It is clear ChatGPT has taken our world by storm with a growing popularity of more than 100 million users since January 2023, making it the fastest-growing consumer app in history. Aside from millions of positive reviews on the new technology, some experts are wary of potential threats associated with it. This blog will explain what ChatGPT is and its capabilities, shed light on potential threats consumers should be cautious of, and explore how organizations can safeguard their data from ChatGPT cybercriminals.
What IS ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is a text-generated artificial intelligence (AI) chat box, developed by OpenAI in late 2022. GPT stands for generative pre-trained transformer—the language model decodes our language to decide the probability of what words may come next in the sequence. The AI chat bot can assist users with a variety of tasks such as language processing, essay writing, coding, and conversation-like text prompts based on user responses. Businesses have even adopted the AI tool to create reports, debug coding, develop presentations, emails, and basic websites.
ChatGPT is free to use for users who sign up for an account with OpenAI —a feature common amongst other platforms which request a verification code from the email used to register. Although users are finding significant opportunities for success with the text-generated chat box, there is caution for the 100 million users who may be at risk of cybersecurity threats.
The Potential Threat of ChatGPT
ChatGPT has gained immense popularity and praise for its ability to perform tasks within seconds, generating information and providing knowledge to the end user. Yet, with every great invention comes trial and error, and experts believe this generative chat box poses a threat for cybersecurity. The cybersecurity spectrum continuously faces evolving threats, and those responsible for protecting a business from cyberattacks are forced to contend with evolving malware, spyware, and ransomware.
A survey conducted by BlackBerry shows 1,500 IT specialists across North America, UK, and Australia gave their perceptions of the new AI tool. While respondents in all countries see ChatGPT as generally a tool for “good” purposes, 74% acknowledge it’s potential threat to cybersecurity. Although there is room for speculation on how ChatGPT’s cybersecurity threats may manifest, Shishir Singh, Chief Strategy Officer, Cybersecurity at BlackBerry shares, “the AI chat box’s ability to help hackers craft more believable and legitimate sounding phishing emails is the top global concern (53%), along with enabling less experienced hackers to improve their technical knowledge and develop more specialized skills (49%) and its use for spreading misinformation (49%)”. While most of the world is excited to be using ChatGPT to increase their efficiency and productivity, business owners and consumers must now worry about the possibility of criminals who are using ChatGPT to strengthen their dishonest skills.
Protect Against Malicious Use of ChatGPT
Though there are endless benefits and possibilities of ChatGPT, such as its potentially momentous effect on the business world, it has generated a higher risk of cybercrime for everyone. Cybercriminals are constructing their attacks now, and it’s only a matter of time until they strike. To protect yourself and your business from malicious use of ChatGPT, evaluate these few steps you can take today:
Strong IT Threat Protection. It is essential for all organizations to have robust IT threat protection and to update it frequently. The combination of desktop protection, email spam and protection software, and email resilience solutions are vital. Users should remain vigilant and verify all links in emails to confirm if they are legitimate. The probability of being deceived is on the rise, making it imperative for companies to safeguard themselves.
Pen-testing, alternatively called penetration testing, is an effective means to safeguard your data. It entails imitating an actual attack on your company’s networks, systems, or applications. By doing so, this procedure seeks to detect any security weaknesses which might be exploited by malicious actors, enabling you to identify these risks and take appropriate steps to correct them.
To keep your company’s important data and systems safe, it’s essential to have a strong plan in place that focuses on data resilience. This means having a plan that outlines what to do if there is a security breach and how to restore normal operations quickly and efficiently. The plan should also include instructions for dealing with cybersecurity threats and communicating with everyone involved during and after the incident. It’s important to make sure that your plan is comprehensive and covers all the necessary steps to protect your data and systems.
High Alert of Malicious Emails. To safeguard against fraudulent emails, it’s essential for your organization to remain alert for all forms of deceitful emails. As ChatGPT is highly adept at producing convincing malicious emails, there’s a considerable chance someone might fall prey to them. To prepare your organization for such instances, early introduction of cybersecurity awareness training can go a long way in ensuring your security. One way your organization could bring light to potential cyberattacks is to generate a bogie email and see who clicks on the fake, phishing links. These individuals would be notified of their “failing” and be introduced to an Email Scams 101 training course.
IT Assistance for your Business
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BlackBerry (2023, February 2). ChatGPT May Already Be Used in Nation State Cyberattacks, Say IT Decision Makers in BlackBerry Global Research.