Netskope named a Leader in the 2022 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Security Service Edge. Get the Report.

  • Security Service Edge Products

    Protect against advanced and cloud-enabled threats and safeguard data across all vectors.

  • Borderless SD-WAN

    Confidently provide secure, high-performance access to every remote user, device, site, and cloud.

  • Platform

    Unrivaled visibility and real-time data and threat protection on the world's largest security private cloud.

Netskope Named a Leader in the 2022 Gartner Magic Quadrant™ for SSE Report

Get the report Go to Products Overview
Netskope gartner mq 2022 sse leader

Gartner® Quick Answer: How Does Netskope’s Acquisition of Infiot Impact SD-WAN, SASE, and SSE Projects?

Get the report
Quick Answer: How Does Netskope’s Acquisition of Infiot Impact SD-WAN, SASE and SSE Projects?

Netskope delivers a modern cloud security stack, with unified capabilities for data and threat protection, plus secure private access.

Explore our platform
Birds eye view metropolitan city

Make the move to market-leading cloud security services with minimal latency and high reliability.

Learn more
Lighted highway through mountainside switchbacks

Prevent threats that often evade other security solutions using a single-pass SSE framework.

Learn more
Lighting storm over metropolitan area

Zero trust solutions for SSE and SASE deployments

Learn more
Boat driving through open sea

Netskope enables a safe, cloud-smart, and fast journey to adopt cloud services, apps, and public cloud infrastructure.

Learn more
Wind turbines along cliffside
  • Our Customers

    Netskope serves more than 2,000 customers worldwide including more than 25 of the Fortune 100

  • Customer Solutions

    We are here for you and with you every step of the way, ensuring your success with Netskope.

  • Training and Certification

    Netskope training will help you become a cloud security expert.

We help our customers to be Ready for Anything

See our Customers
Woman smiling with glasses looking out window

Netskope’s talented and experienced Professional Services team provides a prescriptive approach to your successful implementation.

Learn more
Netskope Professional Services

Secure your digital transformation journey and make the most of your cloud, web, and private applications with Netskope training.

Learn more
Group of young professionals working
  • Resources

    Learn more about how Netskope can help you secure your journey to the cloud.

  • Blog

    Learn how Netskope enables security and networking transformation through security service edge (SSE).

  • Events & Workshops

    Stay ahead of the latest security trends and connect with your peers.

  • Security Defined

    Everything you need to know in our cybersecurity encyclopedia.

Security Visionaries Podcast

Episode 15: Building Permanent Security Awareness

Play the podcast
Black man sitting in conference meeting

Read the latest on how Netskope can enable the Zero Trust and SASE journey through security service edge (SSE) capabilities.

Read the blog
Sunrise and cloudy sky

SASE Week

Netskope is positioned to help you begin your journey and discover where Security, Networking, and Zero Trust fit in the SASE world.

Learn more
SASE Week

What is Security Service Edge?

Explore the security side of SASE, the future of network and protection in the cloud.

Learn more
Four-way roundabout
  • Company

    We help you stay ahead of cloud, data, and network security challenges.

  • Why Netskope

    Cloud transformation and work from anywhere have changed how security needs to work.

  • Leadership

    Our leadership team is fiercely committed to doing everything it takes to make our customers successful.

  • Partners

    We partner with security leaders to help you secure your journey to the cloud.

Netskope enables the future of work.

Find out more
Curvy road through wooded area

Netskope is redefining cloud, data, and network security to help organizations apply Zero Trust principles to protect data.

Learn more
Switchback road atop a cliffside

Thinkers, builders, dreamers, innovators. Together, we deliver cutting-edge cloud security solutions to help our customers protect their data and people.

Meet our team
Group of hikers scaling a snowy mountain

Netskope’s partner-centric go-to-market strategy enables our partners to maximize their growth and profitability while transforming enterprise security.

Learn more
Group of diverse young professionals smiling

What can we learn from the chatbot attacks we’ve seen so far?

Feb 21 2019
Tags
AI
breach
CASB
chatbot
Cloud Access Security Broker
Cloud Data Breach

For CISOs the growing adoption of chatbots presents a challenge that needs to be addressed this year. They offer businesses huge potential for efficiency, faster customer service and improved customer engagement. But like every emerging technology, they also open up new attack surfaces.

