Home Industry report cites deepfakes as second most common security concern

Industry report cites deepfakes as second most common security concern


  • Deepfakes ranked 2nd in UK's security concerns.
  • ISMS.online report shows 32% businesses facing deepfake threats.
  • Scammers use deepfakes in BEC-style attacks, like Arup's $25M loss.

Deepfakes have been ranked as the second most frequent information security concern for businesses in the United Kingdom.

An industry report conducted by ISMS.online surveyed over 500 security professionals with nearly 32% of organizations experiencing problems with this growing threat over the last year.

Scammers are most likely to deploy deepfake content in business email compromise (BEC)-style attacks with artificial intelligence (AI) powered voice audio and video cloning used to deceive recipients into complying with the threat actors’ request, usually large volume fund transfers.

In a recent high-profile case, British engineering firm Arup confirmed it was the victim of a serious deepfake scam after one of its Hong Kong-based employees was misled into sending $25 million to fraudsters.

Other findings in the report found that 79% of businesses experienced an information security issue caused by a third-party company or supply chain partner, up 22% from the research gathered last year. Also, partner data was heavily impacted with 41% of respondents stating it was the most compromised information.

Luke Dash, CEO of ISMS, the compliance and information security specialists, shared his response on the growing risk of deepfakes.

“It is deeply concerning to see the number of organizations threatened by both deepfake and third-party vendor risks,” he said.

“To address these rising and more sophisticated threats, organizations must continue to build robust and effective information security foundations. However, it is encouraging to see businesses investing in securing their supply chains and increasing employee awareness and training,” added Dash.

In response to the ongoing challenge and increased sophistication of the cyber attacks, 47% of respondents to the survey have placed greater emphasis on staff training and education. 

A strong majority agreed, despite its risks and role in deepfakes, AI will help to assist the information security process.

What are deepfakes?

Deepfakes use AI and machine learning (AI/ML) technologies to produce convincing and realistic videos, images, audio, and text showcasing events that never occurred. At times, people have used it innocently, such as when the Malaria Must Die campaign created a video featuring legendary soccer player David Beckham appearing to speak in nine different languages to launch a petition to end malaria.

In other cases, it is increasingly being used for electioneering purposes or to influence the political landscape like when London Mayor Sadiq Khan was targeted, and maliciously in pornographic content, with Taylor Swift previously impacted.

Image credit: Ideogram

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The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Graeme Hanna
Tech Journalist

Graeme Hanna is a full-time, freelance writer with significant experience in online news as well as content writing. Since January 2021, he has contributed as a football and news writer for several mainstream UK titles including The Glasgow Times, Rangers Review, Manchester Evening News, MyLondon, Give Me Sport, and the Belfast News Letter. Graeme has worked across several briefs including news and feature writing in addition to other significant work experience in professional services. Now a contributing news writer at ReadWrite.com, he is involved with pitching relevant content for publication as well as writing engaging tech news stories.

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