Category Archives: Security

3 security risks of generative AI you should watch out for!

There has been a lot of recent hype surrounding generative AI, and rightfully so, considering how easily these tools can produce visual and written works. With the right prompts, AI tools can now generate passable content and designs within seconds. However, little do we know about the cybersecurity risks associated with this technology.

The buzz surrounding the use cases of generative AI has almost overshadowed its security risks, but this is not something we should overlook.

The first step to any kind of preventive measure is awareness. So, to start, let’s discuss a few of the cybersecurity risks associated with generative AI.

1. More malware

Generative AI is capable of generating computer code within a few seconds. Although it can also produce pieces of malicious code, you can’t simply ask an AI to write malicious code for you. Many of these tools will refuse to respond to illegal or nefarious prompts. Nevertheless, cybercriminals will try to find a way to trick these systems.

Cybersecurity researcher Aaron Mulgrew , managed to create malware using generative AI. He derived individual functions of the malware code from ChatGPT and compiled them to create the malware. Unaware of Mulgrew’s intentions, the platform’s generative AI responded to his prompts with the code.

According to Astra,”560,000 new pieces of malware are detected.” And Generative AI has made malware implementation a lot easier than it used to be.

One way to prevent malware from infecting your computer is by using powerful IT management solutions that can monitor, manage, and secure your entire IT infrastructure. These solutions automate secure software deployments and leave no room for malware.

2. Sophisticated social engineering attacks

The common giveaways in phishing attacks, such as spelling errors, unfamiliar or impersonal greetings, and grammatical mistakes, are becoming a thing of the past. Generative AI can now draft convincing, error-free emails, text messages, social media posts, and website content to trick users without leaving a trace.

Moreover, generative AI can assist with deepfake technology. A cybercriminal impersonated a man’s close friend in northern China and scammed him out of 4.3 million yuan. The scammer used an AI-powered face-swapping technology to impersonate the victim’s close friend, thereby convincing him to transfer the requested amount.

Due to these AI advancements, it has become more imperative than ever to double-check, and even triple-check, the source of information if it seems odd or suspicious. It has become all too common for cybercriminals to impersonate someone you already know in order to gain your trust.

3. Sensitive data exposure

Generative AI tools collect pretty much the same data that most websites collect, such as IP addresses, browser type and settings, and data related to users’ interactions with the site. However, they also collect the information entered into the interface, including any personal or sensitive information shared with the AI.

There are no restrictions or checking mechanisms for the input fed into generative AI. As a result, there is a high chance of users unknowingly providing personal information to the system, oblivious to the security risks. This is especially critical when employees use generative AI for work purposes.

According to Business Today, “Out of the 43 percent of professionals who use generative AI for work, around 70 percent claimed that they are using ChatGPT and other tools without disclosing their usage to their bosses. Of the 5,067 respondents who reported using ChatGPT at work, 68 percent said they do not tell their boss, while only 32 percent said they do.”

Moving forward with generative AI

In the age of AI, employees should be educated on the importance of securing sensitive organizational data through regular training programs. This would encourage employees to be vigilant while using AI for work, preventing unnecessary data leaks. With that being said, AI has catapulted technological growth in ways nobody could’ve imagined, but not without its flaws.

In the coming years, tech enthusiasts and developers will hopefully find ways to eliminate these risks. But, until then, let’s watch out and stay alert to these risks

IT Strategy Plan – The Need For IT Strategic Planning

In today’s digital age, the majority of businesses now heavily rely on technology to support their operations and achieve their goals and objectives. With these rapid advancements in technology, now more than ever, there is a need to keep up with change and have an IT strategic plan in place for the future. In this blog, we’ll discuss the importance of IT strategic planning, how IT and business strategies align, and how to develop an effective IT strategy plan.

What is an IT Strategy Plan?

An IT strategy plan is a strategy document that outlines how an organisation will use technology to achieve business outcomes. It involves a set of strategic initiatives and actions that align IT initiatives with business objectives. Not only does an IT strategy help businesses to stay competitive, but it also reduces costs and increases efficiency by leveraging technology to its fullest potential.

