Posts

Can’t wait to integrate ChatGPT into your business processes? …actually, here’s exactly why you should wait!

ChatGPT for business

You can’t escape it. It’s all over the news and social media about this sudden wave of improvements in LLM (Large Language Models) or as most people know them at the moment Chat-GPT! 

Every large tech firm is rushing to integrate these technologies into their products with Microsoft launching co-pilot and Bing with Chat-GPT integration. Google is launching AI lead improvements to Workspace and Facebook accidentally leaked the source code to their LLM. 🤦‍♂️

With all of this going on you would expect that these products are at least secure and pose no risk to the users, businesses or the general public. And while I am wholly in favour of improvement to AI and ML, we must consider the risks these LLM pose as they begin to become part of everyday life. 

What are you talking about?

I should start by covering what an LLM is. Well in the words of Nvidia “A large language model, or LLM, is a deep learning algorithm that can recognise, summarise, translate, predict and generate text and other content based on knowledge gained from massive datasets.” To most of us what this means is that a system can take input in human language, not machine code or programming language and can then complete these instructions. Now, this can be as simple as how do you bake a cake. Or you can ask it to write an application that will convert files to pdf and upload them to an FTP server based on the IP address x.x.x.x and write an output file for me to show completion, in C++. The LLM will then go away, compute the question against the information it has been “taught” and will then come back with an answer.

chatgpt plus

 There are a few things we should all be aware of with LLMs as they stand today, these limitations are present but not always obvious. 

  • LLMs are driven by the dataset they have and may have complete blind spots to events if they occur post the data set provided, i.e Chat GPT (GPT-3) is based on a data set from 2021. So if you ask it about the F1 teams for 2023, it will either throw an error or will simply give you information it “generates” from the information it has been fed.
  • LLMs can therefore “hallucinate” facts and give you a completely incorrect answer if it doesn’t know the facts or if the algorithm works itself into a situation where it believes it has the right information.
  • LLMs are power-hungry. They need huge amounts of computing power and data to train and operate the systems.
  • LLMs can be very biased and can often be tricked into providing answers by using leading questions making them unreliable.
  • The largest risk is that they can be coxed into creating toxic content and are prone to injections actions.

Therefore the biggest question remains what is the risk of introducing an LLM into your business workflow? 

With the way that LLMs work they learn from data sets. Therefore, the potential risk is that your business data inside applications like Outlook, Word, Teams or Google Workspace is being used to help develop the LLM and you don’t have direct control over where the data goes. Now, this is bound to be addressed over time but these companies will 100% need access to your data to move these models forward so limiting its scope will have an impact on how they develop and grow. Microsoft and Google will want to get as much data as possible. 

As such you need to be careful to read the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy of any LLM you use. 

Other Risks

This one is scary, and it increases as more organisations introduce LLMs into the core workflow, is that queries stored online may be hacked, leaked, stolen or more likely accidentally made publicly accessible. Because of this, there is a huge risk of exposing potentially user-identifiable information or business-related information. 

We should be aware of the misuses risk that also comes from LLM with the chance they will be used to generate more convincing phishing emails, or even teach attackers better ways to convince users to enter into risky behaviour. 

openai

The final risk that we should be aware of is that the operator of the LLM is later acquired by a company that may be a direct rival to yours, or by an organisation with a different approach to privacy than when you signed up for the platform and therefore puts your business at risk. 

As such the NCSC recommends

  • not to include sensitive information in queries to public LLMs
  • not to submit queries to public LLMs that would lead to issues were they made public

At this point, Planet IT’s recommendation is not to integrate the new features from Microsoft and Google into your business workflow. Certainly not until proper security and data controls have been implemented by these companies and the risk of your business data being used as sample material to teach the LLMs is fully understood. These are emerging technologies, and as we continue to see change at Planet IT we are monitoring everything very carefully to understand how it will affect the security and data compliance of your business. 

More information from the NCSC can be found here : https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/blog-post/chatgpt-and-large-language-models-whats-the-risk

If you want to talk to one of our experts about how we can help you with your security and understanding of LLM then please call 01235 433900 or you can email enquires@planet-it.net or if you would like to speak to me directly you can reach out to me via DM or at james.dell@planet-it.net.

IMPORTANT!!

This article was NOT written by ChatGPT. It was written by this ChapJPD (James Peter Dell)

Cloud Security Assessment Checklist: Protecting Your Business in the Cloud

cloud security checklist

Just because your data is in the cloud, that doesn’t mean it’s secure.
What???

