The Future of Cybersecurity: ChatGPT For Risk Management?

When ChatGPT, a generative AI chatbot developed by OpenAI, was introduced in November 2022, the digital world changed forever. Endless questions and even more speculation surrounded the release, and most industries, including cybersecurity, were divided on the tool’s value. 

The advocates quickly prophesized how artificial intelligence would improve their daily decision-making and elevate their understanding of complex concepts. Contrastingly, the critics immediately poked holes in the accuracy of AI-powered technology and feared the extent to which machine learning and AI would ultimately eliminate jobs and diffuse elements of humanity.

Now, sometime after the release, industries are experimenting with various use cases for ChatGPT and other AI systems. Cybersecurity, in particular, has identified ChatGPT’s immense natural language processing (NLP) capabilities and its ability to eliminate time-consuming manual processes as advantages the technology can offer the industry.

However, like with any new technology, it’s essential to scrutinize the value AI tools offer the cybersecurity industry compared to comprehensive solutions like UpGuard and whether it’s valid to consider ChatGPT a trusted solution for complex challenges, such as third-party risk management (TPRM).

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Using ChatGPT For Third-Party Risk Management

The best way to measure ChatGPT’s effectiveness as a TPRM solution is to evaluate if OpenAI’s chatbot can help organizations overcome critical TPRM challenges. Here are a few challenges where ChatGPT might be able to provide TPRM support:

  • Vendor regulatory compliance
  • Risk Identification
  • Policy and procedure documentation
  • Concept guidance

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Managing Regulatory Compliance With ChatGPT

Assessing vendor compliance is one of the most significant challenges of third-party risk management. Most organizations that manage an extensive supply chain will include vendor compliance controls within their due diligence procedures and vendor risk management (VRM) policy, but ensuring ongoing compliance from new and existing vendors is an issue that requires significant time and energy.

Organizations can cut down on the time and energy they spend evaluating vendor compliance by utilizing ChatGPT to review and analyze immense amounts of data from regulatory agencies worldwide. The organization can then use ChatGPT to filter this data based on specific industry or framework requirements directly relevant to its business operations.

For example, if an organization needs to assess a vendor’s compliance with ISO 27001, it can leverage ChatGPT to gain insight into the framework’s essential requirements. The organization can then perform vendor due diligence based on these requirements, collect vendor information, and use AI to assess if the vendor meets the framework’s requirements.

Another way organizations can manage regulatory compliance across their supply chain is with a robust TPRM solution like UpGuard Vendor Risk.

UpGuard Vendor Risk’s powerful features include flexible security questionnaires (ISO 27001, NIST CSF, HIPAA, Modern Slavery, GDPR, and more), objective vendor security ratings, and comprehensive vendor risk assessments that allow organizations to streamline all areas of TPRM, including managing vendor compliance for new and existing vendors.

Improving Risk Identification With ChatGPT

An organization’s risk assessment workflows should include risk identification, assessment, and prioritization strategies.

Risk identification is arguably the most important of the three phases since it directly impacts each subsequent stage of cyber risk management. After all, an organization cannot assess and prioritize a risk they have yet to identify. This reality makes maintaining comprehensive risk identification strategies critical to an organization’s overall TPRM risk hygiene.

However, organizations, especially those operating in a constantly evolving industry (technology, financial services, healthcare, etc.), often need help identifying new third-party risks. Organizations struggling with risk identification can improve their risk assessment workflows by leveraging ChatGPT’s industry knowledge and data to identify relevant risk factors. Risk managers can share incident reports, vendor audit reports, and other regulatory reports using GPT to improve the AI language model’s ability and accuracy.

The main flaw with using ChatGPT for risk assessment workflows is that the program still requires personnel to prompt it to search for new risks and vulnerabilities or analyze supply chain risks at a given time. UpGuard provides risk managers with around-the-clock risk identification support through real-time updates and the ability to track vendors and supply chain data 24/7.