IT Strategy Plan

How IT and Business Strategies Align

These days, information technology and business strategy go hand-in-hand. Ensuring they’re both in alignment, is how a company can achieve success. Whilst business strategies define a company’s overall goals, an effective IT strategy will support those goals with the use of technology. Moreover, they consider the organisation’s resources, processes, and capabilities and provide a roadmap to optimise the use of technology to achieve business objectives.

For example, if a business wants to improve its customer satisfaction, its IT department could implement a customer relationship management system to track customer interactions and provide more personalised services. Long-term, this helps them to achieve their business goals and can even improve business processes.

How Can An IT Strategic Plan Help Your Business Strategy?

If you’re considering implementing an IT strategy, there are numerous ways it can help your business. Here’s how:

Cost Optimisation:

A well-planned IT strategy and project management can help businesses reduce operational costs by optimising technology use, minimising redundancies, and maximising efficiency. This can lead to cost savings and increased profitability for the business in the future.

Improved Decision-Making:

An IT plan can provide insights into technology trends, the emerging technologies and solutions, and industry best practices. This knowledge can help decision-makers make informed decisions about technology investments that will benefit the business in the long run.

Competitive Advantage:

These days, businesses that use technology effectively have a distinct competitive advantage against those that don’t. An IT strategic plan can help businesses identify and adopt new technologies, processes, and practices that can enhance their competitiveness. Key performance indicators can also be used to improve any existing technology strategy that is already in place.

Risk Management:

An IT plan can also help businesses mitigate technology-related risks and meet strategic objectives. By proactively identifying and addressing potential risks, and external factors such as cybersecurity threats, businesses can reduce their exposure to loss or damage.

Enhanced Customer Experience:

IT can play a crucial role in digital transformation and improving customer experience by leveraging technology to deliver better customer services, products, and support. An IT strategic plan can also help businesses identify and prioritise technology investments that can enhance customer experience.

The IT Strategic Planning Process

If you’re outsourcing IT services with an MSP, they’ll take care of this part. However, if you’re not or are simply interested in the process, several steps are involved. These include:

  • Assessing the current IT environment- understanding the current technology and infrastructure, identifying strengths and weaknesses and assessing the IT team’s capabilities.
  • Defining business objectives – identifying the business goals and priorities and understanding how technology can support them. Measurable targets are then set to achieve business goals.
  • Identifying technology initiatives – evaluating the options for technology solutions that can support business objectives, assessing the costs and risks associated with each initiative, and prioritising the initiatives.
  • Developing an action plan – creating a roadmap that outlines the steps needed to implement the technology initiatives, defining timelines, and identifying the resources required.
  • Implementation and monitoring – executing the action plan, monitoring progress, and adjusting the plan as necessary.

How Can Your Mentis digital Help?

At mentis digital, we understand that every business has its own unique needs, so we work closely with our clients to develop tailored IT strategy plans that align with their objectives. Our team of experts can help you with the following:

Assess your current IT strategy and identify areas for improvement.

Define business objectives and develop a roadmap to achieve them

Identify and evaluate solutions and disruptive technologies that align with your business objectives.

Create a plan that outlines the steps needed to implement new initiatives.

Provide ongoing support and monitoring to ensure that your IT strategy plan stays on track.

In conclusion, developing an IT strategic plan is vital for businesses to achieve their goals and objectives. Organisations can optimise technology investments and improve their competitive position by developing key strategies and aligning IT and business. The IT strategic planning process provides a roadmap that outlines the steps needed to achieve your goals. Following the steps outlined in this blog can help companies develop an effective IT strategy plan that supports their business objectives.

IT Strategy Plan FAQs:

We’ve done our best to try and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about an information technology strategic plan below:

How do you create an IT strategy plan?

Creating an IT strategy plan typically involves several key steps, including:

  • Conducting an assessment of your organisation’s current IT capabilities and identifying any gaps or areas for improvement.
  • Identifying the specific business goals and objectives that your IT strategy will support, and determining the key performance indicators (KPIs) that you will use to measure success.
  • Defining the scope and priorities of your IT strategy, including the specific technologies, systems, and processes that will be involved.
  • Developing a roadmap for implementing your IT strategy, including timelines, budgets, and resource requirements.
  • Establishing governance and decision-making structures to ensure that your IT strategy remains aligned with your overall business objectives and is able to adapt to changing technological developments.

