The recent craze surrounding ChatGPT has driven another layer of visibility to Artificial Intelligence (AI), bringing it firmly into the public eye. While OpenAI has many applications, majority of them being benevolent and even helpful, AI can also have numerous potential malicious uses – cybercrime among them. The reality is that it is becoming very simple for bad actors to develop highly sophisticated exploits using AI, and cybersecurity needs to incorporate AI tools to keep pace.
AI can be used by cybercriminals in numerous ways to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their attacks. Using AI algorithms to analyse the behaviour and interests of potential victims and generate personalised messages, cybercriminals can make phishing attacks far more convincing, increasing the likelihood that users will be tricked into clicking on malicious links and attachments.
AI can be used to analyse social media profiles and other public data sources to gather information about potential victims, using this information to create convincing social engineering attacks that trick users into divulging sensitive information or performing actions that compromise their security. It can also be used to create more sophisticated malware that is more adept at evading detection, by constantly analysing the behaviour of antivirus and intrusion prevention solutions and adapting to defences to stay one step ahead.
AI can even mimic voices and copy speech patterns, which can be used for fraudulent voice authentication, and it can easily crack passwords and even bypass two-factor authentication processes. As AI technology continues to evolve, it is likely that we will witness even more sophisticated and dangerous cyberattacks in the future.
Countering the threat
Cybercrime has become increasingly sophisticated and hard to detect as a result of AI, and cybersecurity needs to make use of the same tools to counteract the growing risk. In threat detection, AI can be used to analyse big data in real-time and identify patterns that may indicate cyberthreats. Machine learning algorithms can be trained to recognise known patterns of attacks and detect anomalies that could indicate a new form of attack. For threat prevention, AI can analyse data and identify potential vulnerabilities that could be exploited by attackers, helping to proactively prevent cyberattacks.
AI can also be used to analyse data to identify patterns that fall outside of the norm. This can indicate an attack, an insider threat, and even fraudulent activities, by flagging suspicious behaviour as it occurs. By automating the detection and containment of cyberattacks, AI can reduce incident response times, minimise the damage caused, and help to mitigate risk.
Adapt or fall behind
If cybersecurity tools are not making use of AI, then businesses are leaving themselves vulnerable to a growing threat. This is no longer a futuristic circumstance – cybercriminals are already using AI in their attacks, which means that it must also be used to counter the threat. AI can be a powerful tool in the fight against cybercrime, helping organisations to detect, prevent, and respond to cyberattacks more effectively, and there are already many tools available to assist. Understanding your environment, your needs, and risks, and implementing the most appropriate solution is key, which is where a cybersecurity expert can prove invaluable.