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What is ChatGPT? 

ChatGPT is an advanced artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot specializing in natural language processing. With ChatGPT, you can engage in human-like conversations and receive assistance with various tasks such as answering questions, writing essays, creating emails, crafting PowerPoint presentations, and even coding software. 

ChatGPT is not the only advanced AI chatbot of its kind. Still, many of our references throughout this article focus specifically on ChatGPT as it is the most widely used at the time of publication.  

General Risks of AI Chatbots Like ChatGPT

Alongside its remarkable capabilities, ChatGPT also presents potential risks. Bad actors are already leveraging ChatGPT to expedite their malicious code-writing process. Recently, Check Point Technologies, a renowned Cyber Threat Intelligence organization, identified a case where a threat actor successfully used ChatGPT to create a virus and a highly effective spear-phishing email. Due to these kinds of threats, restrictions on access to ChatGPT to block inbound requests from Russia are already in the works. To mitigate such threats, organizations must adopt a robust cybersecurity technology stack that can combat increasingly sophisticated phishing campaigns.  

AI chatbots are designed to learn from user interactions, using reinforcement learning from human feedback. This includes the information that users share with them.  So, if you share proprietary information such as trade secrets, financial information, or personal data with an AI chatbot, it could potentially be stored and used in ways beyond your control. Much the same as uploading or sharing sensitive data with non-official applications or websites, you want to be careful about what you’re feeding into ChatGPT or similar applications. 

Potential Risks to Your Organization 

The adoption of ChatGPT in business environments, thanks to its ability to assist with labor-intensive tasks such as composing emails, comes with its own risks. Any data uploaded into ChatGPT runs the risk of being used in future data models, potentially leading to data leaks. Incidents, like the ones below, raise concerns among organizations using ChatGPT, as they increase the likelihood of leaking proprietary information. 

Here are some examples of instances where organizations were put at risk by Open AI:  

  • One executive copied and pasted a sensitive 2023 strategy document into ChatGPT to create a PowerPoint, according to Cyberhaven 
  • Russian hackers have targeted OpenAI and ChatGPT, aiming to steal code and gain access to uploaded data 
  • Misinformation can be presented as fact through OpenAI, according to The Guardian 

How to Stay Safe Using Artificial Intelligence and ChatGPT 

Since its launch in November 2022, a minimum of 4% of employees have utilized ChatGPT in conjunction with sensitive organizational data. This, combined with the growing trends used by bad actors creates a dangerous environment. Threat actors have been leveraging AI-Language Models to bypass network defenses more effectively, amplifies the risk of data breaches and phishing campaigns for organizations. As a result, GadellNet recommends that all organizations take the following actions to combat the risks associated with using ChatGPT and other AI chatbots: 

  • Update your company’s policy and require all employees to review and acknowledge the changes. 
  • Ensure your organization has deployed a cybersecurity awareness training program that includes simulated phishing emails to help employees identify spam and prevent data breaches and leaks. 
  • Implement an Endpoint Detection and Response platform to protect your organization from malicious activities. 
  • Deploy an Event Log Monitoring platform that stores event logs for extended periods and, provides critical metrics for tracking network health. 
  • Maintain regular dialogue with employees about the  threats that can be associated with using AI language platforms. 

By taking proactive measures to address the risks associated with ChatGPT, organizations can better safeguard their sensitive data and protect against potential cybersecurity threats.  

Contact your Account Manager or consultant for more information. 

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