Since OpenAI launched its AI language model, ChatGPT, in November 2022, it has acquired millions of users worldwide. However, can businesses trust the revolutionary tool? Does it pose any cybersecurity threats to the business?
This article discusses the cybersecurity threats businesses may face if they do not use it cautiously.
ChatGPT is an AI chatbot that can pose cybersecurity threats to businesses. These may include:
- social engineering attacks,
- exposure to sensitive data, and
- API attacks.
But before we discuss the security threats to ChatGPT, let us understand what exactly it is.
What is ChatGPT
Forbes describes ChatGPT as,
“ChatGPT was developed by U.S. company OpenAI, which specializes in artificial intelligence tools for human use. OpenAI describes ChatGPT as a sibling model to another of its tools, InstructGPT, which is trained to follow human prompts and provide detailed responses to queries.”
ChatGPT has experienced extraordinary growth, reaching 100 million active users just two months after launch.
ChatGPT is built on top of OpenAI’s foundational large language models (LLMs) like GPT-4 and its predecessors. It uses machine learning models to generate human-like sentences from input text.
What Can It Do ?
- Respond to questions
- Compose written content, including articles, social media posts, essays, code, and emails
- Analyze text and learn how words typically flow
- Predict text in the future
- Generate human-like text based on context and past conversations
What is the Risk ?
However, ChatGPT can create security risks for businesses. It can generate inappropriate or inaccurate responses if its input texts are incorrect or if it pulls data from biased or discriminatory sources.
Some of the real instances when ChatGPT compromised data are:
- ChatGPT experienced a data breach in March 2023 that lasted nine hours. The breach potentially impacted up to 1.2% of active ChatGPT Plus subscribers. Exposed data included:
- Users’ names
- Email and payment addresses
- Partial credit card details
- The first message of some user conversations.
2. Cybercriminals have started using the AI chatbot to write phishing emails that they can use in their malicious campaigns.
According to the report, 5 ChatGPT Scams to Watch Out For by Make Use of, in April 2023, news publications began reporting a wave of phishing emails written specifically by ChatGPT.
The possible cybersecurity threats businesses may face are given below:
ChatGPT Cybersecurity Threats for Businesses
According to the report, The New Risks ChatGPT Poses to Cybersecurity, by Harvard Business Review,
Here are the top Chat GPT cybersecurity threats explained:
ChatGPT Privacy Concerns
Chat GPT-3 accesses user data to learn and generate responses. This means there is a risk of user data being used for purposes that infringe on user data privacy.
Businesses must be aware of these privacy threats when providing sensitive data, even if it is a part of operations.
ChatGPT theoretically can produce code as it is a text-based language model. This attribute is very useful for scaling and code that will be accurate and voluminous. But it has its risk- while producing code for enterprises, it can also write code for attackers.
ChatGPT is popular among hackers to trick users into downloading malware and stealing their personal information.
Hackers have also used ChatGPT to impersonate trusted individuals, such as bank representatives, to convince users to provide their banking details.
According to GROUP-IB, over 100,000 OpenAI ChatGPT account credentials were compromised and sold on dark web marketplaces from June 2022 to May 2023.
Thus, malware development by hackers is one of the ChatGPT cybersecurity threats the business must be aware of.
Bias and Misinformation
Since GPT-3 is a large language model, it learns from training data. It does not have subjective logic. GPT-3 will unwittingly generate inaccurate or biased responses if the data contains incorrect or biased information. This can have profound implications regarding sensitive areas of businesses, politics, or healthcare.
Phishing and Social Engineering Attacks
Exploiters can leverage Chat GPT-3 to impersonate a trusted person, such as a bank representative. They can persuade users to reveal their banking details. It can lead to substantial financial loss for both businesses and customers.
Businesses must be careful of such cybersecurity threats, phishing, and social engineering attacks while using ChatGPT.
ChatGPT continues to learn and improves its understanding of various questions and prompts. It is becoming better informed and smarter each second. This is what makes ChatGPT unique from other chatbots.
Businesses can closely watch its developments and how it will evolve. At the same time, companies must closely monitor its impact on cyberspace security.
Its ability to generate surprisingly human-like responses is the obvious benefit of Chat GPT. This advancement’s possibilities are astonishing and will undoubtedly significantly influence how artificial intelligence shapes enterprises.
While acknowledging its extensive advantages, it is crucial to consider the potential hazards linked with chat GPT. These include threats to data privacy, risk of phishing attacks, the distribution of malware, social engineering attacks, and the risk of generating biased or inaccurate information.
Businesses must consider the practicality of controlling the misuse and cybersecurity threats of the popular chatbot. However, with all the cybersecurity threats inherent in Chat GPT, its perks far outweigh its downside. So businesses can use it and enjoy it while staying aware of its risks.