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How Your Company Can Combat Deepfake Fraud

“Deepfakes” are videos, images, or audio files that are created using artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques, making them almost indistinguishable from real content. This has raised serious concerns as these deepfakes can be used to manipulate public opinion, spread misinformation, and even harm someone’s reputation.

However, deepfakes don’t just have implications for politics and public discourse. They can also be used for financial fraud and theft, resulting in millions of dollars in losses.

A few years ago, a Hong Kong bank lost $35 million due to an elaborate deepfake plot in which fraudsters used “deep voice” technology to mimic the voice of the company director.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the ways your company can recognize deepfakes, so it can protect itself against fraud.

Anatomy of a Deepfake Attack

As generative AI continues to advance, it enables the creation of more convincing deepfakes at a lower cost, leading to a rise in deepfake phishing. With synthetic media misuse becoming more frequent, organizations must train employees to recognize and mitigate these threats.

Deepfake attacks generally occur through two methods: face-swapping and voice modification, allowing for real-time conversations.

Face-Swapping

In face-swapping, bad actors superimpose a victim’s face onto another person to create synthetic photos or videos. This strategy often relies on publicly accessible footage from sources like social media or corporate websites.

Fraudsters may use this strategy to impersonate organizational leaders in online videos, which could sully a company’s reputation. These deepfakes could then be used for blackmail attempts or other nefarious purposes.

Voice Modification

Voice modification attacks typically take the form of real-time conversations. The bad actor uses AI to mimic a trusted person’s voice, allowing attackers to make demands such as requesting money during live interactions.

Typically, attackers impersonate organizational leaders and emphasize urgency and secrecy in their requests.

For example, as with the Hong Kong example above, an attacker could use AI to replicate an executive’s voice. Then, they could instruct a subordinate to wire large sums of money to a fake account.

Protecting Your Company Against Deepfake Attacks

Defending against deepfake attacks requires a multifaceted approach that combines technology, employee training, and robust policies. Here are some actionable steps your company can take to safeguard itself from these sophisticated threats.

Implement Advanced Detection Tools

Investing in advanced detection tools is crucial. AI-powered software can analyze video and audio content to identify signs of manipulation.

These tools often leverage machine learning algorithms trained to spot inconsistencies that the human eye or ear might miss. By integrating these tools into your company’s security infrastructure, you can add an extra layer of defense against deepfake content.

Educate and Train Employees

Employees are the first line of defense against deepfake attacks. Regular training sessions should be conducted to educate staff about the risks and signs of deepfake technology.

Ensuring that employees know how to verify the authenticity of high-stakes communications can prevent costly mistakes. Consider holding workshops and disseminating educational materials that emphasize the importance of vigilance.

  • Provide regular updates on the latest deepfake techniques and attack vectors.
  • Encourage a culture of skepticism, particularly for unexpected requests.
  • Teach employees how to use verification tools and protocols.

In many cases, an employee’s best strategy is to trust their instincts. If a call, message, or video seems suspicious, they should check with a supervisor before acting on it.

Establish Verification Protocols

Creating and enforcing strict verification protocols can mitigate the risk of falling victim to deepfake attacks. Implement multi-step verification processes for approving significant transactions or sensitive information exchanges.

This might involve cross-checking with multiple sources, verifying via a different communication channel, or requiring in-person confirmations, especially for high-value transactions.

Strengthen Your Cybersecurity Framework

Enhancing your overall cybersecurity framework is another critical step. Ensure that your systems are up to date with the latest security patches and that your networks are protected by firewalls and intrusion detection systems.

Incorporate encrypted communications to protect sensitive conversations from being intercepted and manipulated.

Develop Incident Response Plans

Having a robust incident response plan in place will enable your company to respond swiftly and effectively in the event of a deepfake attack. This plan should include clear steps for containing the threat, notifying affected parties, and mitigating any potential damage.

Regularly reviewing and updating this plan can ensure its effectiveness.

Stay Ahead of Deepfake Technology

By taking these measures, your company can build a resilient defense against the growing threat of deepfake fraud. However, your strategy shouldn’t end there.

Experts agree that the deepfake problem will get worse as cybersecurity experts struggle to catch up. The technology that supports deepfakes is growing more sophisticated every year, to the point that future deepfakes may be virtually indistinguishable from real voice and video.

Your security team should stay aware of what new threats are on the horizon, so they can implement plans to protect against them.

For more information about how you can protect your organization from fraud and cybercrime, talk to us at Option One Technologies.