Safeguarding your Mobile Enterprise in the Era of AI

Navigating AI-driven security and privacy concerns

In an era where Artificial Intelligence (AI) has infiltrated virtually every aspect of our digital lives, the intersection of mobile phone security and privacy concerns has become a critical issue for information technology executives. As the reliance on mobile devices continues to grow in the workplace, so do the risks associated with AI-driven threats to company data.

In this blog, we will delve into the potential pitfalls posed by AI and how it can be leveraged to compromise the security and privacy of your enterprise mobility program. Furthermore, we will explore key risk areas and offer proactive solutions to protect your organization’s sensitive information.

The Rise of AI Use and Powered Attacks                                                                                                                            The threat landscape for AI is evolving rapidly. Social media company Instagram suffered two cyber attacks in 2019, whereby AI scanned user data for vulnerabilities, gained access and exposed sensitive data of millions of users. While AI is becoming more widely used for increased productivity, the AI-powered attacks will likely continue.

  • Half of U.S. mobile users use voice search every day.
  • A quarter of companies are adopting AI because of labor shortages.
  • According to Forbes Advisor, a staggering 97% of business owners believe that ChatGPT will benefit their businesses. One in three businesses plan to use ChatGPT to create website content, while 44% aim to generate content in multiple languages.
  • Over 60% of business owners believe AI will increase productivity. Specifically, 64% stated that AI would improve business productivity, and 42% believe it will streamline job processes.
  • McKinsey predicts that between 2016 and 2030 AI advancements will affect 15% of the global workforce (~400 million jobs) while World Economic Forum research projects 97 million new jobs.
  • Seventy-five percent of security professionals said they have seen an uptick in attacks over the past year, with 85% attributing the rise to bad actors using generative AI, according to a new generative AI and cybersecurity report by Sapio Research and Deep Instinct.

Attack Vectors and Key Risk Areas

  • Deepfake-Based Voice Phishing (Vishing): You may have recently heard about AI-generated voices, used to create convincing audio clips of individuals’ voices. Deepfake voice phishing or “vishing” has been seen recently in the Grandma Scam that was highlighted on CBS News 60 Minutes, where fraudsters may use AI-generated voices to pose as known family members and then convince grandparents to wire or withdraw money to help them get out of trouble.

 Now imagine if the vishing involved the voice of your CEO. Attackers can use these AI-generated deepfake voices to impersonate company executives and trick employees into transferring funds or disclosing sensitive information.

  • AI-Generated Spear Phishing Emails: with these types of emails, the attackers use a person’s online presence, social media posts and accounts to craft highly personalized spear-phishing emails. The emails contain very convincing content that increases the chances of the user clicking on a malicious link or attachment.
  • AI-Powered Chatbots for Social Engineering: Cybercriminals use AI-driven chatbots to impersonate customer support agents or colleagues within messaging apps. The chatbots engaged on conversations with users gaining trust and ultimately tricking them to click on a link or reveal sensitive information.
  • AI-Powered Malware: hackers for years have used malware to obtain access to our devices, now they are using AI-powered algorithms to create more sophisticated malware. An AI-enhanced malware can adapt its behavior based on the target device, therefore making it difficult to detect and also mitigate.
  • Natural Language Processing for Password Cracking: AI-powered tools with NLP capabilities can be used to crack passwords more efficiently. Hackers study a person’s social media profiles, posts and other public data to generate more accurate password guesses and include them their algorithms.
  • AI-Driven Automated Attacks: AI algorithms are being used to automate attacks on mobile apps and services such as brute-forcing login credentials, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, and scraping sensitive data.

Mitigating Threats                                                                                                                                                            Reading through the list of the various AI-driven threats that exist, it goes without saying how crucial it is for enterprises to have a working plan of action to mitigate these threats and protect their company’s data on a daily basis. There are several ways to work towards this to try to stay ahead of the curve. IT Managers know it only takes one employee clicking on a malicious link to cause serious harm to an organization.

Employee Training and Awareness – Employees should be aware of the latest AI-driven cybersecurity threats and how to identify and avoid them. Training should be required and repeated, especially to bring awareness of the new AI-based phishing attempts that can occur on a mobile device.

Ongoing Communication of Tips to Avoid Hacks to include:

  • Reminders to employees to maintain strong passwords.
  • Set up and use multi-factor authentication.
  • Be wary of suspicious emails and check the sending address, signature, grammar for clues it may be phishing.
  • Don’t open attachments in suspicious emails or click links.
  • Install security updates as soon as they launch.
  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi, use a secure mobile hotspot instead.

Use AI-Powered MDM Solutions – With the use of AI-powered MDM Solutions, enterprises can detect threats in real time and take the necessary actions to avoid them. AI offers your MDM Solution a way to improve your overall device security with the following:

  • Predictive maintenance
  • Device usage insights
  • Virtual assistance/immediate support
  • Device management automation
  • Real time threat detection

Be Aware of Privacy and Data Protection

  • With all the new AI-powered tools that exist, it is imperative that enterprises take steps and communicate to employes the dangers of sharing company sensitive/confidential data when using AI tools.
  • Additionally, Intellectual Property (IP) infringement is a big area of concern as more data is shared across the internet. While the use of AI can foster and can commit IP infringement, AI tools exist to help detect if there is IP infringement with your company’s intellectual property and sensitive data.
  • With AI comes the use of very large amounts and sometimes unstructured data. IT teams must prioritize their data storage and retention strategies to minimize risks and to protect their data.
  • Lastly, it goes without saying that data encryption and anonymization on mobile devices is a must to keep company data secure, protect the personal information and company sensitive data.

Preparing for the Future                                                                                                                                                            In an age where AI is both a helpful resource and one that could be used for detriment, security and privacy concerns in the mobile enterprise are paramount. The convergence of AI and mobile devices necessitates a proactive approach to safeguarding sensitive company data. By understanding the AI threat landscape, identifying key risks, and implementing robust mitigation strategies, organizations can defend against the evolving challenges of AI-driven threats. Staying informed, educating employees with company paid mobile devices and investing in cutting-edge security measures are all needed to combat AI-driven threats.

For over 20 years, OVATION Wireless has been helping clients with strategic consulting for their enterprise mobility programs. With the ever-changing landscape of mobile security and the rise of AI technology, it’s imperative to have a well-defined approach to managing wireless assets. Contact us for a no obligation discussion regarding your enterprise mobility program.