I know many people believe that because they use Microsoft Azure, AWS or GCP, and big tech have their own security measures in place, that means you are safe, right? It doesn’t!!

In order to protect your sensitive information and comply with industry regulations, you need to perform a comprehensive security assessment of your cloud infrastructure.

Here is our recommended cloud security assessment checklist to help you ensure that your cloud environment is secure:

Access Management

Access management is one of the most critical components of cloud security. You need to ensure that only authorized users have access to sensitive information and systems. This can be achieved through the implementation of strong authentication methods such as multi-factor authentication, the use of secure password policies and even better, biometric authentication.
Additionally, it’s important to regularly review and audit your access logs to detect any unauthorised access attempts.

MFA

Directory Service

Directory services play a crucial role in cloud security by providing centralised authentication and authorisation for your cloud environment. A robust directory service will allow you to manage user accounts, passwords, and permissions in a secure and scalable manner. Ensure that your directory service is properly configured and that it integrates seamlessly with your access management solution.

Data Loss Prevention and Backup Policies

Data loss prevention is critical in protecting your sensitive information in the cloud. Implement a comprehensive data loss prevention strategy that includes the use of encryption, data backups, and disaster recovery solutions. Ensure that your data backup policies are regularly tested and updated to ensure that your data can be recovered in the event of an unexpected outage or disaster.

Rely on a Security Team

This is key. A dedicated security team is essential for ensuring the security of your cloud environment. This team should be responsible for the implementation and management of your cloud security solutions, as well as for performing regular security assessments and audits. Whether in-house or outsourced, make sure that your security team has the necessary skills and experience to keep your cloud environment secure.

Encryption

Encryption is an essential component of cloud security. Encryption can protect your sensitive information from unauthorised access, even if it falls into the wrong hands. Ensure that your data is encrypted both at rest and in transit, and that your encryption keys are properly managed and protected.

security updates

Security Updates

Often overlooked, updates are critical for keeping your cloud environment secure. Regularly update your cloud infrastructure and security solutions to ensure that you are protected against the latest threats. Stay up-to-date with the latest security news and vulnerabilities to ensure that you are prepared for any potential security incidents.

Monitoring

Regularly monitor your cloud environment to detect any security incidents or threats. Ensure that you have the necessary tools and processes in place to quickly respond to any security incidents, and that your security team is properly trained and equipped to handle them.

In conclusion, the cloud is an essential component of modern business, but it also presents a unique set of security challenges. By following this cloud security assessment checklist, you can ensure that your cloud environment is secure and that your sensitive information is protected. Keep this checklist handy and regularly assess your cloud security to ensure that you are always protected.

Ignorance is not bliss. Why Are Some Businesses So Reluctant To Embrace The Cloud?

Why are businesses so reluctant to adopt the cloud?

Cloud computing is the future of business. I argue that it is very much the present too. The cloud benefits organisations to become more agile, efficient, and cost-effective.

But why are some companies still hesitant to join the party?

Is it the cost? Is it a lack of understanding?

Ok, Let’s call out the elephant in the room: security and privacy concerns.

Yes, security breaches make headlines, but the truth is that cloud providers have heavily invested in security measures.

This includes encryption, firewalls, and multi-factor authentication. However, many businesses are still sceptical about the effectiveness of these measures and worry that their data could be vulnerable to cyberattacks.

So, I’m going to call the cloud providers out on this. Just because your data is stored on the cloud, and despite their valiant efforts, the reality is that you still need 3 party security solutions in place to safeguard your business data. But any responsible IT manager or business leader will appreciate this is a modern business need anyway.

Another reason for the reluctance to adopt cloud computing is privacy. Many businesses are concerned about the privacy of their data, particularly in light of recent privacy scandals. They worry that their confidential information could be accessed by unauthorised third parties, either by accident or through malicious intent.

But it’s not just security and privacy holding companies back. Many simply don’t understand the cloud. And that’s understandable. But ignorance is not bliss in the digital age. The businesses that seize the cloud advantage will leave their competition in the dust. Access to cutting-edge tech, scalability, and improved collaboration – the benefits of the cloud are too good to pass up.

So, to the companies still on the fence about cloud computing: don’t be left behind. Embrace the future and take your business to the next level.

Cloud computing is the answer to your digital needs – embrace it and thrive.

The future of Cyber Security for… BUSINESS LEADERS

the future of cybersecurity for business leaders

The future of cyber threats impacts both IT managers and business leaders, but with different priorities and approaches. While both groups recognise the importance of securing their organisation’s digital assets, they have different perspectives on the impact of these threats on their respective roles.

