Is AI something to fear, or a tool you can learn to use?
Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is developing at a breakneck speed. While there are many innocuous uses, like using it to generate the most bizarre art prompts you can think of, it could pose a risk to your company security. At the same time, it could be harnessed to help strengthen your security.
AI is evolving at such a rapid pace that makes it a challenge to predict exactly where it’s going. Many AI companies are also facing lawsuits over copyright and civil liberty, and how these lawsuits play out will impact the future of AI. What do we know about the impact AI is already having in the security world, and what can we do about it?
Currently, the biggest threat AI poses is in the realm of phishing scams. Phishers can use AI to produce a far higher volume of email or text scams than they could if they were having to write the text themselves. This will also help to eliminate the poor grammar or incorrect use of English that is often an indicator of a scam. Because of this, scams may be harder to spot. The most dedicated scammers can also train an AI using their most successful scams so the AI can learn how to create even more effective phishing attacks.
AI voice scams, or vishing, are also an increasing concern. Scammers are using AI tools to clone people’s voices and then use them in phone calls to trick someone close to the person the voice belongs to into giving up sensitive information or sending money. It can take as little as a three-second recording of someone’s voice for a scammer to be able to clone it. Many people have a clip at least that long of them talking on social media, so it isn’t difficult for scammers to access voices.
One version of this scam targets family members and uses the cloned voice to sound like the person is in some type of danger, like being kidnapped. The intention of this scam is to play on the panic that the family will feel in the moment, making them more willing to do whatever’s necessary to help their family member. The scam can even look like it’s coming from the phone number of the person whose voice has been cloned.
AI will allow for increasingly sophisticated and difficult-to-spot phishing scams. Because of this, your team needs to have an in-depth knowledge of how to spot phishing scams and what to do when they suspect they’ve received a phishing attempt. Knowledge remains the best weapon against these scams.
There is a risk of AI one day being used to hack into computer systems. It has the potential to find and exploit vulnerabilities at a speed and scale far beyond what a hacker would be capable of on their own. In 2016, The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) held an event in partnership with the DoD where AIs competed to hack into computer programs also protected by AI. The AI that won wasn’t able to compete at the same level as human hackers, but AI evolves rapidly and is already in a completely different state than it was at the time of that event, so this may be a reality companies are facing soon. White hat hackers can help test your system and find vulnerabilities before your adversaries do.
AI doesn’t just belong to those who wish you and your company harm, however. There are multiple ways to harness its power to make your work more efficient and strengthen your security.
AI Improving Efficiency
Deep Instinct, a company that creates an AI model for cybersecurity, found in their 2023 Voice of SECOPS report that 70% of security professionals feel AI is positively impacting employee productivity and collaboration. AI can help free you up from more tedious parts of the job or serve as a helpful brainstorming tool. Is writing company-wide emails your least favorite part of the job? AI can help you come up with engaging subject lines or write the email copy if you give it the basis you want it to write about. In a matter of seconds, you could have three options for your email, rather than taking 100 times that to write it yourself. Or if you’re worried about ensuring an email to a client is professional, you can run it through AI to find any grammar mistakes or make the tone of what you’ve written come across as polished.
Whenever using AI in this way, it’s still important to carefully review it. AI is smart, but sometimes the information it gives you isn’t entirely correct. It also can sound a bit stiff, so it never hurts to add more of your voice back into it.
AI can also help with elements of your cybersecurity and physical security. Many IT departments are investing in AI-driven cybersecurity, seeing it as an essential part of their arsenal in the fight against cybercrime. Companies are producing AI-powered defenses for your computer systems that can monitor for anyone trying to access your data and respond to incidents, saving precious time when adversaries try to hack your system.
AI can also be used in the physical monitoring of your facility through tech like AI-powered cameras or robots that can monitor your perimeter. AI can be incredibly efficient in times when you need to review footage, as they can look through hours of footage in a matter of seconds. They’re also very effective at monitoring crowds.
The ethics of AI remain in the forefront of the conversation as AI’s influence grows. Be cautious when implementing AI solutions in your office. There are many questions around AI and privacy, bias and job loss, and currently there are few answers. Wherever you implement AI, it’s always smart to have someone overseeing it and ensuring it’s acting as intended.
As AI continues to rapidly change, staying on top of that news can prove to be a challenge. Finding some sources you can trust and checking them periodically is the best way to find clarity with where things are headed, as policies around AI are passed and the path AI is headed down solidifies.
If you’re an FSO trying to stay on top of emerging threats and industry changes, or looking to revitalize your security program, Adamo can help. From managing PCLs to running annual refresher trainings, with the FSO Support Team, you don’t have to do it alone. Whether you need to infuse some new energy into training or you just need someone to handle the tedious parts of your job so you can be free to focus on what’s important, we’re here for you.