How is ChatGPT Changing Cybersecurity?
This year, one of the most significant technological advancements has been the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and large language models (LLMs), the highest-profile example being ChatGPT.
While ChatGPT has garnered the attention of the global business media for its ability to streamline customer-facing processes, its many applications in cybersecurity are much less discussed.
The new chat technology has tremendous potential for security defenders, but it can also be exploited by cybercriminals to launch sophisticated attacks. Let’s explore how ChatGPT is changing cybersecurity and how businesses in Ohio should be preparing themselves.
AI-Generated Phishing Hits the Mainstream
A common threat posed by ChatGPT in cybersecurity is that it assists hackers in phishing campaigns.
In fact, according to a Darktrace report, there is a 135% increase in social engineering attacks from January 2023 through February 2023, one of the reasons being the easy availability of ChatGPT.
- ChatGPT Heralds the Era of AI-Generated Phishing Emails
ChatGPT can be used to write more convincing phishing emails, helping hackers who are not native English speakers create more effective campaigns. Generative AI tools like ChatGPT can instantly generate grammatically correct and professional-sounding emails, with little effort.As phishing attacks evolve, ChatGPT and similar AI and ML platforms are uniquely positioned to help threat actors launch social engineering attacks on social media and messaging platforms like WhatsApp, Telegram, and Facebook, and scale those attacks up to a
- Fraudulent Chatbots
More advanced hackers may use ChatGPT or other LLM to create a full-fledged chatbot to pretend as customer support.People often tend to trust websites that are well built and look professional. Cybercriminals can integrate such AI-powered chatbots into their platform to make it feel more legitimate and to try and acquire personal info from unsuspecting visitors.Setting up automated chatbots on is not a complicated tasks for most hackers. Even those with low-level skills and expertise can launch such attacks with the help of ChatGPT.
Because phishing and social engineering are the most common techniques cyber attackers use, businesses in Ohio must redouble their efforts to train their employees to notice the important signs of phishing attacks.
ChatGPT Enables Polymorphous Malware
ChatGPT cybersecurity risks aren’t limited to phishing; LLMs like ChatGPT have applications in more sophisticated attacks as well.
More ambitious and skilled attackers have started to use ChatGPT to create new and more dangerous forms of polymorphous malware, a type of malware that automatically changes its code and attack strategies to avoid detection.
Because ChatGPT can already generate very respectable code, that makes a dangerous tool in the hands of cyber criminals, as polymorphous malware can easily avoid traditional, signature-based anti-malware security systems.
What can businesses do about it? Organizations in all industries should start assuming that any determined hacker can bypass traditional antimalware systems and start implementing next-generation antivirus solution (NGAV).
These systems don’t use a signature or heuristic, snippets of code within the virus, to recognize malicious intent. Instead, they use machine learning to identify the behavior of an application, see if it has any of the characteristics or behaviors of a virus, then isolate dangerous programs.
How Can ChatGPT Improve Cybersecurity Defenses?
We’ve seen how cyberattackers can use ChatGPT for attacking. There are also many beneficial applications of ChatGPT for cybersecurity.
LLMs like ChatGPT can efficiently handle and detect patterns and relations in large datasets. This helps security professionals improve their system’s resilience against cyber threats.
Let us take a look at some of the key areas where professionals can leverage the AI model in cybersecurity.
AI-Powered Threat Intelligence and Analysis
Security experts extensively use tools like Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) and User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) to analyze vast amounts of data. These tools are already using revolutionary AI technology to detect patterns and anomalies within large datasets.
LLMs further facilitate the analysis of extensive logs, reports, and other text-based security-related data, which enables security tools to identify subtle patterns in potential cyber threats, such as suspicious user behavior and unrecognized network activity.
Improve Security Awareness Training
ChatGPT can bring a dynamic and interactive element to the training of security personnel by engaging them in conversational simulations. Employees undergoing security awareness training can interact with the AI chatbot, ask questions, and receive immediate responses.
The conversations can be tailored to simulate real-world security scenarios of potential threats, such as phishing attempts, social engineering attacks, or password security, so that the chatbot can guide the trainees with appropriate responses to such attacks. Not only does it serve as an educational tool, but it also makes the training more engaging and effective.
Close the Knowledge Gap
In larger cybersecurity teams, there can be problems associated with knowledge gaps between lower-level staff and senior experts with higher skill sets.
Many entry-level and lower-level employees in IT and cybersecurity often come across complex techniques, concepts, and situations that require expertise beyond their skill sets. ChatGPT can help bridge this knowledge gap by acting as an accessible and knowledgeable mentor within the cybersecurity team.
ChatGPT can help entry-level employees learn and understand complex techniques and concepts beyond their current skill sets. By interacting with the chatbot, lower-level staff can gain fast insights into cybersecurity strategies, analyze code, and make better cybersecurity decisions by instantly referring to a massive corpus of threat intelligence.
Enhance Security Operations with AI
Businesses and security experts should make the best use of AI in cybersecurity to combat hackers. The above examples are just some of the methods; there are many more advanced uses cases, a few of which include:
- Streamline security operations and provide real-time vulnerability reports
- Streamline risk assessments and recommendations
- Increase the accuracy of threat intelligence based on analysis of monitoring data
If your business feels unsure about how to best leverage tools like ChatGPT for cybersecurity, it may be best to partner with an IT firm who’s equipped with cutting-edge AI tools.
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