Technology is ever-evolving and one of the newest on the scene is Artificial Intelligence Technology (AI).  This technology is the simulation of human intelligence in machines and has a number of different uses. From self-driving cars and aiding in medical procedures to writing songs and making art, AI is revolutionizing many industries. Unfortunately,  with the positive side of technology comes the bad, and cybercriminals have begun to take advantage of this unprecedented technology.

Cybercriminals are spoofing individual’s voices, using them to create messages full of urgency and distress, such as a car accident or injury, and claiming they need money right away. Because these messages sound legit, they are working. A survey done by McAfee stated that 1 in 10 people have received this type of call and 77% fell victim. 2

In June of 2023, an Arizona mom testified at a congressional hearing about her experience with an AI deep fake extorsion scam. A cybercriminal had used AI to clone her daughter’s voice so they could demand a $1 million ransom as part of the new voice schemes. The Arizona mom went on to testify that as a result she has trust issues now with other companies and has had some mental health concerns.1

It only takes 3 seconds of audio for a cybercriminal to spoof your voice.3

What can you do to combat the risks associated with AI?   

 Knowledge and proactivity is the key.  

Communicate. Talk to your loved ones about the scams that can happen. Come up with a proactive plan to reduce the vulnerability to these types of attacks.

Code Word. Create a code word for your family. PINs are used by companies for security, you can create the same with your family.   Have your family choose a word or a phrase that confirms that it’s them to validate that an alleged threat is authentic.

Don’t Share. If you are unsure if a call is real, do not share any information and hang up. You can always call a legitimate company back on a recognized number.

Prevent. Contact your cell phone company and find out if they have an app to assist with spoofing.

Protect. Obtain identity theft insurance and cyber insurance. These coverages can be added on to your home insurance or renters insurance with most insurance companies for very little cost.

For businesses specifically, AI can also become a huge concern when it comes to your liability.  If your business uses AI for any work-related purposes, make sure not to input any input proprietary information. This technology works by using the information it’s given and learning from it, but any information input into the system becomes public for use. You don’t want to risk any private company information getting out via an AI tool.  Additionally, encourage your staff to treat any work from an AI tool as a draft and to double-check any sources for confirmation. Putting proactive policies in place can help protect you when it comes to using AI in the workplace.

In addition to proactive policies, businesses should consider cyber insurance. A comprehensive cyber insurance policy has become a must-have like theft insurance for your business property. With the laws and regulations in some states that provide hefty fines and even shut down some industries should a HIPPA violation occur, a cyber prevention plan and recovery plan is essential in business operation plans.

The more familiar you become with AI, the better chances you have to recognize a bad actor using this technology.  The Center for AI Safety offers resources to educate and protect the public.

At Gannon Associates Insurance, our insurance professionals can educate and guide your business or personal interests and connect you with the right coverages for your unique needs and budget. Contact us today to learn more about this evolving risk by calling 844-GANNONS!