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AI is a Security Threat You Cannot Ignore

AI is a Security Threat You Cannot Ignore

January 15, 2024

2023 was a banner year for AI (Artificial Intelligence), as it truly entered the zeitgeist in a way that it previously had failed to. Many companies and industries have considered ways to implement AI and make it part of their operations, while others might be fearful of it for its role in job scarcity. However, 2024 might show businesses that they should be worried about AI for a reason you might not have anticipated: AI-generated cyberthreats.

AI and Its Uses in 2024

Just to bring you up to speed, the tech world is full of technology that leverages complex algorithms and massive amounts of information. For AI, this means programs that are using existing text to generate human-like text. Basically, the software itself can train itself on the text found on the Internet, including the 300 billion words found in books, on social media platforms, in news articles, and so much more. It can then learn from this text and generate content. It can answer questions in several languages, including English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Portuguese, just to name a few.

These Large Language Models, or LLMs, are quite popular at the moment, with ChatGPT being the most household name of the bunch. Others tend to use the term AI as an umbrella term.

It’s amazing what these AI tools can do, providing users with quick ways to ask questions and get answers, brainstorm or generate ideas, or provide a task list for everything you’ve discussed with it. Software developers in particular have learned a lot from it, as it can be used to find security vulnerabilities in code.

The opposite, however, remains true, which is the crux of this problem.

Technology is Used By Both Good and Bad People

When innovation happens, people find incredible ways to use it for the good of society. Eventually, the selfish among us attempt to use it for their own personal gain and make efforts to exploit or harm others with it. Hackers are no exception; they will use modern technology to exploit the masses, and AI makes it more manageable and accessible than before.

Cybercriminals are using AI to create stronger and more powerful threats that attack vulnerabilities. Yes, developers are learning more about how to protect systems, but hackers are always going to try to push the buck on this. AI can be used to find vulnerabilities before patches are released, or to write phishing emails that get users to take action. It can even write malicious programs that can wreak havoc on businesses and individuals alike. You need to be ready to take the fight to these challenges and stay ahead of the bad people out there who want to harm your business.

For Hackers, Cybercrime is Simply a Business

There is a common misconception that hackers are lone wolf threat actors who hide in dark rooms and stare at code all day, typing viciously at their keyboard until they have “cracked the system,” whatever that means.

In reality, however, hacking and cybercrime is run more like a business than anything else.

They want to get the most profit for their efforts, and if they find that certain campaigns are lucrative, they will exploit those campaigns for all they are worth. Similarly, if something doesn’t work, they will invest time and resources into making it work.

To make matters worse, it has been discovered recently that scammers and cybercriminals are complicit in human trafficking, forcing people to work in exchange for their freedom. It’s not so out of the question that, if you receive a phone call, text message, or email from a scammer, it’s a victim of human trafficking on the other end.

There are large compounds with thousands of people who have been tricked into imprisonment by those who want to do nothing but scam and exploit others. CNN recently did an incredibly eye-opening article that is worth checking out, but be warned, there is some disturbing content.

Hackers will go to extreme lengths to leverage whatever assets they can to their advantage, including other people and technology like AI. Cybercrime is an industry all its own, full of ruthless and cutthroat individuals who want to see your business burn, and feel nothing for the people they use to do so.

Take Cybersecurity Seriously in the New Year

With AI and social engineering becoming prominent parts of cybercriminals’ strategies, you need to be ready to handle anything they throw at you. Let First Column IT help; learn more by calling us at (571) 470-5594.

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