The ability of ChatGPT and similar generative AI to understand questions and generate meaningful answers is predicted to revolutionize business.
Imagine a customer support chatbot that understands complicated questions and delivers meaningful answers.
Generative AI is proving to be a cybersecurity game changer as well. Potential benefits include rapid identification of threat surfaces, faster security posture assessments, recommendations for consolidation and orchestration, and — when integrated into threat detection and response solutions — faster identification, investigation, and response to threats with improved capabilities for recognizing unknown zero day threats.
But powerful new technologies present significant risks. A survey of 1,500 IT and cybersecurity decision-makers revealed that 51% of respondents believe a successful cyberattack attributed to ChatGPT will occur within a year. 71% of the participants believe that nation-states may already be using ChatGPT for malicious purposes. Here are just a few examples of security threats that ChatGPT and similar large language model (LLM) AI can create:
- ChatGPT can generate new and unique malware. For example, researchers created Black Mamba, a proof-of-concept polymorphic keylogger that automatically changes its code on the fly to evade detection by traditional EDR solutions.
- ChatGPT also makes it easier for threat actors without significant technical skills to design sophisticated attacks that they couldn’t create on their own. Budget-minded novices may turn to ChatGPT to avoid paying the already-low fees for commodity ransomware.
- Threat actors are already using tools like ChatGPT to create more believable phishing emails that use correct spelling, grammar, and writing style. In the future, threat actors are predicted to expand from phishing emails to craft legitimate-sounding social posts and even “deepfake” audio, and video that may be indistinguishable from real content.
Threat actors are also exploiting global interest in ChatGPT to lure the public into installing malware. For example, around 2000 people a day installed a malicious browser extension called Quick access to ChatGPT that harvested information about Facebook Business accounts. Other attempts to exploit public interest include promoting and distributing fake ChatGPT apps that install a variety of malware.
The growth of generative AI and its cybersecurity impact presents new opportunities for MSSPs to increase the value of your services. The MSSP value proposition has always included delivering top-tier security at much lower cost for a business to build, staff, and maintain their own SOC.
Because generative AI can make it easier to create and spread malware, more small and mid-size businesses may be targeted. These organizations will benefit from enterprise-strength cybersecurity — including technology and human expertise — on the forefront of research and innovation to identify and respond to known and unknown threats.
Cybersecurity training and education are another avenue for MSSPs to deliver value-add services. For example, as the quality of phishing lures and other fake content improves, employees must be trained to identify and report potential threats instead of immediately clicking links.
Customers also must understand how employee use of generative AI can create cybersecurity risks and violate regulatory and compliance requirements. For example, at some companies, employees have added corporate data into generative AI tools, to aid their own analysis, without considering whether their actions were making proprietary, customer, and financial data visible to the public.
The demand for MSSPs that can help organizations create and implement meaningful data protection, privacy, and cybersecurity policies and staff training may rise.
Helping businesses understand and manage both the internal and external impact of ChatGPT and other emerging AI can be a competitive differentiator among MSSPs. Solutions like BlackBerry CylanceENDPOINT and CylanceEDGE are designed to help MSSPs deliver the benefits of AI-based cybersecurity directly to your markets.