Decoding your Chatbot’s security

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Chatbot technology continues to be at the forefront of the customer service industry. Most global businesses have been able to sustain this remote working period with the help of the virtual assistant Chatbots that have AI-enabled language capabilities. Chatbots are built on ML models that mimic human conversations to offer mature and sophisticated solutions to complex problems. According to a report by Gartner, 70% of corporate employees will interact with conversational platforms such as Virtual assistants daily by the year 2022. This will result in more global businesses and organizations to invest in Chatbot development and production.

Due to the ability to use natural language processing to comprehend spoken or textual inputs, Chatbots are efficiently taking over workplaces. The widespread application of Chatbots in organizations has led to the rise of some serious security concerns. Developers and security professionals are focusing more on creating secure Chatbot interactions. Various strategies are employed to secure and protect Chatbots and the information they deal with. 

Let’s dive deeper into Chatbot Security, vulnerabilities, and best practices to protect your personal and business information.  

What is Chatbot Security?
Cybersecurity is protecting your computer systems including networks and data from theft, disruption, and/or manipulation. Global businesses rely on computer systems and networks for interacting with the customer and carrying out various tasks. This increases the risk of cybersecurity threats and makes it more complex. Users interact with Chatbots and provide personal sensitive information to it, thus making it vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks. Protecting your Chatbot is critical for a secure user and business interactions. 

Why should you care about your Chatbot’s Security?
Simple cybersecurity solutions have been prevalent since the development of computers, networks, and the internet itself. The need to protect our data from attackers is also acknowledged for a long time. But, since the rapid advances in technology, the need for good cybersecurity practices to protect Chatbot systems has become increasingly critical and relevant. Without dependable cybersecurity strategies, business and personal information are vulnerable to attack and manipulation by hackers with malicious intentions. Financial transactions, identity management, and other important data are now transferred online and stored in clouds, thus being more prone to cybersecurity attacks. Our social, as well as work lives, are online on one form or another, emphasizing the need for high-level cybersecurity options.

What you need to know about your Chatbot’s Security?
Understanding Chatbot and cybersecurity can appear quite intimidating if you are not aware of some cybersecurity concepts. Here’s a list of the general cybersecurity terms that can make it easy for you to comprehend and rebuild your own cybersecurity solution:

List of the general cybersecurity terms that can make it easy for you to comprehend and rebuild your own cybersecurity solution

Chatbot Vulnerabilities and types of attacks:

Chatbots are vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks due to the inherent limitations in the state-of-the-art AI models. This makes the ML systems on which Chatbot is built to be compromised and easy to tamper with. Purposeful manipulation of an AI-powered Chatbot with an end goal of causing it to malfunction or perform malicious activities makes it extremely vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks. Attackers can manipulate the pre-trained ML models, access sensitive information through applications, and hack into Chatbot-user voice commands. In addition to these vulnerabilities, unnoticed discrepancies in data handling strategies and faults in ML algorithms also make a Chatbot succumb to malicious attacks.

The types of attacks that strike your VA Chatbots can be categorized into 4 types:

  1. Input Attacks: Chatbots function by taking inputs from users, performing specific calculations, and analyzing the input to provide an appropriate solution or output. Manipulating the inputs that are fed into the AI systems can alter the output and enable attacker motives. 
  2. Poisoning Attacks: Chatbots are ever-learning AI-powered systems, which learn as they execute certain functions. Data is extremely essential for performing the functions and tasks efficiently. Corrupting or poisoning the data leads to a compromised learning process thus resulting in a corrupted Chatbot. 
  3. Malfunction inducing Attacks: Attackers can hack into the ML models and change certain features of the system. This may lead to a malfunctioning Chatbot system. Such Chatbot may simply dysfunction or pave way for attackers to carry out malicious activities.
  4. Impersonation Attacks: Manipulation in the ML models can result in the Chatbot’s diminished capabilities to recognize true user and attacker. Some attackers also take over the Chatbot and tweak it to impersonate users and extract their sensitive information. This type of attack easily evades detection and makes it difficult to prevent them. 

Best Chatbot Security Practices for your business:
Successful protection of your Chatbot can be done by a mix of best practices and good defensive techniques. One must dedicate time and resources to secure one’s business and clients. A good combination of cybersecurity habits and software protections can help prevent cyber-attacks and secure your business better.

Cybersecurity for your business

Software protection strategies:

Antivirus Software acts as a preventive measure that monitors bugs and alerts you to potentially unsafe web pages and software.

A firewall is a digital wall that keeps malicious users and soft wares at bay. It also functions as a filter to assess the safety of all inputs from the internet and the system. These can be hardware and software-based too. 

Single Sign-On (SSO) provides a centralized authentication service. This ensures that only one single login can be used to access accounts and software of an entire business. 

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) is a simple process of login that requires a username or number and an extra authentication text or OTP from an external device or account. This makes the operation more secure and less breachable. 

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) encrypts the data that enters and exists a web server. This makes the data unreadable to hackers or malicious soft wares. VPN works effectively when combined with other cybersecurity practices.

Let’s protect our Chatbots better:

Cybersecurity attacks on ML-based Chatbots depict that data can be weaponized in ways that often result in destructive outputs. Attacks on AI systems make the critical parts of our society vulnerable. As human-based tasks are being replaced by artificial intelligence, cybersecurity attacks can impact the military, law enforcement, educational, and financial sections of our civil society weak and vulnerable. Let’s protect our AI- systems better by investing in dependable cybersecurity solutions. These efficient cybersecurity solutions make our work easier and secure our social and business lives. Look for cybersecurity solutions that are built on enhanced AI, machine learning, and natural language processing are its core features. We at Scanta, understand the vulnerabilities, help businesses to secure their Virtual Assistant Chatbots and other ML systems against cybersecurity attacks. VAShield™ provides good Chatbot security and enables you to monitor the interaction between your Chatbot and customers.