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AI is the Cyberattacker’s Sharpened Sword

By Business, IT/Digital

Cybercriminals have discovered AI’s power, transforming it into a weapon capable of launching cyberattacks. From phishing scams to deepfakes, here’s how AI is reshaping the battlefield.

AI-Enhanced Phishing: Phishing campaigns have long been a staple of cybercriminals, but AI takes them to a new level. AI-powered tools can analyse massive amounts of data on potential targets, writing convincing personalised emails that are incredibly difficult to differentiate from legitimate communications. Generative language models like ChatGPT can produce near-flawless text, persuading victims to click malicious links or download malware.

AI-Enhanced Malware: AI-powered malware can adapt and evolve based on its environment, making it more challenging to detect and mitigate. Machine learning algorithms enable malware to identify vulnerabilities in software systems and launch targeted attacks.

Deepfakes:  Deepfakes, realistic video and audio fabrications powered by AI, represent a potent threat. Attackers can manipulate videos to portray business leaders making damaging statements, eroding trust in companies or manipulating stock prices. They can mimic familiar voices for CEO fraud scams, where the victim is pressured into wiring funds to a fraudulent account.

Automated Vulnerability Scanning: Hackers used to rely on manual processes to hunt for security flaws, but AI-powered tools can now scan networks at astonishing speeds, finding and cataloguing vulnerabilities with machine-like efficiency. This lets attackers strike before organisations have a chance to patch their systems.

 

The Need for AI-Powered Defence

While AI can be a formidable weapon in the hands of cybercriminals, it also holds the key to stronger defences. Here is how we can use AI to protect ourselves from Cyberattacks.

Proactive Monitoring:  AI-driven systems can identify unusual patterns and behaviours that suggest a breach in progress, allowing for rapid response.

Automated Incident Response: Once threats are detected, AI-powered tools can help contain breaches and remediate damage, minimising the attacker’s impact.

Conduct Regular Security Assessments: Regular security assessments, including penetration testing and vulnerability scanning, help identify weaknesses in systems and networks. By proactively identifying vulnerabilities, organisations can patch them before cybercriminals exploit them.

Train Employees on Cybersecurity Best Practices: Human error remains a significant factor in cyberattacks. Organisations should provide regular training to employees on identifying phishing emails, creating strong passwords, and following best practices for cybersecurity. This helps create a security-aware culture within the organisation.

Collaborate with Cybersecurity Experts: Staying updated on the latest threats and defences is crucial. Organisations should collaborate with cybersecurity experts, attend industry conferences, and work with trusted partners to develop customised cybersecurity solutions.

 

Embracing AI for a Safer Future

AI isn’t going away, and cybercriminals will continuously explore its malicious potential. The best defence is to stay ahead by proactively and intelligently adopting the same AI tools to thwart attacks. This means moving away from purely reactive solutions and harnessing the power of AI to analyse vulnerabilities, identify threats, and automate threat response.

 

Article written by Mani Padisetti | Digital Armour

 

Report a technology wake-up call for NFP sector

By Business, IT/Digital

The 2023 Digital Technology in the Not-for-Profit Sector report reveals that the Australian not-for-profit (NFP) sector is inadequately prepared to navigate the challenges of a rapidly evolving digital landscape. With a focus on over 1,000 NFP organizations, the survey by Infoxchange highlights a lack of technological proficiency, leaving charities ill-equipped to meet the increasing demand for their services. Persistent challenges include funding for digital technology, staff capacity, and access to skilled technical resources. The report also flags concerns about cybersecurity preparedness, as only a small percentage of organizations have information security policies or provide regular cybersecurity training. While there is a recognition of the value of online presence and emerging technologies, such as AI and virtual reality, the sector faces hurdles in effectively leveraging digital tools to measure impact and outcomes. The report emphasizes the need for improved evaluation and data analysis, urging NFPs to enhance their digital capabilities to address evolving threats and secure funding in an environment of budget constraints.

Read more here.

Reskilling in the Age of AI

By Business, IT/Digital, Personal

In the coming decades, as the pace of technological change continues to increase, millions of workers may need to be not just upskilled but reskilled—a profoundly complex societal challenge that will sometimes require workers to both acquire new skills and change occupations entirely. Companies have a critical role to play in addressing this challenge.

Companies will need to understand and embrace these shifts if they hope to succeed in adapting dynamically to the rapidly evolving new era of automation and AI.

