Letter from the CEO – March 2023

By now, we are all well aware of the recent advancements in Artificial Intelligence. There’s an AI that can paint a picture of whatever you ask in just seconds. There’s an AI that can proofread legal documents and pass the Bar. AI in cars can safely drive you around town or deliver you food. And in the medical field, AI has recently been shown to be more effective at diagnosing skin cancer than a dermatologist. These are all groundbreaking advancements that we will benefit from as we learn to coexist with Artificial Intelligence. However, there is a dark side, and it’s not just job security. It’s identity security.

There is an increasing threat of hackers using AI to clone voices “Voice Deepfakes” to trick individuals into carrying out their attacks. We already know that bad actors can impersonate our email accounts, they can spoof our phone numbers, but now they can speak to you clearly as day in a familiar voice. Their goal is simple: defraud you of money or gain access to sensitive information. Although recent examples of these attacks are mostly targeting larger enterprise companies, don’t think it can’t happen to you. In the not-so-distant past, Ransomware was only a big business problem, but they are now a widespread issue affecting individuals and small businesses alike.

So now what? What can one do to protect themselves and their businesses? Identifying and stopping AI cyber threats is not much different from spotting an email phishing scam, and it all starts with awareness and education. Be mindful of any unexpected calls, even if they are from people you know. This does not mean you need to give Mom the shakedown, but if she starts asking you to transfer money to her offshore bank account, this should be a red flag. If your Spidey senses go off on any call, simply hang up and call the person back on a known good phone number.

The world’s digital footprint and capabilities are expanding by the second, and this pace will surely increase. As a reminder, always keep your personal information such as full name, address, social security number, date of birth, pets’ names, children’s names, and phone numbers as guarded information. A hacker can quickly use this data to impersonate you while sounding like you.

In conclusion, while AI advancements are groundbreaking and have tremendous potential, it’s crucial to be aware of the risks and take necessary precautions to protect yourself and your business from identity theft and other forms of cyber-attacks.