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Staying Secure in the Age of AI and Fraud

Losses due to fraud and scams have rapidly increased over the past five years. In this latest post we look at concerns regarding the misuse of Artificial Intelligence and the benefits of our approach to personal service.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already having a significant impact across many aspects of our lives. AI has the potential to drive significant improvements in a wide range of applications but it also has the potential to cause a great deal of harm. Positive use cases include medical research, tackling climate change and driving efficiencies in business and industry. But, as is often the case with new technologies, it provides many opportunities for misuse.

What is AI?

Let’s clarify what we are talking about when we refer to AI. The term ‘artificial intelligence; refers to algorithm-based software technologies capable of carrying out analytical functions in order to solve complex tasks that would previously have only been possible using human brain power. While AI technologies have been around for some time recent innovations, such as ChatGPT, have hit the headlines and boosted public awareness of AI capabilities. AI is perhaps best understood by considering various examples that we are already routinely using in our daily lives.

Search Engines

Search Engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo, are all supported by AI. These complex software systems use vast quantities of continuously updated data to derive the best possible search results in response to submitted search queries in combination with other data such as user preferences and demographics.

Online Shopping and Advertising

If you browse or shop online you will have probably noticed how advertisements and promotions appear to already know what you are searching for. This is all due to AI that intelligently assesses previous online activity and search behaviour to inform the presentation of what someone is likely to find appealing.


AI is built into the software running behind the scenes on our smartphones. It can help people take better photographs, recognise biometrics, understand and translate different languages, identify music and much more.

Digital Assistants

A digital assistant is also often called a predictive chatbot. These are advanced computer programmes that use AI to simulate human interactions. They might combine historical information, such as purchase and service history along with demographic information, to answer complex questions, make predictions and provide recommendations.

Chatbots are a specific form of digital assistant, designed to enable humans to interact with digital devices as if they are communicating with a real person. Consumer digital assistants, such as Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana, are able to answer many questions and offer recommendations based on what they know about the user’s profile, their past behaviour, and other relevant information.

Smart Homes

The term ‘smart home’ refers to the use of internet based technology to connect various home-based systems and control these automatically and remotely. Connected devices in a smart home allow users to control functions such as home security, heating, lighting and home entertainment.


While fully automated self-driving vehicles aren’t yet with us vehicles are already using AI. Navigation devices are largely powered by AI technology and AI is also being used in safety devices, capable of detecting and responding to dangers and accidents.


There are many aspects of healthcare that are now powered by AI. AI is used to provide accurate examination and analysis of X-rays and CT scans, improving diagnosis speed and accuracy for diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis.

AI is also now used to personalise treatment plans by combining patient data, genetic information, and lifestyle factors to predict disease risks and optimise ongoing treatment.

AI is also being used to enable effective remote patient care, supporting the delivery of effective healthcare services regardless of where patients are located.

Banking and Financial Services

AI applications in banking and finance are extensive. Real-time fraud detection uses AI to analyse transaction patterns, identify anomalies and flag potentially fraudulent activities.

Credit worthiness and credit scoring is now assisted by AI technology, enhancing the accurate and speedy assessment of both individuals and businesses.

And AI is also being effectively used to support anti-money-laundering compliance by automatically and accurately analysing vast quantities of data. Identifying and flagging suspicious patterns helps banks and financial institutions comply with regulatory requirements and mitigate the risks they face.

How AI is Used by Fraudsters

The many ways in which AI is already benefiting our lives are very clear. But the use of AI by fraudsters is growing.

The creation of synthetic but believable identities is one example of how fraudsters are leveraging the capabilities of AI. Fictitious identities and personas are created using both real and fake data derived from various sources. AI is also being used to create fake IDs and passports, enabling criminals to overcome identity verification checks.

AI is also being employed by criminals in widespread, coordinated malware and phishing campaigns. If you have noticed an increase in the number of phishing emails in your inbox, or fake claims that your social media profiles are breaching copyright restrictions, these are likely to be the result of AI used by fraudsters.

Fraudsters are also using AI to clone peoples voices. In one recent example a deep fake audio recording of London Mayor Sadiq Khan, supposedly making inflammatory remarks before Armistice Day, almost caused "serious disorder". The audio clip, widely shared on social media, used AI to convincingly replicate Mr Khan`s voice. Voice cloning incidents in the United States have included efforts made by fraudsters to carry out banking scams to redirect funds into scam accounts.

These examples are just the tip of an ever expanding iceberg of AI based frauds. Scammers and the techniques they use are becoming increasingly sophisticated which is why both businesses and individuals need to be vigilant.

How Businesses Can Protect Themselves

The various forms of AI enabled fraud are complex and continuously evolving. Businesses are particularly susceptible to targeting by organised criminal fraudsters, so what can they do to protect themselves?

Importantly, businesses need to be very aware of the various novel modes of fraud they might encounter. They need be vigilant and include fraud risk management in their business processes. Weaknesses and vulnerabilities that can potentially be exploited by AI based fraudsters must be identified and addressed.

Systems need to be implemented to monitor financial activities and prevent any suspicious transactions from taking place. If a business uses any form of identify verification it must be ensured that this process cannot be overcome using AI generated ID elements.

And its vitally important to assess the level of training and familiarity with AI based fraud risks amongst staff members and take steps to make certain personnel are equipped with what they need to keep the business secure.

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How Personal Service Combats the Fear of Fraud

The challenges faced by businesses, organisations and those in the public eye in contending with AI based fraud attempts are clearly very significant. But normal consumers and members of the public also need to be acutely aware of the potential for fraud. And people are naturally fearful of potentially falling victim to unscrupulous fraudsters.

As an ever increasing number of consumers deal with the majority of their tasks and transactions online they are also becoming increasingly impatient. Consumers commonly complain about not being able to easily find answers to simple questions such as business hours and locations. If it takes more than a couple of clicks to find the information they seek prospective customers will often move on to find an alternative source. This is where chatbots can excel. Providing simple answers to the most commonly asked, simple questions such as opening hours and contact details.

But while chatbots can be excellent in providing answers to frequently asked questions they are far less helpful when the questions are more complex, nuanced and specific to a person’s needs. Importantly, many people simply don’t trust AI based bots as much as real humans.

Chatbots can play an important role in optimising customer experience, but its important to recognise the needs of every individual customer and prospective customer. Here at Insight Security we know how our customers appreciate and value interaction with knowledgeable staff who are happy to discuss and explore solutions to the wide wide variety of challenges they are faced with. Our approach is to be as helpful as possible to all callers - even if this doesn’t result in a sale.

We know, from the feedback we receive, how many of our callers gain a great deal of valuable guidance from our staff which would simply not be possible using an AI based chatbot system. Discussing their specific needs with our experienced staff provides callers with confidence in proposed solutions. Customer satisfaction is our primary aim and we are happy to recommend products and solutions from other sources if they are not part of our portfolio. This level of customer service is currently way beyond the capabilities of AI.

Personal service involving interaction with helpful, knowledgeable staff who aren’t entirely focused on getting a sale, provides customers and prospective customers with confidence they aren’t being misled. The helpful, human interaction immediately allays any fears of fraud or being mis-sold inappropriate solutions that won’t work. While chatbots play a valuable role and will become increasingly sophisticated and commonplace, they are unlikely to fully replace the personalised, expert guidance provided by authoritative, experienced human professionals.

For more information on Staying Secure in the Age of AI and Fraud talk to Insight Security

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