AI-Powered Phishing Attacks Hitting Businesses

Cyber threats and phishing attacks continue to be a growing concern for businesses around the globe.

Cyber threats and phishing attacks continue to be a growing concern for businesses around the globe. With the rise of artificial intelligence integrating in online platforms, Windows 11, and our productivity apps, cyber threats are becoming faster, more advanced, and easier to deploy for attackers as well.

A recent study found 98% of security leaders are concerned about cybersecurity risks and threats posed by AI platforms such as Bard, ChatGPT, and other tools. These low-cost and in some cases free tools can be used by malicious actors just like the rest of us, and it’s causing cyber attacks and spam to increase monumentally. What can businesses do to resolve this potential problem?

AI-Powered Phishing Attacks and Cyber Threats

End-users have long been taught to look for typos and grammatical errors in emails to understand whether it is a phishing attack, but generative AI can create perfectly-crafted phishing emails that look completely legitimate. For the most part, all it takes is a simple sentence or two to generate a full on email or legitimate-seeming communication. This makes it almost impossible for employees to understand an attack from a real email.

Since the public release of ChatGPT, anyone with a free account can access the tool and generate any amount of text. ChatGPT-4, currently a paid platform, can go a step further and generate more complex information and text, even sourcing information from the web.

How are AI Tools Being Used Maliciously?

The ability to generate large amounts of coherent and believable text in a short amount of time with platforms like ChatGPT, Microsoft Copilot, and Google Bard has led to a monumental increase in phishing emails and spam. It’s now much easier to generate articles, emails, and online communication that is believable and easy to understand. More advanced AI tools can generate soundbites and believable voices of anyone from just a few recorded sentences. Other more malicious AI tools such as WormGPT, touted as a blackhat alternative to ChatGPT, takes the safety barriers off and allows generation of nearly any prompt.

Enhance Defenses with Security Awareness Training

Security awareness training is a measure for employees to better educate and inform them to recognize and mitigate cybersecurity threats and phishing attacks. It is an essential component of a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy and helps organizations better defend against evolving cyber threats. training can include teaching how to recognize phishing attempts, suspicious emails, and other social engineering tactics. Some businesses take a more active approach to training by implementing controlled phishing simulation campaigns that test employees with pre-built phishing communications to discover where training and awareness may need to be implemented. Businesses have found that by implementing phishing campaigns with educational content tied to them, security awareness improved company-wide.

Topics of interest in these training campaigns can include:

  • Phishing and social engineering attacks
  • Malware attacks
  • Ransomware attacks
  • Password security
  • Data security
  • Internet safety
  • Physical security

Get started with training employees on cybersecurity do’s and don’ts

People are most often your first line of defense against malicious attacks aimed at your business. Focusing on the best endpoint protection, network security, and protocols is great, but it can all be circumvented by an employee and lead to a compromised system. Training your employees on cybersecurity threats and what to look out for is proven to secure your business and enhance business security practices. Contact us to learn more about security awareness training and how we can deliver a proven improvement to employee security practices.

Test Employee Knowledge with Phishing Simulations

A phishing simulation, also known as a phishing exercise or phishing attack test, is a controlled and ethical attempt to mimic a phishing attack on an organization’s employees. Phishing simulations are a controlled version of a phishing attack, where the employee will receive a phishing attempt tied to the simulation platform instead of a malicious party. The primary purpose of a phishing simulation is to assess and improve the cybersecurity awareness and preparedness of employees by testing their ability to recognize and respond to phishing attacks and malicious emails.

We provide businesses with an enterprise-level platform for conducting security awareness training and phishing attack simulations. This ensures your employees stay up-to-date on the latest malicious tech trends and how to easily spot them. While working with a university in 2020, we found that over 64% of their employees were susceptible to our phishing attempts in a 1 month period . After 6 months of regular phishing simulation campaigns and educational training, that percentage dropped to 23% of university employees falling victim to a phishing simulation email.

Better educate individuals on the dangers of phishing attacks to improve cybersecurity focus

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