Unleashing the Power & Unveiling the Risks of Using ChatGPT

4 min read
(May 18, 2023)

A Deep Dive into Security and Privacy Concerns  

The Cyber Salon hosted by Zeektek LLC at the RSA conference on April 25th provided a platform for experts to discuss the security and privacy risks associated with ChatGPT. This article explores the concerns raised by participants, highlighting both the potential benefits and the risks associated with this powerful AI language model. By incorporating the opinions of industry professionals, we gain a comprehensive understanding of the debate surrounding ChatGPT.

As an AI language model, ChatGPT is a powerful tool that can assist individuals in a variety of tasks, ranging from answering simple questions to generating complex content. However, like all technology, ChatGPT comes with its own set of security and privacy risks. The ability to generate content through ChatGPT could be exploited by malicious actors to spread misinformation or conduct social engineering attacks. Safeguarding personal or sensitive data, such as financial or medical information, is crucial when considering the risks associated with using ChatGPT in our daily communication.

Esther Pinto, the CISO for anecdotes, shared her opinion: "Discovering and embracing New GenAI use cases is a delicate balance of excitement and skepticism. For security and compliance professionals, it's about reaping benefits while staying within organizational risk appetite."

Another concern is that ChatGPT can be trained on biased or incomplete data, which can result in the model generating biased or discriminatory content. This can be particularly problematic in applications such as hiring or lending, where the use of biased models can result in discrimination against certain groups of people.

Adam Benson, the Senior VP of Cybersecurity and Privacy at Vrge, expressed his concerns: “We’re about to go through a period where our imaginations will be tested. Cyber threat actors have likely already figured out ways to use AI to build new malicious materials with intent to harm civilians and disrupt everyday life. I’d love to think that Hollywood screenwriters could dream up some of these disasters, but I worry the reality could be worse than anything we can conceive."

ChatGPT within Email Platforms 

One of the latest uses of ChatGPT is to incorporate it within email platforms. The biggest concern is the potential for privacy breaches. Carmen Marsh, Zeektek’s CIO and Strategic Advisor, highlighted this issue: “Incorporating ChatGPT into email communication could mean that sensitive or confidential information is shared with the model, which could then be accessed by third parties or used for malicious purposes."

Volker Otto, the Vice President Information Technology from Golden One Credit Union, shared his experience: "I used ChatGPT mainly to elevate and expand the quality of my Internet search. I used it to create initial job requisitions for roles in my organization. Feeding it specific responsibilities and skills, I had it create the initial skeleton of a typical job req. That shaved off some time of an otherwise tedious process. I use it occasionally to help me create drafts of reports by prompting it with topics and initial keywords that need to be included. I avoid using any personal data or other PII when searching with it."

In addition, there is also a risk that ChatGPT can be manipulated by malicious actors to generate content that is specifically designed to exploit vulnerabilities in a system, including generating content that contains malware or other types of malicious code.

It is crucial to be aware of the potential risks associated with ChatGPT and to take steps to mitigate these risks. This includes training users on how to identify fake or misleading content generated by ChatGPT and implementing measures to prevent the use of ChatGPT for malicious purposes.

Necessary for the Future of Business

Dorene Rettas, Co-founder/Owner of Cyber Security Tribe notes that whether it is ChatGPT or other AI tools, they will become increasingly necessary for the future of business.   Trying to put a block on it will be similar to years back when enterprises tried to stop employees from using their own devices, they will find a way around it and Shadow IT often brings far greater security and compliance concerns.  As Sabino Marquez, Cyber Security Tribe’s Chief Columnist writes, “Companies must establish responsible AI practices to ensure the safe usage of AI technologies, and should consider establishing a Strategic AI Council (SAIC) and AI Innovation Teams (AIIT) to govern the scope of usage and measure the impact of AI.” 

The roundtable participants agreed that raising awareness of cybersecurity and privacy risks related to the use of ChatGPT is paramount. They emphasized the need for vigilance and the implementation of measures to prevent misuse. Establishing responsible AI practices is truly imperative as we balance between the benefits of new AI use cases and staying within organizational risk boundaries. 

Opportunities and Challenges

In conclusion, ChatGPT presents both opportunities and challenges in the realm of security and privacy. It offers a wide range of applications, but we must approach its use with caution. The concerns raised by industry experts regarding the generation of fake or biased content, privacy breaches, and the potential for malicious exploitation should not be taken lightly. 

To ensure the ethical and responsible use of ChatGPT, organizations and individuals must prioritize security and privacy measures. This includes training users to identify misleading content, implementing safeguards to protect sensitive information, and regularly updating and monitoring the model for potential vulnerabilities. It is essential to strike a balance between leveraging the power of ChatGPT and mitigating the risks it poses. 

By fostering a culture of responsible AI usage and establishing guidelines, such as Strategic AI Councils and AI Innovation Teams, organizations can navigate the potential risks while harnessing the benefits of ChatGPT and other AI technologies. Through ongoing dialogue, collaboration, and continuous improvement, we can maximize the potential of ChatGPT while safeguarding security and privacy in an increasingly AI-driven world.