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Discussing Cybersecurity Around AI with Tiffany Ricks from HacWare

Literal Humans Paul and Will chat with Tiffany Ricks on AI-based cybersecurity risks, the polymorphic nature of malware, and the importance of educating employees on basic best practices in cybersecurity.

This week, we welcome Tiffany Ricks, Founder and CEO of HacWare, an automated security awareness and training API for software developers and managed service providers (MSPs) to combat phishing attacks and other scams. 

The conversation kicks off with an article about ChatGPT and whether it poses a cybersecurity risk. “It is exciting to see how fast this has taken off and how people are adopting an AI tool,” Tiffany says. “But it’s also being adopted by bad actors and cybercriminals. They’re using it to make their emails look real and personalize them at scale,” she tells us. “Others have learned to exploit ChatGPT to create malware, which is code that tries to gain access to data that it shouldn’t have.”

Tiffany explains what polymorphic malware is and why we should be concerned about it — it’s malware that adapts, learns, and changes, making it harder to detect.

We discuss spear phishing — the process of sending hyper-personalized phishing emails that ChatGPT is facilitating — before moving on to the next article about the “zero trust” approach to cybersecurity. Tiffany explains that the real problem is not stopping phishing messages from coming in but stopping people from clicking on the links cybercriminals send.

“We have to shift people away from always wanting to be helpful,” she says. “And the other thing we have to do is recognize that cybercriminals are going to try to exploit our needs. It’s all about not trusting the message or phone call that comes in.”

The final piece focuses on cybersecurity predictions for 2023. Tiffany explains that small and medium-sized businesses tend to be easier targets for cybercriminals as they usually have fewer security policies in place. We discuss tensions that this may cause between companies and their employees and the potential for state-sponsored cyber attacks.

Tiffany then tells us more about the inspiration that led her to found HacWare and the work they do before we move into the lightning round to discover what she thinks is the evillest Tech application and what her predictions are for the future of Tech.

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