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Cybersecurity redefined: Adapting your businesses’ strategy to combat malicious AI.

In today's fast-paced world, AI is revolutionising various industries and transforming how we live and work. However, with every technological advancement comes a new set of challenges. Cybercriminals are leveraging AI's capabilities to target businesses and individuals, making it more important than ever to stay vigilant and take proactive measures to protect ourselves and our organisations.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a powerful tool that offers a range of benefits to businesses. It can improve customer experiences, enhance operational efficiency and enable organizations to tailor personalised campaigns and recommendations for their audiences by analysing vast amounts of data. Supply chain management teams can use AI’s predictive analytics to forecast demand, optimize inventory, and streamline logistics for greater efficiency. Additionally, AI has revolutionized customer service with chatbots that provide instant and accurate responses to improve customer satisfaction.

A 2020 S&P Global report showed that 95% of businesses consider AI a vital part of digital transformation.

However, with any transformative technological advancement comes the opportunity for bad actors to leverage that advancement for malicious gains – and AI is no exception. One example of this is a recently discovered AI tool dubbed FraudGPT that’s been circulating on the Dark Web and Telegram since July 2023. It’s being referred to as a cybercriminal’s “all-in-one” solution, boasting the ability to create undetectable malware, compose spear-phishing emails, identify vulnerable websites, and even provide guidance on hacking techniques.

According to Infosecurity Magazine, FraudGPT subscription fees range from $200 per month to $1700 per year, and the tool has over 3000 confirmed sales and reviews.

In the current threat landscape, malicious AI tools are forming a concerning aspect of cybersecurity and posing threats that demand proactive countermeasures from organizations.

The rise of malicious AI tools

Malicious AI tools combine the power of AI and automation with criminal intent, making them an intimidating adversary for businesses trying to maintain robust cybersecurity. These tools can be used to launch sophisticated attacks against organisations. A few examples include:

  • Boosted spear-phishing attacks: Even without the use of AI, phishing remains the ultimate tool for cybercriminals looking to gain access to an organisation’s data and funds. AI-crafted spear-phishing emails kick the practice up a notch with highly personalised and convincing emails that impersonate trusted senders. These emails can imitate the communication style and context of actual executives, making them harder to identify.

  • Supercharged social engineering: Malicious AI tools can analyse vast amounts of data to create targeted, personalised messages, increasing the likelihood of successful social engineering attacks that manipulate recipients into performing harmful actions.

  • Intelligent automated attacks: Cybercriminals can leverage AI tools to automate their attacks, including the extraction of passwords and vulnerability scanning. This accelerates the attack process and can overwhelm established cybersecurity measures.

  • Chatbot misuse: As businesses deploy AI-driven chatbots for customer service, attackers may exploit vulnerabilities in these systems to gather sensitive customer information or deliver malicious payloads. A recent article reported that the creator of FraudGPT is also introducing malicious chatbots based on popular AI tools like ChatGPT and Google’s Gemini.

To combat the threat of malicious AI, organisations must adopt a defensive mindset toward futureproofing cybersecurity strategies and infrastructure.

Cybersecurity best practices to safeguard your business against malicious AI

Traditional cybersecurity measures alone won’t cut it when it comes to defending against AI-driven attacks. Let’s look at some of the key practices your business should be focusing on to mitigate the efforts of attackers using malicious AI:

  1. Keep employees in the know - Provide education on the risks of AI-driven attacks. - Give regular cybersecurity training so employees can easily recognize suspicious emails, links, or urgent requests for sensitive information. - Nurture a culture of cybersecurity awareness and ensure that staff know how to report any unusual activity.

  2. Robust threat detection - Adopt dynamic threat detection solutions with the capability to analyse behavioural patterns and reveal anomalies in network traffic and user activities. - Leverage the power of an intelligently designed Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) reporting platform from a DMARC expert like 4D to enable early threat detection within your email ecosystem. This allows your business to address threats proactively and improves overall cybersecurity.

  3. Cybersecurity control audits - Simply having cybersecurity controls in place is not enough. Businesses need to continuously assess existing cybersecurity infrastructure, policies, and procedures to ensure maximum protection at all times. Regular cybersecurity control audits offer insights into the effectiveness of your organisation’s cybersecurity, which can be leveraged to ensure that it stays resistant to cyber threats.

  4. Strong email authentication - Leverage email authentication protocols such as DMARC to prevent impersonation, including phishing and spoofing. - Set up strict DMARC policies to specify how email recipient servers should handle unauthenticated emails, reducing the chances of fraudulent, AI-generated emails reaching inboxes. - Adopt Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI). BIMI is an email authentication standard that allows for an organisation with DMARC-compliant domains to display its logo beside emails in the recipient’s inbox. BIMI establishes your organisation as a trusted sender, provides improved email deliverability, and increases brand recognition and awareness.

Partner for protection with 4D Limited.

Threat actors using malicious AI will continue to evolve their strategies for success, which means that your business must do the same to protect its employees, customers, and other stakeholders. For your email environment, this starts with knowing your domain’s vulnerability. 

Contact us today to secure your email environment, and external stakeholders, against the threat of malicious AI tools.



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