How AI Will Impact Small Business Cybercrime

As AI technology continues to evolve, so will the ways in which it can be used to undermine cybersecurity and best practices. One of the most pressing concerns is the potential for AI to exacerbate phishing and social engineering attacks. These attacks are already a major threat to businesses of all sizes, but the use of AI could make them even more dangerous. Today we’ll explore how AI is likely to make these attacks more sophisticated and what small businesses can do to defend against them.


Phishing and social engineering attacks are already a major concern for small businesses. These attacks typically involve the use of emails or social media messages that appear to be from a legitimate source, such as a vendor or a colleague. The goal being to steal data or credentials after the recipient clicks on a link or downloads an attachment.

Unfortunately, AI is likely to make these attacks even more effective. Here’s how:

Enhanced Spear Phishing Attacks: AI algorithms can be used to create highly targeted spear phishing attacks. Cybercriminals can use AI to gather data on potential targets, such as their interests, location, and online behavior, to create emails or messages that are specifically designed to appeal to them.

More Convincing Spoofing: Spoofing is the act of making an email or website look like it’s from a legitimate source. AI can be used to create more convincing spoofing by analyzing the style and language of legitimate emails and websites, and then mimicking them in fraudulent ones.

Automated Attacks: AI can be used to automate the process of finding and targeting potential victims. This makes it easier and faster to launch large-scale attacks, increasing the odds that your business becomes a target.

Improved Readability: A large number of phishing emails contain grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and other red flags that help us as recipients identify them as threats. With AI, cybercriminals will be capable of drafting mistake free emails that sound more natural to the reader, making them more believable.

So, what can small businesses do to defend against the threat of AI-powered phishing and social engineering attacks? Here are some steps you can take to protect your organization:

Educate Your Employees: One of the best ways to defend against these attacks is to educate your employees on how to recognize and avoid them. Provide regular training sessions that cover the latest phishing and social engineering tactics, and encourage your employees to report any suspicious messages or activity.

Implement Multi-Factor Authentication: Multi-factor authentication is a security measure that requires users to provide two or more forms of identification before accessing an account. This can help prevent unauthorized access to your business’s sensitive data, even if a cybercriminal has obtained a user’s login credentials.

Use Enhanced Email Security Tools: There are a number of anti-phishing tools available that can help detect and block fraudulent emails and messages. Some of these tools use machine learning algorithms and AI to analyze incoming messages and identify potential phishing attempts.

Keep Your Software Up-to-Date: Make sure that all of the software you use, including operating systems, web browsers, and anti-virus software, is kept up-to-date with the latest security patches and updates. This will help protect your business from known vulnerabilities that can be exploited by bad actors.

Monitor Your Networks: Regularly monitor your networks for unusual activity, such as large amounts of data being transferred or unusual logins. This can help you detect potential attacks early and take action to prevent them from causing damage.

The rise of AI is likely to make phishing and social engineering attacks even more dangerous for small businesses. However, there are steps you can take to defend against these threats. By educating your employees, implementing multi-factor authentication, using anti-phishing tools, keeping your software up-to-date. If you want to learn more about how you can implement any of these security tools or practices for your business, reach out to us today.

Get Award-Winning IT Support Today



Get Access to Resources to Help You Thrive

Download Now