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Fear factor: Overcoming human barriers to innovation

By Business, IT/Digital

This McKinsey article delves into the human barriers hindering innovation, including fears of failure, criticism, and concerns about career repercussions; and provides a focus on strategies for establishing a culture that addresses these innate concerns, ultimately fostering an environment conducive to innovation.

The authors advocate for understanding and mitigating these fears to encourage individuals to embrace innovation fully and provides insights and actionable steps for creating an innovation-friendly workplace.

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Navigating Generative AI as an Older Worker​

By Business, IT/Digital

Generative AI has significantly impacted the professional landscape, with McKinsey’s data projecting a potential 30% task automation rate in the U.S. economy by 2030. This poses concerns for seasoned professionals who’ve honed skills over decades. Older workers are particularly exposed to AI, as it excels in tasks that demand substantial education and experience. However, while AI may seem daunting, senior professionals without extensive tech backgrounds can still thrive in this AI-driven era. 

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Is AI going to take your job?​

By Business, IT/Digital

Generative AI is currently more about augmenting the work of knowledge workers than automating it, according to recent research conducted in collaboration between Harvard, Wharton, MIT, and Boston Consulting Group. 

This suggests that knowledge workers should invest time in learning how to effectively use generative AI to enhance their work, but with a caveat to remain vigilant about potential AI errors or hallucinations.

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Mass charities data breach prompts warnings​

By Business, IT/Digital, Revenue - Fundraising

Australian charities are scrambling to review their data management systems and processes in the wake of a ransomware attack exposing the information of tens of thousands of donors.

Authorities have warned organisations to be wary of relying on third-party providers who have access to their data, as the shockwaves continue from a huge fundraising breach that has affected an estimated 70 Australian and New Zealand charities.

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Technology Corner – Navigating Supply Chain Risks for NDIS Disability Service Providers

By Business, IT/Digital, Programs & Services

For the disability service provision under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), ensuring a seamless experience for participants is paramount.

Among this dedication to care, a critical yet often overlooked aspect is supply chain risk management. The very foundation on which services are built can be vulnerable to disruptions, but with a strategic approach, disability service providers can not only safeguard their operations but also enhance their participants’ trust.

Understanding Supply Chain Risk Management

Supply chain risk management involves identifying, assessing, and mitigating potential risks that could disrupt the flow of products or services within an organisation. In the context of NDIS disability service providers, this refers to the networks of individuals, contractors, and organisations that collectively contribute to the participant experience.

The Risks That Lurk

Dependency Risks: Dependency on a few suppliers, especially individual contractors, can be precarious. If a key contractor faces an unexpected event, service continuity could be compromised.

Quality Assurance Risks: The quality of services may suffer if suppliers fail to meet standards or provide inadequate support.

Data Security Risks: Sharing sensitive participant data with contractors demands robust data security measures to prevent breaches or misuse.

Mitigation Strategies for Disability Service Providers

Diverse Supplier Portfolio: Reduce dependency risks by diversifying your supplier base. Instead of relying solely on individual contractors, engage with a mix of professionals and organisations.

Supplier Evaluation: Rigorously evaluate potential suppliers. Consider their track record, reputation, and capacity to meet NDIS requirements.

Contractual Clarity: Clearly outline expectations, standards, and contingency plans in contracts. This provides a solid foundation for mutual understanding and dispute resolution.

Data Security Measures: If contractors handle participant data, implement data protection protocols. Consider measures such as encryption, access controls, and regular security audits.

Continuity Planning: Develop a comprehensive continuity plan that outlines steps to be taken in case of supplier disruptions. This plan could include alternatives and contingencies.

Ongoing Monitoring: Implement ongoing monitoring mechanisms, especially for individual contractors. This could involve regular communication, feedback loops, and even employing a Security Operations Centre (SOC) to ensure their devices are secure.

Embracing a Holistic Approach

The journey towards robust supply chain risk management is a collaborative one, engaging suppliers, participants, and stakeholders alike. As NDIS disability service providers, we have a unique opportunity to set new benchmarks for excellence in care provision. Let us embark on this journey with empathy, responsibility, and dedication to the betterment of those we serve.

If you’d like to find out more or contact Digital Armour about their services, please click here

Technology Corner – Improving your AI Skills

By Business, IT/Digital

Microsoft has launched a new AI Skills Initiative to help people learn the skills they need to succeed in the AI economy.

The initiative includes new training courses, resources, and partnerships.

This is a great opportunity for people to learn about AI and how to use it to their advantage.

Read more here

If you’d like to find out more or contact Digital Armour about their services, please click here