By Emily Newton, Editor-in-Chief at Revolutionized Magazine
Generative AI can save hours of labor in offices and create award-winning art. However, every new technology needs the cybersecurity treatment, and it is time to tackle ChatGPT security risks with a proactive mindset. Hackers are taking advantage of the novelty and naivete of new technologies — and ChatGPT users. Analysts and IT professionals must stay ahead of the curve.
ChatGPT Security Risks
Security risks in generative AI manifest in a few ways. Hallucinations are one of the most prominent and challenging to catch.
Biases and saliency variances cause ChatGPT to produce frequent inaccurate responses. They appear legitimate because of their large language model capabilities. The syntax is impressive and it may seem inoffensive. In reality, hackers lace AI responses with harmful content. It becomes more impactful when hackers tarnish code for others. End users use responses to create applications or content. The unethical content spreads, framing ignorant creators in the process.
For example, if someone asks ChatGPT to produce lines of code, executing them might trigger malware installation, just as clicking a link through generative AI could lead to a phishing scam. It is the same methods threat actors have relied on for years, but they are using a new mode of transportation to deliver their traps.
Social Engineering and Spying
Many people have tried to have a conversation with ChatGPT. It helps the model learn — but on the other side of the screen is a potential threat actor intercepting and gathering information as a deepfake of sorts. It is ideal for social engineering or targeted attacks, like whaling or spear phishing. The information cybercriminals gather is pertinent for social manipulation or instigating such an intimately personal attack that it is difficult to discern the origin.
On top of external concerns are internal bugs and patches that constantly need filling from OpenAI’s dev team, especially with the recent announcement of plug-in compatibility. An oversight led to ChatGPT exposing people’s conversations, leaving users to question how safe their personally identifying information is. Slip-ups reach hackers’ ears as intelligence for future exploitation.
Mindsets of Power
Analysts need as much of a mindset shift as the people using and forging ChatGPT. They are equally essential to boosting cybersecurity, as are professionals’ tools, software and skills. Analysts with pessimistic attitudes on the defense side allow opportunistic hackers to take the lead.
A few ChatGPT users trust the makers behind the program ― many do not. The lack of public trust in the leaders behind tech companies makes users wonder what biases and oversights lurk in the data. It is not as open as the name suggests, leading skeptics to ponder if adequate oversight of its information exists.
Lawmakers see the concern on citizens’ and IT’s faces and are hurrying, attempting to dock up and agree on standards and frameworks for ethical and safe generative AI. It is taking time, and ChatGPT security risks are growing in severity. IT professionals can accent the gravity of swift regulatory action for increased international cybersecurity.
It is the most long-term way to reinforce ChatGPT security risks. Regulations are always flawed on the first draft. Regardless, expediting the process is the most concrete and helpful action for worldwide cohesion against AI cyber threats. Everyone is a target, including critical infrastructure like medical facilities to government buildings. ChatGPT and generative AI are everywhere, so professionals must build momentum for action.
Analysts’ Lines of Defense
Cybersecurity defense is only complete with tools and strategies. The first is increasing education to refine expertise. Cybersecurity requires continuing education, and IT teams must lobby for resources from management. Additionally, third-party partners need the same treatment. Everyone from white hat hackers to penetration testers need relevant resources to educate themselves to practice against new ChatGPT threats.
Defenders can learn to spot hallucinations and teach safety practices, like evaluating responses before executing code or suggested programs and checking for spelling errors. Third-party apps are in the works for scanning generative AI responses to determine their safety and validity — employing tools is another layer of security.
Data gathering can happen from the analyst’s side as much as from the AI’s side. Obtaining information about traffic and information overload alerts overseers of potential issues. Spikes or other unexpected traffic activity indicates everything from a botnet to a brute force attack. Reviewing data works by minimizing authorized access to the information and using strong verification practices and frameworks, like zero-trust and two-factor authentication.
Keeping safe means checking every corner. Though perimeter security is losing value in cybersecurity, the tools it asserts to prioritize are still valuable in digital safety — even with ChatGPT. Alternatives to it are equally vital to consider employing. Generative AI attacks can still come from all over, even if most suspect it nestles within the program itself.
Constantly review, update and upgrade the security of quintessential areas:
- Antivirus and malware software
- Intrusion detection and prevention systems
- Border routers
Mending the Risks of ChatGPT
ChatGPT is a powerful tool for ingenuity and productivity, changing the lives of workplaces, hobbyists and governments worldwide. It cannot rise to its full potential, with cybersecurity gaps lurking in the data set. If hackers can exploit any part of ChatGPT, it discredits its capabilities. End users are unable to view what it can provide to the planet.
IT professionals and analysts everywhere can use novel generative AI-focused methods to boost defenses. It will rewrite history by putting generative AI in a better starting position to garner the reputation it deserves with how much it has to offer.
Emily Newton is the Editor-in-Chief at Revolutionized Magazine. A regular contributor to Brilliance Security Magazine, she has over four years of experience writing articles in the industrial sector.