Deepfake technology has gained much notoriety in the past few years, albeit for all the wrong reasons. From being a source of creating misinformation and objectionable media to potential uses in blackmailing and financial fraud, deepfake is a dangerous tool that can do it all.
What Exactly is Deepfake?
Deepfake is a relatively new technology that relies on artificial intelligence (AI) and its machine learning abilities to produce synthetic media files. In other words, think of it like a Photoshop edit but more advanced – it’s way more realistic and allows you to edit videos and audio content in addition to images.
The Concerns Behind Deepfakes
Businesses know and understand now that the need for effective cybersecurity is more important than ever, which is why a big chunk of the annual budget is allocated to data protection.
But as strong security measures become universal, the threats also evolve. And now, cybercriminals are leveraging the power of deepfakes to get their way. There has been a concerning 13% increase in attacks involving deepfakes in the last year, with most attacks using both altered videos and voice memos.
There are a few misconceptions surrounding deepfakes. One, that it’s only used to create hoaxes, and two, that it only targets governments, militaries, celebrities, and gullible consumers.
While those are prominent targets, deepfakes also pose a serious threat to enterprises globally and can cause irrecuperable damage to a company’s reputation. Deepfakes are even being utilized by fraudsters to apply for remote jobs using stolen personal data. They can act as remote employees to scam consumers and access corporate data as an indirect breach.
Risks to Reputation
Deepfakes can be used to forge synthetic media like a fake interaction between consumers and businesses, or a video misrepresenting a brand’s CEO or COO. These files are then used to blackmail companies into paying up. If a business isn’t cooperative, it may be posted online, leading to a loss of credibility, consumers, and revenue. And even if something proved to be false info later on, a tarnished reputation is hard to restore.
Another Way to Scam
Of course, with the ability to imitate anyone, deepfakes make for great scamming tools. For example, cybercriminals may use voice spoofing to imitate the voice of an executive and trick employees into transferring money or sensitive data over to them. Similarly, AI can copy the writing style of a brand executive to create convincing phishing emails, which may contain malware. This is called a readfake.