Chatbots Security Risks and How to Overcome Them – iTech Post


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From banking to e-commerce, travel to retail, every industrial sector dealing with sensitive data like credit and debit card, bank account details, SSN, and other personal identification information is using chatbots in one way or the other. It is being found; over 90% of the bank related issues will be automated by 2022. 

Also, 80% of them will have chatbots incorporated into their systems by the end of 2020. The customer service department has gained excellent benefits from using chatbots. Gartner reported that chatbots would constitute more than 85% of the customer interaction by 2020.

As chatbot handles a large volume of sensitive information, there are some serious concerns over its security. To manage sensitive data through a chatbot imposes significant security risks for every business. For example, back in 2016, Microsoft’s Tay bot was forced into racist and spouting anti-Semitic abuse. 

Since every user is providing some sort of important information while having a conversation with chatbots and this data is at risk of data breaches that make this technology scarier. However, bots can be made secure. Various methods can help in protecting customers’ information from hackers and make the conversation secure both for your business and your clients. 

In this article, we’ll further discuss the security concerns with chatbots and how to ensure chatbot security. Let’s read on.

The most growing chatbots security threat is the reality that they can be exploited by hackers. The cyber attackers use chatbots to rob sensitive data and trick targeted victims to follow malicious links. Such malicious bots look normal, but their primary purpose is to gain corporate and personal information. 

AI technology is becoming strong by each passing day. AI-based systems are now able to replicate human speech and communicate with clients effectively. Because of this reason, malicious bots are tough to spot. It opens doors to social engineering as well as other malicious activity.

Internet users can secure themselves from these bots by only filtering their network traffic for any malicious activities. There are certain security products like a cloud-based security suite, a DNS firewall, or a network security appliance that automatically blocks the IP addresses and infected links that you might click.

However, apart from malicious bots, there are two significant issues that chatbots face.  The first one is the vulnerabilities. Yes! Chatbots are vulnerable because of human errors, sparse coding, and improper security. To solve this issue, start deploying SDL activities while developing chatbots.  

The second challenge that chatbots come across is of threats. These are the ways by which a system is hacked or negotiated. Such methods include information disclosure, denial of service, repudiation, spoofing, and other threats too. 

How to Ensure Chatbots Security?

Chatbots have emerged as a new frontier for several enterprises. Robustness and multi-layer security is a crucial aspect of chatbots. It is chatbot security that enables them to deliver their services securely. 

The following mentioned below are some ways of ensuring chatbots security.

1. Network Security

    Avoid any unauthorized access, apps, devices, services, users, and websites from accessing your network information. There is an immense need to set up a network that transfers data from one point to another without any interference. It prevents unwanted individuals from accessing, altering, deleting, or reading the information. 

    Establishing HTTPS products develops the integrity and privacy of the websites. The privacy protocol sends the encrypted data created by TSL or SSL. “The importance of adding SSL to your website cannot be overstated,” says Gary Stevens, web hosting reviewer at “Sites without SSL today stand little to no chance against cyberattacks, which are growing in complexity and sophistication.” Indeed, HTTPS plays an imperative role in chatbot security because it protects the data from getting exploited. The protocol uses crypto and encryption methods to secure your data, and only a specific algorithm can decrypt the data.

    2. Human Errors

      Chatbot security remains a significant issue if human error challenges are not resolved. It requires massive knowledgeable information with regards to chatbots security. Both customers and employees are the weak points who likely make mistakes. 

      It is predicted that 90% of the organizational data breaches happen because of human error. Either is the IT department that has poorly integrated a chatbot within the system, or an employee who unintentionally created an entry point for a breach to happen.  

      To resolve this, the Chatbot development strategy must include security taps within the system to combat this problem.  Also, employees must be trained to use security measures effectively. To avoid it, it is crucial to invest in employee education. The AI chatbot can have all the security measures to make it secure, but a minor human error can cause significant loss. Hence, ensuring that all the employees are well-aware of securing the chatbots is a must to do a thing. 

      Moreover, the employees can be provided with a road map that offers system security. It can be accomplished by creating informative online content to inform them of the appropriate way to interact with chatbots.

      3. User Identity Authorization and Authentication

        User authentication is used to recognize a user is verified with valid and secure login credentials like a username and a password, typically generated by a password tool. The credentials are shared for a secure authentication token, which is used throughout the users’ session. 

        A security measure used in chatbots, particularly in the banking sector, is authentication timeouts when the generated token can be used for a specific time. Later, the system will be forced to make a new request.

        Two-factor authentication is yet another method to verify user identity by asking them to verify their account via an email or a text message. This authentication tactic helps in authorizing by giving the right person access and keeps the information in the safe zone.

        4. Self-Destructive Messages

          Most of the time, when personally identifiable information is passed on through a chatbot conversation, it becomes susceptible to theft. The information must be one that gets self-deleted after some time. 

          However, the data can be educational, financial, employment, or even medical information. This security measure is essential when it comes to chatbots used in the banking sector. It is because 43% of the users prefer this way to resolve issues with banking providers or accounting and bookkeeping software, which connects to most banks.

          5. Enhanced Security

            When designed securely, chatbots can do several wonders for your business and customers; to employ fundamental security principles can address various privacy and un-authorization issues. It includes access management, secure database management, enforcing the GDPR principles, and deploying HTTPS protocols as well. 

            6. Database Management

              Valid and operative storage, along with retrieval of data, is yet another essential issue that chatbots come across. Let’s suppose a chatbot deals with online payment or some other kind of financial data that the users provide; how the clients’ information should be protected from hackers. 

              Well! There are some ways of database security. These methods include behavior analysis, biometric authentications, secure login credentials, and some other authentication ways too. By adopting or practicing any of these methods, you can surely boost chatbot security.

              Final Thoughts

              Without any doubt, chatbots are an exceptional innovation of the 21st century. It is an excellent means of digital interaction among the customers and the companies; however, they do give hackers a chance to risk their customer’s data and confidential information. Therefore, it is imperative to secure the security of chatbots. Hopefully, the points mentioned above might help you in maintaining chatbots security, so your reputation is kept in the marketplace, and you can also grow exponentially. 


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