How Generative AI is Creating New Cybersecurity Threats at Scale

Avatar for Trevor ParksBy Trevor Parks|May 25, 2023|9:48 am CDT

With the release of ChatGPT in November of 2023, generative AI — a branch of artificial intelligence that creates new text, images, video, and other content — went mainstream. Tech journalists touted the transformative potential of the technology, and everyday people started wondering how it might make their lives better. Generative AI’s newfound position in the spotlight also brought with it discussions of its ethical use and how to prevent malicious and inappropriate applications, dangers that become increasingly apparent when viewed through the lens of cybersecurity.

Not only can generative AI tools be used to take social engineering to new levels by creating more sophisticated attacks with more convincing text, images, video, and voice to target victims, they also lower the barriers to entry for cybercriminals. Previously, hackers needed some combination of coding, writing, and/or graphic design skills to launch a convincing attack. Now almost anyone with the desire and access to the internet can do so.

This means enterprise technology and cybersecurity leaders face new threats at a potentially unprecedented scale. Let’s take a look at how organizations can identify potential dangers and begin the strategic review and planning process needed to prepare for these challenges quickly.

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What Can Businesses Do to Help Protect Themselves?

Generative AI is enabling cybercriminals to scale attacks in terms of speed, volume, and variety. To counter this, companies should start by thoroughly reviewing their security postures, including assessing current systems, identifying vulnerabilities, and making the necessary adjustments to enhance protection. 

Employee training initiatives should also be re-evaluated, as cybersecurity is a shared responsibility across the organization. By educating employees about the potential dangers of generative AI and teaching them how to identify and respond to threats, companies can help mitigate the risk of attacks.

Organizations looking to stay ahead of emerging AI-based threats should also consider the following:

You Don’t Have to Go It Alone

The challenge of keeping up with the rapid pace of change in cybersecurity threats can be daunting, even for the most experienced IT teams. This is where a managed security service provider (MSSP) can help by bringing extensive expertise, resources, and up-to-date knowledge to the table. By partnering with an MSSP, organizations can effectively offload some of the burden of monitoring and responding to threats, allowing them to focus on their core business functions.

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