“Deepfake” sounds like something out of science fiction, but the threat is real, and not just in politics. Deepfakes—synthetic media in which a person in a video is replaced with someone else’s likeness—are evolving fast and becoming an increasing threat to businesses, and one that’s hard to counter.
These convincingly doctored image (and audio) files have the power to ruin your business overnight. The problem is most businesses have no idea how to fight against them.
But businesses don’t have to feel powerless. Here’s what you need to know about thwarting deepfakes.
The quick rise of deepfakes
Deepfakes aren’t new, but they haven’t been seen as a real threat until recently. Thanks to advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence, cybercriminals are able to create convincing fake audio and video. Imagine getting a phone call that sounds convincingly like it is from the CEO, but the person asking for financial account details is just a hacker using a computer to trick you.
These targeted threats have already been proved to pay off. As anyone in cybersecurity knows, once hackers figure out that something works, they fine-tune the strategy to profit off of it even more.
Between December 2018 and October 2019, deepfake videos online had risen by 84%. Of course, that’s just the ones experts could find. While most are adult content, think about the damage a compromising video could do to your business.
While Symantec hasn’t released names, the company has already seen three successful deepfaked audio scams that tricked three CFOs out of substantial funds. Forrester even predicts that deepfake scams will cost businesses $250 million in 2020.
In one instance, a chief executive at a UK energy company wired $220,000 to a supposed Hungarian supplier because he thought his boss was instructing him to do so. He stated the voice sounded exactly like his boss, even down to how he would punctuate certain sounds and words.
Top threats to businesses
While businesses are still trying to deal with sophisticated email phishing scams,deepfakes are quickly becoming a more difficult issue to combat. Widespread deepfakes might not be the norm right now, but they will become a favorite tool for many hackers who have the equipment and patience to make this strategy work for them.
Deepfakes are an emerging threat, but they’re a real threat you can’t ignore. Start making preparations today to ensure your business doesn’t become the next victim.
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