Why do you need to heighten chatbot security, isn’t this already thought of in development? 

The answer is just as complicated as the security requirements you may need in place. Chatbots are one of the most popular digital trends especially with evolving business needs, not to mention, advancements in different messaging platforms, which are resulting in rapid chatbot development. Rapid development can mean missing pieces and this is why we need to focus on our security levels.

When To Heighten Chatbot Security

When you first get started with your chatbot design it can be easy to get excited and lost in the advancements in AI technology.  Advanced bots can now break down barriers between apps, content creators, employees, and most importantly, consumers. Allowing you to automate a wide range of tasks and information. However, as with all new and powerful technology, it also carries certain security sensitivities that are not yet fully explored by every chatbot design company.

numbers projected on face

The financial industry, for example, hosts a vast amount of information and requires the highest levels of security. Vital personal information, such as credit cards, bank accounts, social security numbers, and more play a massive role in the digital transactions that are happening in each of these spaces. The Majority of this information can be encrypted and monitored for data loss or malicious intrusions.

Data protection involves information when it is both at rest and in transit. 

While there are many benefits to having a chatbot as part of your business plan, you must also consider the new cybersecurity challenges that come with new technologies. There are two main security concerns that every organization must keep into consideration:


Threats

Threats can be known as isolated events or Malware. A cyberattack of a global nature that targets specific industries has the potential to result in a long term system lockdown and loss of access. Moreso, attackers may also threaten to release confidential information of a critical nature or demand a ransom. In 2020, Microsoft announced their plans for a new $510 million cybersecurity centre in Vancouver, Canada. 

woman coffee apple iphone Heighten Chatbot Security
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“The Vancouver centre will help us meet the growing demand for technology solutions to reduce the cost of cyber-attacks, enable today’s connected devices to become tomorrow’s secure payment devices, and address the growing vulnerabilities associated with the Internet of Things,” Banga stated in a news release.

As a consumer, what are your thoughts on cybersecurity? 

As a business owner, do you have the same thoughts?

We’d love to hear from you – let us know those thoughts in the comments.

Vulnerabilities

When state-of-the-art technology is not being used for protection, vulnerabilities become more apparent and accessible This can be attributed to weak coding and poor protection standards. Making it important to have a dedicated cyber-security team who knows where your weak spots are and how to strengthen them.

Tips To Heighten Chatbot Security

crop hacker silhouette typing on computer keyboard while hacking system Heighten Chatbot Security
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No matter if you are a business, developer, or currently the user of a bot, these following tips should be considered to stay ahead when it comes to chatbot security.

1. Crossing Channels Isn’t Always Seamless

A key advantage of chatbot technology is the ability to cross channels when gathering information needed to execute a task. But with all this crisscrossing and the exchange of private information, the chances of it being leaked increases dramatically. Everyone in the chatbot ecosystem needs to consider each of the channels that could be accessed. 

While a bot can be created to secure information via a private channel, data that is shared in a public channel, such as Facebook, is subject to the security sensitivities of that channel. Private channels are good. Public channels aren’t secure.

2. Fall In Love With Encryption

We know that bots offer users, developers, and companies greater speed, flexibility, and convenience, this doesn’t come without strings attached. If you don’t have the proper safeguards in place, such as bots encrypting stored user information, a malicious hack is possible. 

Businesses understand this issue and employ encryption across channels to protect data when at rest and in motion. Your emails and SMS messages are encrypted, as well as any other service that exchanges sensitive information. 

When it comes to bots that can access personal information, developers who are interested in protecting data, and communications will grant bots access to only encrypted channels. However, it is a different story on public bots, you don’t have control over these platforms, what they encrypt and don’t encrypt. If you are not careful, it has the potential to be a huge cybersecurity storm. 

green and white line illustration Heighten Chatbot Security
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So how do you stop that? End-to-End Encryption. 

This will stop anyone other than the sender and the recipient from seeing the information. A great example of this is WhatsApp, their end-to-end encryption is used when you send a message to another user, only you and that individual can read, view, or listen to the content you sent, not even WhatsApp has access to it.

Speaking of WhatsApp, recently they made some changes to their Privacy Policy, however, they still claim your messages are encrypted and safe from their staff or third parties from having access. 

We offer end-to-end encryption for our Services. End-to-end encryption means that your messages are encrypted to protect against us and third parties from reading them. Learn more about end-to-end encryption and how businesses communicate with you on WhatsApp.

Whatsapp February 2021 Privacy Policy 

3. Authentication Limits

If you have ever had to use a bank key before you know how time-based restrictions can result in higher levels of security. Access to the authenticated tokens is only valid for a specific period of time. After the expiry of the token, the chatbot automatically revokes access. This is extremely helpful when trying to prevent a hackers repeat attempts of trying and guessing their way into a secure account.

It makes a lot of sense that security-related issues are viewed by IT professionals as the main obstacle to the acceptance and use of intelligent systems. Some of their foremost concerns include:

  • 47% believe automated/unexpected API access will become a risk
  • 48% indicate automated/unexpected file access is poised to become a problem
  • 42% report that cyber threats will become more difficult to detect

But remember, when you heighten chatbot security, you also reduce your vulnerability.

two woman chatting Heighten Chatbot Security
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One Last Note

There is a lot of due euphoria surrounding bots and their potential, organizations need to pause and assess the bot, its security capabilities, and management controls before jumping into the “bot pool.”  We have forgotten that data, in the new world of chatbots, resides in places it has never resided before.  As chatbots become increasingly popular, expect developers to start to restrict bot access to secure channels only.

Talking to an expert is the first step, creating a secure bot that handles all your needs without causing any worry. If you feel like you and your business could use some advice, book a 30 min discovery call with us today.