The unprecedented sophistication in the field of AI may have strengthened most industries. However, cybersecurity experts are concerned about the potential misuse of this technology by cybercriminals.
The AI capabilities are now being transferred to phishing emails, one of the most potential social engineering attacks.
Malicious players are leveraging AI to execute sophisticated and large-scale phishing campaigns. Phishing has been traditionally one of the commonly used attack modules by online criminals. Their access to AI has further streamlined these attack modules, and the threat vectors look menacing.
With malicious actors increasingly leveraging AI to enhance their tactics, CISOs, and cybersecurity experts are faced with new challenges to safeguard their organizations.
Brian Finch, co-leader of the cybersecurity, data protection & privacy practice at law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, states that hackers have historically struggled to create convincing phishing emails due to poor vocabulary and spelling.
Besides, phishing emails can easily be spotted through their errors in grammar and unfamiliar languages. In the past, vigilant individuals and automated defenses could detect phishing emails through these typical features.
AI is so new that most people, including business executives, don’t really understand how it can be used for malicious purposes.Brian Finch
However, with AI at their disposal, cybercriminals can generate persuasive text for phishing emails. This makes them a significantly bigger threat potential.
What Should Organizations Do To Strengthen Their Line Of Defense?
Global organizations and enterprises need to draw their line of defense against AI-backed phishing attacks by leveraging AI trends. This is one of the most logical countermeasures against increasing threats from cybercriminals. Other crucial measures include staying informed about the latest technology advancements and hiring personnel with AI skills or retraining existing staff.
Kyle Kappel, U.S. leader of cyber at KPMG, stated that advanced technologies like ML algorithms and anomaly detection, along with real-time monitoring, can go a long way in identifying potential security breaches and responding to them.
Therefore, businesses need to allocate adequate resources and have proper leadership to strengthen their countermeasures against phishing attacks. Besides, appointing experts in AI security to leadership positions is the need of the hour. These leaders should be empowered with the necessary tools and authority to counter offenses by online miscreants.
Establishing A New Security Framework
Out-dated methods of training employees, including executives, on how to avoid falling victim to attackers can render your organization vulnerable. Besides, it’s imperative for organizations to train their employees on identifying AI-generated phishing emails.
It pays to organize an updated employee training program, which would help employees stay informed about AI’s potential threats and adverse impacts.
Organizations must also develop new training programs and tools to combat phishing attempts powered by AI. It’s crucial to develop strategies, leverage security measures across the enterprise, and ensure policy enforcement.
This responsibility largely lies on CISOs. The concept can be transformed into reality with adequate cooperation and support from other members of the C-suite.
For executives, it’s important to adopt a comprehensive framework that guides the implementation of appropriate controls for AI usage within the organization.
This includes proper procedures for interacting with third-party entities too. With a foolproof framework in place, organizations can mitigate the threat potential. A secure AI ecosystem, along with policies and regulations, can address security issues in the digital landscape.