UpGuard Vendor Risk helps organizations identify the following potential risks:

  • Cybersecurity risks, including phishing attempts, malware configurations, and other types of cyber attacks and threats carried out by cybercriminals
  • Compliance risks
  • Operational risks
  • Financial
  • Reputational

Learn how UpGuard’s risk identification tools help prevent cyber attacks>

Drafting Policy and Procedure Documents With ChatGPT

Risk managers can use ChatGPT to tackle documentation tasks, including generating TPRM policy and procedure documents. ChatGPT’s NLP capabilities will allow the AI-powered software to create documents that meet the organization’s needs.

After creating an initial draft, the user must check ChatGPT’s work and refine it based on industry-specific standards and compliance regulations. However, ChatGPT’s large language model (LLM) structure can help organizations streamline their documentation efforts, speeding up the process and freeing up risk analysts and managers to focus on other tasks.

Employee Support & Concept Guidance With ChatGPT

ChatGPT is excellent at providing educational support and distilling an understanding of complex concepts to personnel across all industries. Personnel working in their first cybersecurity role or taking on new tasks can use ChatGPT to gain a baseline understanding of complex concepts quickly.

For example, a new employee could ask ChatGPT: “Acting as a cybersecurity expert, can you explain what [insert complex concept] is?”

The employee will then be able to read ChatGPT’s compiled reply in seconds and respond with additional prompts as they see fit. Personnel can also use ChatGPT to help with tasks such as work prioritization, activity reports, etc.

Of course, ChatGPT, like most other AI language models, has its limitations. Individuals using ChatGPT to understand complex concepts should evaluate all information with a trained cybersecurity professional to check for inconsistencies or errors.

Other Potential Cybersecurity Use Cases For GPT-4

In addition to the use cases explored above, cybersecurity professionals have also used ChatGPT to assist with the following tasks:

  • Personalize employee development and training
  • Draft automation scripts
  • Monitor search engines for known data leaks
  • Monitor social media (LinkedIn, Meta, etc.) for potential reputational risks
  • Assist with incident response by providing suggestions for threat-hunting
  • Conduct vulnerability scans and filtering
  • Generate and transfer security code
  • Distill cybersecurity news and events
  • Troubleshooting information security systems

The Risks of Using ChatGPT

Before any organization uses ChatGPT for third-party risk management, it must evaluate the inherent risks the AI-powered tool presents to its enterprise. The most glaring risks associated with ChatGPT include: 

  • Sensitive data leaks: If an organization were to share sensitive or internal company information with ChatGPT, the chatbot would store that information within its datalog. This could lead to a severe data leak if an outside user prompts ChatGPT with a relevant question
  • Cybercriminals use it too: ChatGPT is available to anyone with an internet connection, meaning cybercriminals are also strategizing ways to use the tool to exploit users and the resources of organizations
  • Confidentiality and data privacy: If cybercriminals ever compromise the security of ChatGPT, then they may be able to access prompts submitted by an organization and any sensitive information the company shared with the chatbot
  • Intellectual property concerns: Ownership of ChatGPT output is exceptionally complicated, primarily when a user utilizes prior intellectual property or proprietary data to interact with the LLM

Conclusion: ChatGPT as a TPRM Solution

ChatGPT is not a complete cybersecurity solution, nor does the AI language model provide the same level of support that a comprehensive TPRM solution, like UpGuard, provides. However, as discussed previously in the article, ChatGPT has advantages, especially regarding information, data processing, and industry education.

At this point, cybersecurity professionals are best off using ChatGPT to enhance the features provided by comprehensive TPRM tools. In the future, cybersecurity solutions will likely introduce new features that utilize LLMs and other AI technologies. 

How Can UpGuard Help With TPRM? 

UpGuard Vendor Risk is a proven third-party risk management solution that allows users to monitor external security risks, vendor security ratings, and supply chain hygiene 24/7. The platform also helps users streamline the risk management process through flexible security questionnaires and comprehensive vendor risk assessments. 

Organizations focused on improving critical areas of their cybersecurity program, including data privacy, risk remediation and mitigation, and vendor risk management, can witness the power of UpGuard right now by starting their risk-free free trial

Overall, UpGuard grants users access to the following cybersecurity tools: 

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