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How to Ensure Secure Usage of AI Tools

Artificial intelligence has become an indispensable tool in today's business world. With the AI market exploding, it's evident that businesses everywhere are keen on harnessing its power. On platforms like Product Hunt, thousands of AI tools are added daily, reflecting the technology's immense traction.

A Rising Star: AI's Expansion

The AI market is booming in the business world, as many companies are eager to utilize its power. Platforms like Product Hunt see thousands of new AI tools added every day, indicating the technology's immense popularity.

By 2025, Statista predicts AI software market to reach around 126 billion U.S. dollars. Businesses, however, must exercise caution in the face of such rapid growth. Taking this climb requires rigor and diligence on the part of companies.

A Time to Tread Carefully

Utilizing AI can be compared to walking on a tightrope. It's crucial to find the right balance between harnessing its full potential and managing any associated risks. Forbes reports that 64% of business owners believe that AI can enhance customer relationships. However, many may not fully understand the balancing act required. The most of AI's potential, it's necessary to reduce risks, particularly those related to security.

In this blog, we will explore the challenges that AI presents to businesses as well as provide tips on how to make use of these transformative tools effectively and securely.

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4 Steps to Ensure Secure Usage of AI Tools

1. Be sure that your employees are selective in choosing the tool they’ll use & Beware Shadow AI

AI tools and solutions promise enhanced efficiency and innovation. In contrast, they have become targets for malicious threat actors. A number of counterfeit AI apps have been developed by hackers, taking advantage of the current situation with malicious intentions. The risk of falling for these could result in businesses inadvertently inviting malware.

Amidst this backdrop, there is an even more covert challenge: Shadow AI

‚ÄúShadow AI is the unauthorized use of artificial intelligence tools and solutions within a company, often without the knowledge or consent of the IT department.‚Ä̬†

This clandestine phenomenon is reminiscent of the challenges posed by its forerunner, Shadow IT. While both are tied to the realm of SaaS platforms, it's paramount to highlight that Shadow AI zeroes in on tools powered by artificial intelligence.

In its "Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2020", Gartner highlighted Shadow AI as an emerging challenge of significant gravity. As businesses stride forward, it's crucial to:

  • Encourage for employees to be discerning in their selection of AI tools.
  • Ensure that only company-approved and vetted AI tools are in use.
  • Foster a culture of awareness around the lurking dangers of Shadow AI and its potential to introduce unforeseen risks.

2. Never provide Personal Identifiable Information (PII) to AI chatbots

Engaging with AI tools can offer innovative solutions, but it's paramount to prioritize the safety of your data. While it might be tempting to use AI for various tasks, be wary of providing any PII or sensitive information. For instance, uploading a confidential sales report to an AI for summarizing can lead to unintended consequences. Not only could that report end up stored on external servers like ChatGPT's, but it might also be used to generate responses for other users, potentially exposing sensitive company information.

Recent incidents, such as the one reported by Bloomberg, shed light on the vulnerabilities of AI platforms. Samsung, after identifying a data leak associated with ChatGPT, prohibited its staff from using such AI tools. Their concerns centered around the challenges of "retrieving and deleting" data from these external servers, emphasizing the risk of transmitted data becoming accessible to unintended users. 

In an internal survey by Samsung, about 65% of participants believed that generative AI tools carried inherent security risks.

Similarly, while AI photo editors might seem harmless and fun, they come with their own set of risks. Uploading a photo to such platforms could mean unintentionally sharing not just the image but also location data and other metadata. Some within the cybersecurity community even believe these uploaded photos are being used to train and refine facial recognition software.

secure usage of ai tools

When interacting with AI tools and applications, always exercises caution. Before providing any data, whether it is text or images, consider the potential risks. Any sensitive or personal information should be removed before using such a system.

3. Navigating the Intricacies of AI in Professional and Personal Use

When interacting with AI tools, it's essential to approach the results and answers with a discerning eye. Think of AI as a knowledgeable friend; while they might offer a wealth of information, there's always the possibility that some of it might be misleading, outdated, or simply wrong. Despite the vast data reservoirs backing tools like ChatGPT, biases, whether intentional or inadvertent, can creep into their outputs.

Developers, in particular, must exercise caution. AI tools, increasingly used to assist in code generation, can be time-saving. However, they come with their pitfalls, sometimes generating code that's error-prone, unstable, or insecure. ChatGPT, for instance, encountered criticism on platforms like Stack Overflow due to the buggy nature of its code suggestions. The take-home message for developers is clear: Always meticulously review AI-generated code before implementing it.

This cautionary stance towards AI isn't just advocated for individual users. Major corporations are also demonstrating increased wariness:

  • Apple: Restricted employee use of ChatGPT due to leak concerns.
  • Spotify: Addressed AI-generated songs amidst fake stream concerns.
  • Major Banks: Institutions like JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citi, and others have limited their staff's use of ChatGPT.

While AI offers tremendous utility, it's crucial to verify its outputs. The same way you wouldn't rely on a friend's opinion on every topic, consider AI with a balanced perspective. It's important to remember that no tool can guarantee accuracy every time, no matter how advanced.

4. Exercising Caution with AI Outputs in Corporate Representation

Although AI tools like ChatGPT are grounded in vast data sets, the integrity of this data can sometimes be compromised. Biases, either intentional or inadvertent, can be embedded by data creators. When leveraging AI results for company representation, it's essential to critically evaluate the information for potential biases or inaccuracies.

Final Thoughts

AI is transforming the business landscape, as evidenced by the daily influx of AI tools and impressive market projections. With this surge, however, comes inherent complexities and risks, ranging from vulnerabilities to Shadow AI's illicit operations to biases in AI.

Keeping track of your tools is crucial. Nevertheless, a question may pop into everyone's mind: How? The answer can be found in our guide: "How to Find Shadow SaaS with Resmo?"

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