If you’re responsible for email security at your company, then you’re acutely aware of the role that social engineering plays in effective phishing attacks. Social engineering is not a technology hack, it’s psychology hack. It doesn’t exploit technological weakness, it exploits human weakness. You can be sure the next phishing attack launched upon your organization will have, at its roots, social engineering.

Up till now, the limit on social engineering exploits has been, ironically, human ingenuity. Humans are only so clever and creative, especially when it comes to impersonation, the key component in social engineering. Unfortunately, hackers are about to get a gigantic boost in this area thanks to artificial intelligence (AI), which will be used increasingly to launch sophisticated phishing attacks through impersonated social engineering.

According to an article on Infotech, “AI is improving the standard of impersonation and call monitoring for vishing attacks (telephone phishing). As an example, an attacker can find a video of a CEO speaking at an event, grab it off social media and then use a voice snippet to create a voice key that works on voice-activated devices and platforms. Even if there are no recordings online, a skilled hacker can still find ways to get a snippet of someone’s voice by recording a quick phone call. It doesn’t take much voice material to cause major damage.”

Don’t be fooled. The new AI does not need audio or video snippets to exploit its targets. “There is now the threat of AI chatbots that trick users into clicking malicious links or using AI to monitor executives’ behavior for more precise, effective, automated phishing. AI and machine learning go beyond just simple levels of automation and even algorithms. Instead, AI can offer scalability that goes well beyond the rate of human capability.”

According to the article, “even the style of attacks will change. AI can make better decisions and is better equipped to avoid predictable tactics. Other hackers will use AI-driven malware tools, such as keyloggers to intercept the passwords of users. Malware is often the payload of a social engineering scam. The attack is looking to trick the person into downloading it.”

Are you prepared for the next generation of phishing attack? One in which the social engineering will be indistinguishable from reality? If not, you’d better get yourself protected.

Advanced technology can be used to exploit you, but it can also be used to protect you. Cloud-based, email security from Phish Protection protects you from phishing attacks because it doesn’t get fooled by social engineering. Phish Protection doesn’t care how believable the phish is because it pre-clicks on links in emails and checks out the linked-to website for you and if it’s malicious, it keeps you from going there. That’s how you defeat AI.

When you’re ready to protect your entire organization from the next generation of phishing attacks, check out PhishProtection.com. It sets up in minutes, costs pennies per employee per month and comes with 24/7 live technical support. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

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