Martin Lewis Deep Fake Scam

We’re sure you have seen the news over the weekend that renowned consumer finance expert, Martin Lewis has become a victim of an online scam featuring a sophisticated deepfake video, but how does this technology affect your business?
10.07.23 Charles Griffiths

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) technology has brought with it both tremendous advancements and concerning implications.  This alarming incident not only highlights the potential dangers of AI-powered deepfakes but also exposes the urgent need for improved industry regulation and increased cyber security measures.

How would deep fake AI affect my business?

It’s easy to think that this deepfake scam wouldn’t affect your business – and directly, yes, it is unlikely. However, start by asking yourself, would you have believed it was Martin Lewis? Ask your employees, would they have believed it was Martin Lewis? Remember, an internal risk to your cyber security often isn’t malicious.

However, it’s not just the internal risk posed. In this article by International Security Conference & Expo, they reported 5 ways in which deepfakes can and will cause business problems:

  1. Reputational damage: “Deepfakes can be used to create videos or audio recordings that imitate executives or other high-profile individuals within a company, which can damage their reputation and that of the company.”
  2. Misinformation: “Deepfakes can be used to spread false information about a company or its products or services, which can lead to lost sales or legal issues.”
  3. Cyber security threats: “Deepfakes can be used in phishing scams or other cyberattacks, which can lead to data breaches or other security incidents.”
  4. Disruption of financial markets: “Deepfakes can be used to create ‘fake news’ or other false information that can affect stock prices or other financial markets.”
  5. Legal disputes: “Companies may face legal disputes if they become the target of deepfakes created by threat actors.”

There was also the case in 2019, where the Wall Street Journal reported an alarming use of voice fraud where the CEO of a UK-based energy company believed a call was from his CEO of the parent company. The fraudster, using AI-powered voice technology, requested an urgent transfer of €220,000 ($243,000) to a Hungarian supplier, of which the scammers had control of. Subsequently, the money was then transferred to Mexico.

Cyber security is an enduring arms race, constantly evolving and requiring relentless efforts to stay ahead. Just when you believe you have a grasp on the situation—implementing patches, securing devices, fortifying servers and cloud infrastructure, and improving employees’ phishing awareness—a new threat emerges, capable of disrupting the entire digital landscape.

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What can I do to better protect my business?

Developing a comprehensive cyber strategy is crucial for your business to enhance your cyber security defences and protect your sensitive data. Here are the first four key steps to improve your cyber security posture:

  1. Conduct a thorough assessment of potential risks and vulnerabilities specific to your business.
  2. Provide comprehensive cybersecurity awareness training for all your employees to educate them about common threats, phishing attacks, social engineering, and best practices for handling sensitive information.
  3. Implement strong access controls, including multi-factor authentication (MFA), to ensure that only authorised individuals can access your critical systems and data.
  4. Utilise encryption technologies to protect sensitive data at rest, in transit such as email, and in storage.

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