The cybersecurity world has seen severe shocks in the past years, including the introduction of Ransomware as a Service and general increase in threat complexity. This trend shows no signs of abating as we enter 2023, with a new cybersecurity threat to businesses emerging thanks to continuously developing AI technologies.
ChatGPT – delivering a shock to multiple industries
The arrival of OpenAI’s ChatGPT has caused concern in a number of industries – famously Google has issued a “code red” regarding the new technology, which they foresee having a detrimental effect on their flagship search business. Besides this, other industries have been grappling with the impact of the chatbot, including schools (where fears are raised it could be used to cheat) and copywriters or other content creators.
Despite these impacts, the cybersecurity community has long expressed a degree of skepticism regarding the effect AI could have on their industries since older AI were significantly limited. This attitude, however, is set to change now. Mere weeks after the launch of ChatGPT, Israeli cybersecurity company Check Point demonstrated how the new AI chatbot in conjunction with OpenAI’s Codex can create a phishing email.
Cybercrime made easy and accessible
As with other developments in the online security world, the use of AI written content significantly eases access for malicious actors. According to Chester Wisniewski, a principal research scientist at Sophos, AI written phishing emails will drastically increase the potential threat of non-native English speakers while AI written code will render less technically competent criminals more dangerous.
This feeds in to concerns raised in mid-2022 about more complex cybercrime schemes such as those represented by Ransomware-as-a-Service, which has already demonstrated the potential dangers of separating the coding aspects of online crime from the targeting and spread. By adding AI tools into the mix, even more barriers to entry will be removed for criminals looking to enter the market. As a consequence, ransomware threats will likely continue to be the rising trend.
As cybercrime rises in frequency and complexity, companies need to address the threat
With AI representing a new cybersecurity threat to add onto the list, it is imperative that companies continue to invest into their cybersecurity training and infrastructure. As demonstrated by the high-profile cyberattacks in 2022, failure to adequately prepare can be crippling for your company.
As such, it has become ever more important to ensure that your data is kept safe and secure. The most obvious step is to ensure all your relevant data is protected in an archive or backup system; this allows a quick restoration in the event of attacks without having to pay the attackers for restored access, or continued access to your data. This capability should form the cornerstone of any recovery plan for a modern company working in the fast-paced digital environment.
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