We’ve already seen several attacks carried out via chatbots, so I think it’s reasonable to expect that this year, as businesses deploy increasing numbers of chatbots, we can expect the number of attacks to increase too. What can enterprises learn about protecting themselves from the chatbot attacks that have been publicised?

Re-examine your approach to securing enterprise apps

Cast your mind back to the spring of last year and you may remember stories in the news about a breach of customer data affecting Delta Air Lines and Sears. A few months earlier [24]7.ai, a provider of AI-based online customer support used by the companies, had been compromised. This resulted in the theft of hundreds of thousands of sets of customer data from customers like Delta, Sears, Kmart and Best Buy.

Essentially, chatbot hacks are attacks against enterprise applications. As such, one of the first steps CISOs should take to protect themselves is to review their current security provisions, specifically to check two things.

First, that all the strategies currently in place for every enterprise application should also be deployed for all chatbots. Regular software updates, security patches and multi-factor authentication are some of most important first steps. It’s also necessary to encrypt data at rest and data in transit, enforce access control, and validate every input to the backend data.

Second, that current security approaches are appropriate for cloud-based apps. Cloud infrastructure can significantly increase the attack surface of any enterprise, leaving enterprises wide-open to new threat vectors. Therefore, it’s important that businesses deploying chatbots via cloud-based infrastructure ensure that they rethink their legacy security solutions. One approach is to consider a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB). Businesses are increasingly turning to CASB to address cloud service risks, providing visibility, compliance, granular access control, threat protection, data leakage prevention, and encryption, even when cloud services are beyond their perimeter and out of their direct control.

Revisit your eco-system

Perhaps the most publicised chatbot attack was that on Ticketmaster last year. In June 2018, Ticketmaster UK disclosed a breach of personal and payment card data from 40,000 customers, carried out through compromised chatbot software. Inbenta, the company that Ticketmaster partnered with to develop the chatbot, was compromised by the Magecart criminal group, which implanted, or replaced, a malicious JavaScript tailored to collect personal information and payment card data from the payment pages of the Ticketmaster websites.  In this case, the chatbot itself was not exploited, but the platform was used to distribute malware, and while it wasn’t a particularly complicated attack, it serves as an important warning to all major organisations. Unfortunately, this wasn’t an isolated event, but rather the first of a massive campaign by the same group.  

Attacks to the supply chain are becoming increasingly common and chatbots are no exception. This breach, like [24]7.ai’s, highlights the importance of securing your vendor ecosystem. Enterprises should not assume that their provider has the same security levels as they do, so if you’re using chatbots through third-party platforms, it’s vital to assess their security posture to understand what further protection you need.

Don’t forget the human factor

In 2016, Microsoft Research involuntarily gave us an early example of potential attacks against AI-based chatbots, when its Tay bot started to tweet racist and inflammatory messages. According to Microsoft they were the consequence of internet trolls “poisoning” its AI with offensive tweets. Unsurprisingly, the chatbot was shut down after just 16 hours.

As chatbots themselves become more advanced with more in-built AI, we can expect attack variants against them to become more sophisticated too, acting in more subtle ways.  The example of Microsoft Tay suggests not only that social engineering attacks against chatbots are theoretically possible, but also that such attacks, aimed at leaking private information, could be carried by weaponized chatbots themselves. It’s another example of how AI can be used to help enterprises, but also weaponized against them.

Today, attacks via chatbots seem to be confined to text-based applications. In most cases the platforms have been compromised to inject malware that steals data from customers. However, very soon I expect to see threat actors creating malicious chatbots to dupe customers into clicking links that trigger the delivery of a hostile payload like phishing pages.

It’s vital therefore that CISOs dedicate enough resources to educating employees and customers. Alongside initial training on spotting suspicious activity, organisations should run regular ‘awareness’ campaigns to keep staff vigilant to inconsistencies.

For more information on protecting your business from attacks today, have a look here.

author image
Paolo Passeri
Paolo supports Netskope’s customers in protecting their journey to the cloud and is a security professional, with 20+ years experience in the infosec industry. He is the mastermind behind hackmageddon.com, a blog detailing timelines and statistics of all the main cyber-attacks occurred since 2011. It is the primary source of data and trends of the threat landscape for the Infosec community.