s ChatGPT, has become a tool that significantly lowers the barriers to cybercrime. Even without advanced skills in coding or graphic design, a person with access to the internet and malevolent intentions can use these tools to launch sophisticated attacks.
For instance, generative AI can:
- Create fraudulent written and digital content, impersonating users and generating phishing attacks.
- Produce fake social media profiles and websites to harvest user credentials.
- Develop highly convincing deepfake videos and voice clips to deceive targets.
- Generate false documents that appear authentic enough to breach security defenses.
How Generative AI Is Reshaping Cyber Threat Landscapes
As we continue to incorporate AI in our daily processes, including code development for apps and plug-ins, we may inadvertently expose ourselves to significant cybersecurity risks. Generative AI can amplify existing threats, allow cybercriminals to execute reconnaissance at scale, and possibly expose proprietary information.
Another potential threat, dubbed ‘Prompt Injection,’ involves hijacking a language model’s output to allow an attacker to covertly inject malicious code into responses generated by the AI. Additionally, as more apps and features built on top of leading generative AI models continue to grow, integrations and APIs can create new doorways into corporate networks, leading to potential security gaps.
Fortifying Defenses Against Generative AI Threats
Recognizing these potential threats is the first step to securing your digital landscape. Companies need to reassess their security posture, identify vulnerabilities, and adjust their protection measures. A crucial component of this strategy involves training employees to recognize and respond to threats posed by generative AI.
To level the playing field against AI-enabled cybercriminals, businesses can:
- Employ AI security and automation tools to distinguish real threats from false alarms.
- Utilize Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) services for real-time feedback on emerging threats.
- Apply Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) and Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) approaches to continuously monitor users, devices, and activities within the network.
Facing the rapid evolution of cybersecurity threats can be overwhelming. Therefore, partnering with a managed security service provider (MSSP) can provide much-needed expertise and resources. MSSPs help manage the burden of monitoring and responding to threats, allowing organizations to focus on their core business functions.
As generative AI continues to evolve, so will its impact on cybersecurity. Keeping up with this transformation, understanding the new threats, and developing robust defenses will be key to maintaining security in the AI era.