What is an IT strategy framework?

An IT strategy framework is a structured approach to developing and implementing an IT strategy. An It strategy document typically includes a set of guiding principles, best practices, and tools that can help a company align their IT investments and initiatives with their business goals. A common example of an IT strategy framework is the ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) framework, which provides a comprehensive set of guidelines for managing IT services and operations.

What are internal and external stakeholders in IT industry?

Internal stakeholders in the IT industry typically include employees, managers, and executives within a company who are responsible for developing and managing IT systems and processes. External stakeholders may include customers, suppliers and partners that interact with an organisation’s IT systems and processes from outside the company.

Finally, any IT strategy should be cost-effective. Look for solutions that provide the most value and will ensure you see an ROI on your information technology strategy.

Cyber Security at Work is Everyone’s Job

In the ever-evolving digital age, businesses face a multitude of cyber threats. As these attacks grow increasingly sophisticated, it is crucial for organizations of all sizes to recognize that cybersecurity is not solely the responsibility of the IT department. Instead, it should be embraced as a collective effort where every employee plays a crucial role. As an IT Managed Service Provider (MSP), we understand the importance of taking a holistic approach to cybersecurity. In this article, we will discuss why cybersecurity is everyone’s job within a business and outline steps that can be taken to foster a culture of security throughout the organization.

The Changing Threat Landscape:

Cyber threats have evolved significantly, with hackers continuously adapting their tactics to breach systems. Relying solely on IT professionals to defend against these threats is no longer sufficient. Hackers often target employees through social engineering techniques, such as phishing emails or deceptive phone calls. This emphasizes the need for a collaborative defense strategy where every employee is educated and aware of potential threats.

Human Error – A Significant Vulnerability:

While technological defenses are vital, human error remains a significant weakness within businesses. Employees often unknowingly engage in risky behaviors that compromise cybersecurity. This includes clicking on suspicious links, using weak passwords, or sharing sensitive information with unauthorized individuals. By making employees aware of the potential consequences of their actions and providing cybersecurity training, businesses can significantly reduce the risk of human error.

Building a Culture of Cybersecurity:

To ensure that cybersecurity is a shared responsibility, businesses must foster a culture of security. This involves creating an environment where all employees understand the importance of cybersecurity and actively participate in protecting the company’s assets. It starts with strong leadership and a commitment to cybersecurity from top to bottom. Executives and managers should prioritize security, communicate its significance, and lead by example.

Employee Education and Training:

Comprehensive cybersecurity education and training for employees are crucial. This should include raising awareness about common cyber threats, explaining best practices, and teaching employees how to recognize and report potential security incidents. Regular training sessions and refresher courses can reinforce good cybersecurity habits and keep employees up-to-date with the latest threats and defenses.

Implementing Strong Policies and Procedures for Cybersecurity:

Establishing robust security policies and procedures is essential for reducing cybersecurity risks. However, employees should also be educated about these policies and understand their responsibilities in adhering to them. This includes guidelines for password management, safe browsing practices, and rules regarding the use of personal devices on corporate networks. Regular audits and reviews can help ensure that policies are effective and address any emerging vulnerabilities.

Encouraging Reporting and Communication:

Organizations should encourage employees to promptly report any suspicious activities or potential security breaches. Establishing clear communication channels and a “no-blame” reporting system will create a supportive environment where employees feel comfortable sharing their concerns. By doing so, businesses can respond quickly to incidents and prevent further damage.

Regular Cybersecurity Assessments and Updates:

Cyber threats are constantly evolving, requiring organizations to continuously assess their security solutions to identify and address vulnerabilities. Regular penetration testing, vulnerability assessments, and software updates are essential to stay ahead of potential threats. IT departments, in collaboration with employees, should regularly review security measures and adapt them as needed.

What You Can Do in Your Business:

In today’s interconnected digital world, cyber threats pose significant risks to businesses. It is crucial for organizations to understand that cybersecurity at work is not solely the responsibility of the IT department. Every employee plays a vital role in defending against cyber threats. By building a culture of security, providing education and training, implementing strong policies, and fostering open communication, businesses can create a more resilient cybersecurity posture.

If it has been a while since your business underwent a cybersecurity review, don’t hesitate to get in touch or follow the link below.