A chatbot is a computer program designed to mimic the conversation of a human being via text or voice messages. You can command or ask a question to the chatbot, and the chatbot will respond or perform the requested action.
Chatbot mimics human conversations with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) techniques such as Natural Language Processing (NLP), image and, audio and video analysis. One of the most exciting features of chatbot is that it learns from the mistakes (past interactions) and become intelligent and smarter over time.
Chatbots come in various shapes and sizes. Some businesses are using chatbots in exciting ways.
Chatbots are used to order food, book flights, and get advice for pretty much anything. Though we are still in the early days of the chatbot development, all the latest chatbot statistics indicate one thing: chatbot adoption is growing among businesses of all sizes.
Starbucks Chatbot: With the help of a chatbot, Starbucks makes the entire process of ordering your favorite drink or snack, a breeze. You just have to order food by using voice commands or text messages and the chatbot will inform you when the order will be ready and the total order amount.
Chatbot Security Threats and Concerns
Chatbots are quickly becoming a norm among businesses to interact with customers. Many companies have already been using or at the initial stages of deploying chatbots. Although chatbots offer numerous benefits to businesses and customers, there are several security threats associated with the use of chatbots.
We are at the nascent stage of chatbot development, current chatbot solutions are not entirely secure and could expose the business to various cyber attacks. The vulnerabilities present in chatbots provide hackers direct access to an organizations’ network, applications, and databases.
In due course of time, chatbots will eventually mature, and learn to collect more sensitive and personal information through Artificial Intelligence and machine learning capabilities. Hence, it is crucial for any business to enhance the security of its chatbot platform at the foundation level itself.
It is especially critical for businesses to educate themselves and be aware of the risks associated with the use of chatbot. They must consider vital factors such as sharing and storing the information, and most importantly who can access it.
What Happens When Hackers Attack Chatbots?
With advances in security solutions, attacking server infrastructure is not an easy task. Thus, hackers are now turning to attack the chatbots (as a proxy). Since chatbots exhibit human-like communication, they can be an excellent proxy for carrying out cyber attacks that defraud victims for hacker profit, or just for fun and amusement.
Hackers can attack a chatbot and turn it into an ‘evil bot.’ The ultimate goal would be to scan the other bots in the network for possible vulnerabilities that could later be exploited. Once the bot service or framework protecting the user data gets compromised, it could lead to data theft.
In extreme cases, an ‘evil bot’ could attempt to masquerade as a legitimate human user and gain access to another user’s data through a bot that provides such services. For that, it might use the accumulated data about a targeted victim, taken from public sources (such as social media), the dark web (using auctioned passwords or personal information), or both.
How To Protect Chatbot Data And User Privacy
Chatbots and the data that it handles can be secured using technologies such as Two Factor Authentication (2FA), behavior analytics, biometrics and Artificial Intelligence (AI). These newer technologies address the issues of authentication and encryption that affect chatbots.
Chatbots offers businesses massive potential for sales, marketing, and customer service. Thus it is critical for businesses to address any security vulnerabilities by applying the technologies mentioned above.
Another way to secure chatbots and prevent hacking attempts is by using self-destructing messages. This is a proven solution, usually used by banking and all kind of financial chatbots.
When sensitive data is sent through a chatbot, it can delete that confidential message forever from the system after a specific period of time. This way, the chatbot, user and the company that uses the chatbot can be sure that all the data and information will be secured and untracked.
Apart from all the tips mentioned above, an excellent website security solution such as Comodo cWatch will provide complete protection to all the websites.
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