Remote work comes with unique challenges, including additional cyber security risks. As artificial intelligence (AI) use becomes more popular among businesses and individuals, remote workers must be aware of the potential risks associated with using this technology. Although there are cyber security benefits to using AI, such as streamlined threat detection and the ability to analyze vast quantities of data, it also has the potential to be weaponized by cyber criminals. These threat actors have already begun leveraging AI technology to seek out their targets more easily, launch attacks at greater speeds and in larger volumes, and wreak further havoc amid these attacks.
A recent cyber security report found that some AI tools are capable of cracking more than half (51%) of common passwords in under a minute and over two-thirds (71%) of such credentials in less than a day.
While many employers are implementing strategies to minimize these concerns, remote employees can help reduce cyber security risks by understanding common cyber threats and how AI can contribute to them.
The following are cyber threats to be aware of:
- Malware is a computer virus often disguised as an innocuous email attachment, program or link. These viruses infect computers and can do various tasks without the user’s knowledge. For instance, they might download personal files, store password data or track website activity. The use of AI chatbots may worsen the spread of malware, as they can generate illicit code in seconds. This enables cyber criminals with varying levels of technical expertise to launch malware attacks with ease. Some AI tools can also generate deceptive YouTube videos claiming to be tutorials on downloading certain versions of popular software (e.g., Adobe and Autodesk products), distributing malware to targets’ devices when they view this content.
- Phishing is an attempt to gain personal information, such as computer passwords, Social Security numbers or other data. Hackers and scammers will impersonate a legitimate company and send fake emails to solicit this information, typically with a phony threat. AI technology could cause these scams to become increasingly common by giving cyber criminals the ability to easily create persuasive phishing messages. It could also clean up grammar and spelling errors in human-produced writing to make phishing attempts appear more convincing.
- Brute force attacks occur when hackers try logging into someone’s account numerous times. These attempts often work when individuals reuse usernames and passwords across different accounts. A hacker may expose the information to one account, then use those credentials everywhere else they can think of, eventually gaining access. By leveraging AI technology, cyber criminals can bolster their password-cracking success rates, uncovering targets’ credentials at record speeds.
As AI becomes more widely used among businesses, it’s critical to remain vigilant online. Remote employees should take basic precautions, such as using strong passwords for personal and work accounts and updating computer software. If you encounter a cyber threat, report it to IT immediately to protect your data and prevent it from threatening your organization. Although cyber attacks may be inevitable, you can help protect your data and your organization by staying aware of current threats.
The content herein is provided for general information purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or other advice or opinions on any matters. This information has been taken from sources which we believe to be reliable, but there is no guarantee as to its accuracy.