With the surging popularity of generative AI applications like ChatGPT and Bard, security professionals need to take measures to fully address the security risks associated with these platforms. Such risks include the potential sharing of sensitive data by employees, the exploitation of Bard for malicious activities by attackers, and the repercussions of a potential breach of Bard’s own systems.

This guide explores these risks, as well as practices and solutions to mitigate them, all while allowing employees to continue to enjoy the productivity benefits of generative AI. We recommend reviewing the recommendations in this guide and updating your security strategy accordingly.

Defining Bard Security

The term “Bard Security” encompasses all the measures and protocols for safeguarding against risks related to the use of Bard. These risks can be categorized into three primary types:

  1. Risks stemming from employee interaction with Bard.
  2. Risks associated with malicious actors utilizing Bard.
  3. Risks pertaining to a direct attack on Bard’s systems.

The Security Risks of Using Bard

1. Employee Misuse: Data Leakage

Employees interact with Bard through typing or pasting information. Inserting sensitive information, like source code to personal identifiable information (PII), can lead to inadvertent data leaks. This is because this sensitive data can potentially be stored or processed by Bard and then accessed by third parties.

For example, the data might be used for Bard’s training and come up in its future answers, or attackers might gain access to Bard and exploit the data for phishing or ransomware. The implications of such data breaches include financial, legal, and reputational damages to the business.

2. Threats from External Attackers

Attackers can leverage Bard for their malicious activities, which means organizations are not immune to Bard-related security threats even when their employees do not actively use the platform. Attackers can use Bard for:

  • Social engineering attacks – Writing credible messages and emails in a variety of languages.
  • Malware development – Generating code that is used for malicious purposes.
  • Information gathering – Obtaining information about systems and architectures.
  • And more

The sophistication of Bard in generating convincing, contextually relevant text and code makes it a potent tool in the hands of cybercriminals.

3. Direct Attacks on Bard

Finally, a breach in Bard’s security could lead to unauthorized access to sensitive user data and metadata, resulting in privacy violations and data breaches.

Risks Associated with Bard Extensions

The use of Bard extensions amplifies the aforementioned security risks. Bard extensions can introduce vulnerabilities and pose a threat to data privacy, especially if these extensions are not developed with stringent security standards. For example, malicious extensions can introduce malicious code to the user’s browser, exfiltrate data, provide attackers with access to identity data like passwords, cookies, and MFA tokens, and more.

Implementing Bard Security Best Practices

To counter these risks, we advocate for a number of practices you can implement in your organizations:

  • Development of clear usage policies – Determine which should not be shared at all, like source code, business plans, intellectual property, etc.
  • Comprehensive training and awareness programs – Educate employees about the risks of sharing sensitive data with Bard and how to recognize AI-generated phishing messages.
  • Adoption of enterprise browsers – Prevent employees from pasting or typing sensitive data into Bard, by using an enterprise browser. The browser will allow you to define  clear usage policies and will alert or block altogether when a policy is violated.
  • Monitoring and blocking risky extensionsDiscover and uninstall malicious extensions and analyze existing extensions to identify and prevent sensitive data from being accessed.
  • Strengthening overall security controls – Enhance your defenses against phishing, malware, and ransomware by maintaining up-to-date software and robust endpoint security measures.

Introducing Bard DLP by LayerX

LayerX offers an innovative enterprise browser solution to protect against data exposure risks associated with Bard and other generative AI tools. By enabling organizations to define and protect their sensitive data, LayerX ensures security without compromising on productivity or the user experience.

With LayerX, users can map and define the data they want to protect, such as source code or intellectual property. When employees use Bard, controls like pop-up warnings or blocking are enforced to ensure no secure data is exposed. If needed, LayerX can block the use of Bard altogether. LayerX also protects against malicious browser extensions, ensuring a secure browsing experience.

For more information, click here.