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The Safe Usage of ChatGPT and Other LLMs

August 3, 2023  | By: Stephen Boals

A Hat Trick Strategy of Technical Controls, Cybersecurity Policy, and End-User Awareness

In the ever-evolving landscape of Artificial Intelligence (AI), innovations such as OpenAI’s language model, ChatGPT, are revolutionizing our means of communication and interaction. While the tool’s potential is immense, it concurrently presents unique challenges related to privacy, IP protection and non-compliant usage. A robust layered response to these emerging concerns and how to reinforce the safe usage of ChatGPT and other LLMs can be found in a three-layered strategy: technical controls, a well-formulated cybersecurity policy, and end-user awareness and judgement.

Layer One – Technical Controls

The immediate reaction from most cybersecurity teams is total and complete blockage.  Well, that certainly creates access difficulties, but end users will skirt the rules through personal devices, development networks and lesser-known AI sites.  Technical controls form the bedrock of any cybersecurity framework, and AI/LLMs are no exception. They comprise data encryption, access control, system audits, and, in this context, the introduction of a ChatGPT proxy.
Data encryption, both at rest and in transit, is fundamental to ensuring that sensitive information remains shielded from unauthorized access. Control over who can interact with ChatGPT and to what extent is another crucial measure. This mandates stringent access control protocols.
Introducing a ChatGPT/LLM proxy as an intermediary adds a significant layer of security. The proxy can filter requests and responses between the end-users and ChatGPT, ensuring compliant usage and preventing any potential misuse of data. By inspecting and logging these interactions, a ChatGPT proxy can serve as a powerful tool in identifying and mitigating potential threats.
Moreover, regular audits of system logs, including proxy logs, can further illuminate aberrant or non-compliant behaviors, providing vital insights into any underlying threats or misuse.

Layer Two – Cybersecurity Policy

Technical controls are complemented by a comprehensive cybersecurity policy focusing specifically on AI.  That’s right, dust off the old policy and add AI specific callouts or an addendum specifically for AI. The policy serves as a blueprint defining acceptable use of ChatGPT & AI in general, privacy preservation, and repercussions of policy violations.  And use a policy management and acceptance platform to track and maintain and audit trail for user recognition and acceptance.

The policy must detail the nature of data sharing and usage ChatGPT/AI/LLM for users . For instance, it should expressly state that ChatGPT cannot be utilized with Personal Identifying Information (PII), that interactions with ChatGPT are not stored long-term, and the data used to train the AI model is completely anonymized.

Furthermore, the policy should explicitly lay out the usage boundaries of ChatGPT, including the prohibition of illegal activities or misuse, and stipulate punitive measures for violations.

Layer Three- End-User Awareness and Judgement

The final defensive layer revolves around end-user awareness and judgement. Regardless of the strength of technical controls and the comprehensiveness of a cybersecurity policy, their effectiveness is contingent on end-user behavior, the final defense frontier between the seat and keyboard.

Regular awareness sessions should be organized to educate users about potential privacy risks tied to AI usage, the significance of responsible usage, and the process of identifying and reporting non-compliant behavior. The role and function of the ChatGPT proxy as an intermediary should also be clearly communicated to ensure that end-users understand its value as a safeguard.

End-users should be continually reminded to exercise caution when interacting with ChatGPT, such as refraining from sharing sensitive information, even with the assurance that the AI lacks the ability to retain or misuse it.

In addition, the use of behavioral toolsets that create a mindset about personal risk styles can bring cyber judgement and mindfulness to the organization.

Conclusion – Safe Usage of ChatGPT and LLMs

As AI, and particularly tools like ChatGPT, becomes an integral part of our lives and professional environments, vigilance towards potential cybersecurity risks is paramount. A tripartite strategy comprising technical controls, cybersecurity policy, and end-user awareness, fortified by the use of a ChatGPT proxy, can ensure a secure and responsible application of these powerful technologies. By adopting such a multi-layered approach, we can harness the benefits of AI while simultaneously protecting our assets.  For more on using our Human Defense Platform for AI risk reduction, contact us today.



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