I have written 2 articles. Both on the topic of looking at the future of the cybersecurity landscape, but this post is from the BUSINESS LEADERS, OWNERS, MANAGING AND FINANCE DIRECTORS  point of view.

If you’d like to see my take on what IT MANAGER or IT DIRECTOR‘s need to be aware of, then CLICK HERE.

The Future of Cybersecurity.

Cyber threats are becoming increasingly sophisticated and persistent, posing a significant risk to businesses of all sizes. Business owners, managing directors, CEOs, and financial directors, be Aware! It is crucial to understand the future of cyber threats and take the necessary steps to protect their organisations from devastating cyber attacks.

  1. Cost of a Cyber Attack. A successful cyber attack can have devastating consequences for a business. This includes loss of sensitive information, damage to brand reputation, and financial losses. The cost of a cyber attack can run into hundreds of thousands or even millions of pounds. In many cases, even force a business to close its doors permanently.
  2. Targeted Attacks. Businesses are increasingly becoming targets of cyber criminals who are looking to exploit vulnerabilities in their systems for financial gain. These targeted attacks are becoming more sophisticated, and businesses must be proactive in their approach to cybersecurity to stay ahead of the threat. The naive days of “Why would they want to hack us?” are long gone. Any business is a target. 
  3. Cloud Computing. The widespread adoption of cloud computing is changing the way businesses operate. It also presents new challenges in terms of cybersecurity. Businesses must ensure that their cloud environments are secure, and that sensitive data is protected from cyber threats.
  4. Human Error. Now this is a big one! Human error is a leading cause of cyber attacks. Your people are and are always likely to be your weakest link. It is crucial for business owners to educate their employees about the importance of cybersecurity and best practices for keeping their systems and data safe.

In conclusion,

The future of cyber threats and cybersecurity is uncertain, and businesses must take proactive steps to protect themselves. From the cost of a cyber attack to the risks posed by cloud computing and human error, it is crucial for business owners to understand the potential consequences and take the necessary steps to secure their organisations. By implementing robust security measures and staying informed about the latest threats and trends, businesses can mitigate their risk and protect themselves from the devastating consequences of a cyber attack.

The future of Cyber Security for… IT MANAGERS

the future of cybersecurity for it managers

The future of cyber threats impacts both IT managers and business leaders, but with different priorities and approaches. While both groups recognise the importance of securing their organisation’s digital assets, they have different perspectives on the impact of these threats on their respective roles.

I have written 2 articles. Both on the topic of looking at the future of the cybersecurity landscape, but this post is from the IT MANAGER or IT DIRECTOR‘s point of view.

If you’d like to see my take on what BUSINESS LEADERS, OWNERS, MANAGING AND FINANCE DIRECTORS need to be aware of, then CLICK HERE.

The Future of Cyber Threats for IT Managers

Cybersecurity has become a critical issue for companies and organisations of all sizes. Obviously, it is essential for IT managers to stay informed about the latest threats and trends in the field. In the coming years, the landscape of cybersecurity will continue to evolve, and IT managers must prepare to face new and emerging challenges.

Here are some of the key trends and predictions IT Managers and Directors need to know for the future of cyber threats.

  1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). AI and ML technologies are becoming increasingly popular, and these technologies will also be used by cybercriminals to carry out attacks. AI-powered malware and bots will become more sophisticated and difficult to detect, making it crucial for IT managers to implement advanced security measures and stay up-to-date with the latest developments in AI and ML security.
  2. The Internet of Things (IoT). The widespread adoption of IoT devices will continue to grow, but the security of these devices is a major concern. Cybercriminals will target IoT devices to gain access to networks and sensitive data, and IT managers must take steps to secure these devices and ensure they are not vulnerable to attack.
  3. Cloud Computing. Cloud computing is becoming more prevalent, we know that. And as a result, cloud security will become a top priority for IT managers. Cloud-based systems and data are vulnerable to attack, and it will be crucial for IT managers to implement robust security measures to protect their cloud environments.
  4. Ransomware. Ransomware will continue to be a major threat, and the number of ransomware attacks is expected to increase. IT managers must take steps to protect their systems and data from ransomware attacks, and also have a plan in place for responding to and recovering from an attack.

In conclusion,

The future of cyber threats is uncertain, but IT managers can prepare themselves by staying informed and implementing the latest security measures. The use of AI, IoT devices, cloud computing, and ransomware will continue to present new challenges for IT managers, and it is crucial that they stay ahead of the curve to protect their organisations and data.

Looking for a technology partner?
Let’s talk

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.