Artificial IntelligenceMicrosimulationsTackling AI Deepfakes and Ensuring Operational Resilience

As the technological landscape evolves, so do the operational risks it presents. Today, we find ourselves grappling with emerging threats such as AI deepfakes – a severe but plausible threat that is quickly becoming a significant concern. To ensure resilience and business continuity against these operational risks and disruptions, organizations should actively engage in regular wargaming, preparing themselves to successfully respond to these emerging threats.

In a recent industry forum, iluminr’s cofounder – Marcus Vaughan – delivered a presentation centered on harnessing the power of business agility in the face of emerging risks. Through an immersive AI deepfake microsimulation – an alternative to tabletop exercises, the presentation sparked thought-provoking discussions, induced ‘aha’ moments, and as anticipated, exposed a gap in readiness for an AI-driven threat.

This blog delves into the rise of AI deepfakes, its impacts on operational risk and resilience, and the opportunity for innovative, immersive wargames.


The Rise of AI Deepfakes

Artificial Intelligence has unlocked a world of possibilities, one of which is AI deepfakes. These digital manipulations convincingly imitate real-world images, videos, or voices, with the potential to mislead audiences with fabricated events or statements.

The rise in the use of deepfakes in cyber fraud is confirmed by Vmware’s 2022 annual Global Incident Response Report, which noted a 13% increase from last year in incidents involving malicious deepfakes, as experienced by two out of three respondents.

These can lead to severe reputational, legal, and financial repercussions, as seen in a 2020 incident, where a company director’s voice was cloned, tricking a branch manager into transferring $35 million. In another case, a UK-based energy firm was defrauded out of $243,000 in 2019 through a similar deepfake cyber attack.

These events underscore the critical need for integrating deepfake scenarios into wargaming strategies using Microsimulations or tabletop exercises, to better prepare for such severe but plausible threats.

Emergence of AI Deepfakes


The impact on Operational Risk and Resilience

Resiliency to operational risks is an organization’s armor, empowering it to withstand disruptions and maintain business continuity. In an era where deepfakes can cause disruption without warning, a robust approach to operational risk and resilience is crucial. Failing to maintain it may lead to significant financial losses and irreversible brand damage.


The three Cs approach to Business Agility

Effective operational risk and resilience hinge on business agility, achieved through the three Cs: Context, Capability, and Connectivity.

Context refers to gathering intelligence to better understand the business environment and the potential impacts of disruptions like AI deepfakes. Capability represents an organization’s skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to adapt and respond to these changes. Connectivity signifies the importance of internal and external relationships, roles, responsibilities, and the adaptive playbooks they can trigger to help organizations navigate AI deepfake disruptions.

By understanding the Context, harnessing their team’s Capability, and leveraging Connectivity, organizations can adapt quickly on “gameday”, ensuring operational continuity during fast-moving change.


The Gap in Current Organizational Preparedness

Interestingly, despite the looming threat of AI deepfakes, a poll in the presentation revealed that AI’s integration into wargaming exercises is lacking – uncovering a significant gap in preparedness. In saying that, this gap could stem from a lack of understanding or perceived complexity surrounding AI technology and its potential threats.

Organizations under prepared for AI deepfake threats


The Opportunity for AI-Focused Microsimulations, or Tabletop Exercises

AI simulations could be the game-changer, equipping organizations to deal with emerging risks. By wargaming severe but plausible threat scenarios using Microsimulations or Tabletop Exercises, organizations can enhance threat awareness, identify vulnerabilities, and improve response strategies come gameday. More organisations are leaning into Microsimulations as they are short (typically 15 minutes to complete), maintain engagement and can be deployed regularly, fostering continuous learning through feedback loops, and building response capabilities to fast-moving change.

Wargaming using Microsimulations could, for example, simulate deepfake incidents, enabling organizations to stress-test and validate business continuity and response plans across the whole organization, from the executive to the shop floor.

These wargames could play a pivotal role in operational risk and resilience, giving organizations a proactive approach to mitigate future threats and building response muscle, ensuring teams are gameday ready.


Preparing for the Future

In the face of AI deepfakes and other emerging risks, ignoring them is not an option. Organizations must gear up and proactively prepare their teams for gameday. The introduction of AI Microsimulations in risk management can offer invaluable insights and reinforce their organization’s preparedness for future threats.

To prepare for the inevitable gameday, organizations should ensure they understand the context of their business environment, leverage their capabilities, and foster connectivity to adapt rapidly. While AI deepfakes present significant challenges, organizations can transform these challenges into engaging learning experiences through immersive wargames using Microsimulations.

Incorporating these Microsimulations into risk management strategies can provide valuable insights, enhance preparedness against deepfake threats, and ensuring business continuity.

To learn more about how iluminr is helping organizations prepare for severe, but plausible threats such as AI deepfakes, connect with our team for a discovery session today.



Michelle Doan
Director of Marketing


Elevate your Critical Response Capabilities - Join Wargame to Gameday 2024!Register now