AI is the major buzzword in a number of industries at the moment – and for good reason. It’s making a huge impact on efficiency, productivity, customer service, the customer experience, employee experience, cybersecurity, networking security, and general business operations. While AI definitely brings a lot of positives to the table, there are also concerns that come with the technology, as it’s not only being used by business owners. Hackers and cybercriminals are also using AI to change up their attacks, which requires companies to change up their own data and network security game plan for 2024.
AI Positively Impacted Businesses and Networking Security Strategies in 2023 …
With the introduction of ChatGPT in November, 2022, and similar chat programs entering the space in the past year, AI has been thrust into the conversation when it comes to business and network security strategy. Of course, AI is more than just ChatGPT and has been around for a while, but it is becoming more sophisticated with increased capabilities year over year.
Some benefits that came out of AI in 2023 for businesses included improved network monitoring, better IT support, personalized customer experiences, greater efficiency and productivity, improved decision-making, reduction of human error, less downtime, and better quality products and services. These stats speak for themselves:
- 40% of business leaders say AI automation has increased productivity.
- AI is expected to create 133 million jobs and contribute over $15 trillion to the global economy by 2030.
- 25% of businesses are using AI to address their labor shortages.
- AI startup funding has increased by about 66% in the last two years.
- 33% of AI adoption is focused on the automation of IT processes.
And the technology is only set to increase in capability and adoption. In fact, over 50% of large enterprises are expected to use AI by 2024. And the global AI market size is expected to grow by 37% every single year from 2023 to 2030. With the United States and China leading the charge in AI investment, it’s exciting to see what capabilities the technology will deliver to companies by the end of the decade.
… But It’s Not Just the Good Guys Using AI
While AI is certainly bringing a number of benefits to businesses that want to get a better handle on their operations, there is a darker side to the technology. After all, it’s not just the good guys that will be using AI. Bad actors, hackers, cybercriminals, and others also have access to the technology, which could give them a leg up on unsuspecting employees.
Here are just a few ways cybercriminals are currently using AI to gain access to businesses:
Thanks to AI, hackers can conduct a more efficient brute-force attack on a company’s accounts in order to guess the password. The technology guesses various password combinations until it lands on the correct one. If your company has less than stellar password management strategies, your passwords could be easy to crack by AI.
And it’s not just passwords the technology is able to break – cybercriminals can also crack CAPTCHA tests. A recent study found that bots are actually better than humans when it comes to CAPTCHA!
Deepfakes can be funny and entertaining, but they can have severe consequences when used nefariously. Deepfake technology, which includes voice and video overlay, can be used to impersonate individuals. This makes it difficult to validate a person’s identity. In the event of a phishing attempt, a bad actor could use a deepfake to impersonate a boss within the company, adding more credence to the attempt.
In addition, cybercriminals are also using AI to create better phishing emails, texts, and communications. As a result, they’re becoming harder to spot.
Weaponizing AI Frameworks
AI frameworks are designed to provide researchers and AI developers with the tools they need to create their own AI models. While these models tend to help improve processes for businesses and individuals, bad actors can use them too. Cybercriminals are already using AI frameworks for penetration testing, Wi-Fi hacking, and more.
Building Better Malware
In addition, AI is also improving malware attacks, and cybercriminals are developing new ways to infect their targets. Even trusted social media platforms like YouTube aren’t safe. For instance, a malicious actor will create an AI-generated video that appears to be a tutorial of Photoshop. In the description, viewers will find a link that seems to direct them to a free version of the software. Although everything seems legit, the link is actually malware that, if clicked on, is then installed onto the system.
Partnering With a Cybersecurity Company Can Protect Your Business in 2024
The best way to fight these AI attacks and others? With AI resources of your own.
At PCC, we are utilizing AI to improve networking security, cybersecurity, monitoring, and more. Our managed IT services allow businesses like yours to stay ahead of criminals. By keeping up with the latest AI trends, threats, concerns, and more, we can offer companies the ability to adapt their networking security strategies to the newest developments, which can help keep data in and cybercriminals out.