Organizations and employees have been rapidly integrating ChatGPT into their day-to-day, recognizing its potential to revolutionize productivity and task automation. By inputting relevant data, organizations can expedite the generation of insights and deliverables, significantly outpacing traditional methods. However, ChatGPT and similar AI technologies are not without security challenges. Since the LLMs require access to potentially sensitive organizational data, this data becomes part of ChatGPT’s systems and can also be leaked. In this blog post, we dive into these risks and explain how to protect against them.

How Organizations are Using ChatGPT

Organizations are leveraging ChatGPT to enhance productivity and automate tasks. For instance, ChatGPT is being used to analyze data, create business plans, generate finance reports, enhance coding capabilities, and create social media posts. By inputting organizational data into ChatGPT, employees can gain insights and generate results much faster than before.

However, the adoption of ChatGPT and similar AI technologies comes with its set of risks. LLMs require access to the organizational data, raising questions about how this sensitive information is handled and protected. With employees typing and pasting proprietary or regulated data like PII, source code, and business plans into ChatGPT, there’s the risk of this data being used by OpenAI for internal training, fine-tuning, and new outputs. This could result in it getting into the hands of the wrong people: adversaries or competitors.

ChatGPT Safety Measures

ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI, incorporates several ChatGPT safety measures to ensure its secure usage and protect user data. Protections in place that answer security concerns include:

  • Audits –  OpenAI conducts annual security audits to identify and mitigate potential vulnerabilities within their systems, ensuring that security practices are up-to-date and effective.
  • Encryption – OpenAI encrypts data both in transit and at rest, thereby protecting it from unauthorized access.
  • Access Controls – Strict access controls are in place to ensure that only authorized personnel can access sensitive information, minimizing the risk of data breaches.
  • Bug Bounty Programs – OpenAI runs bug bounty programs, inviting ethical hackers to find and report vulnerabilities in exchange for rewards. This proactive approach helps in identifying and fixing security issues before they can be exploited maliciously.
  • User Input Restrictions – The system has built-in safeguards to prevent the processing of sensitive personal data. When the ChatGPT chatbot identifies input containing potentially sensitive information (like social security numbers or credit card details), it’s designed to reject or caution against such submissions, mitigating the risk of personal data being compromised.
  • Regular Updates and Patching – The system undergoes regular updates to enhance its capabilities, fix vulnerabilities and adapt to new security threats.

Learn more about AI chatbot security


Is ChatGPT Safe to Use?

Despite the aforementioned measures, organizations should take proactive measures to safeguard their data. This is because using ChatGPT and other conversational AI chatbots come with security risks that organizations should be aware of. AI chatbot risks include:

  • Data Leaks – Exposure of sensitive organizational data to new, external users. This could happen when employees type or paste sensitive information like source code, PII, or business plans, the LLM is trained on it, and the data is used in another output for a different user.
  • Internal Misuse – Inappropriate use of the technology for unauthorized or unethical tasks, such as generating deceptive content or performing tasks in violation of company policies or legal requirements.
  • Malicious Attack Support – When attackers exploit chatbots for advancing their attacks. This could include enhancing phishing or whaling attempts, spreading or developing malware, generating passwords for brute force attacks, or spreading misinformation to create chaos.

Learn more about ChatGPT security risks

Prepare your Company for ChatGPT and AI Chatbots

Organizations can take several strategic steps to prepare their workforce for the integration and use of AI Chatbots. This will ensure a smooth transition to the use of these new tools and allow for secure productivity. Steps to take include:

  • Education and Awareness – Educating your employees about AI Chatbots and their potential impact on the organization. Cover productivity, ethical use, and security aspects. Host workshops, seminars and training sessions to explain how these chatbots work, their capabilities, and their limitations. Awareness can help ensure employees are engaged and aware of the need to practice ChatGPT use safely.
  • Processes and Practices – Assess where the security risks of using ChatGPT are the highest. Identify which departments are more likely to misuse generative AI chatbots, like engineering, finance, or legal. Then, build processes that determine how employees can use ChatGPT, for which purposes and when. For example, engineers can use ChatGPT as long as there are no Secrets in the code, finance can only use a self-hosted LLM, or for law firms to enforce DLP policies. Implement guardrails to enforce these and protect your data.
  • Security Measures – Choose a platform that can govern how employees use ChatGPT, while providing visibility and allowing IT to block or control which data types can be inputted. An Enterprise Browser Extension can help.

How LayerX Protects Data from Leakage ChatGPT and Other AI Chatbots

LayerX’s Enterprise Browser Extension effectively reduces the risk to organizational data that comes from ChatGPT and similar generative AI platforms. This is done through the configuration of policies that determine which data can be inputted into ChatGPT, while also offering detailed visibility and insight into user actions within their browsers. In addition, LayerX can prevent or limit the use of ChatGPT browser extensions. LayerX enables secure productivity so all organizations can enjoy the use of ChatGPT without risking their intellectual property or customer data.

Learn how to protect against ChatGPT data loss.