Which Cyber Threats – External Or Internal – Pose Greater Risk For My Business?

Cyber threats are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and new methods of cyber attacks emerge constantly. Your IT systems and databases are a target even if you don’t realize it, and protecting critical digital assets is becoming increasingly challenging.

Implementing a reliable cyber security strategy and taking proactive steps are the best ways to prevent data breaches and intrusions into your business systems. While so many focus on preventing external threats, it’s also important to consider possible internal cyber risks to your digital assets and networks.

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How To Protect Against Common External Cyber Threats?

External attacks against business IT systems can come in many forms, including phishing emails, Trojan horse viruses, or ransomware. Techniques vary, but cybercriminals target IT systems to steal data or encrypt vital digital assets. Strive Technology Consulting recommends cybersecurity management best practices to minimize risk and prevent external parties from penetrating your computer systems and business platforms:

  • Regular backups. Backing up your data on a regular basis is at the core of a disaster recovery strategy that works. It helps you recover your data in case of successful ransomware attacks or if a virus deletes your data.

  • Calculate risk scores. IT experts are able to capture vulnerabilities across your computer systems and calculate a score that reflects each system’s vulnerability. Thus, you will know which data systems need specific attention.

  • Firewalls and antivirus software. Firewalls are the first line of defense for any connected business. They prevent third parties from accessing your systems while a reliable antivirus software proactively scans incoming and outgoing data traffic for various sorts of viruses.

  • Email security filtering. An estimated 91% of all security breaches start with email. In addition to PC antivirus, it is important to have a special filter dedicated to filtering your email, both inbound and outbound.

  • Regular software updates. Updating and patching your business applications automatically and in a timely manner is crucial because hackers actively seek and exploit security holes and bugs in office and mobile apps. The same applies to whatever operating system you use as no operating system is 100% bulletproof, and each requires regular updates.

  • Cybersecurity assessments. This method enables businesses to pro-actively seek weaknesses in their cyber defenses with an expert IT firm conducting the tests.

The basics of a cybersecurity strategy don’t cover your entire IT system. You should be aware that successful implementation of these measures effectively will require partnership with IT consultants, especially for small and medium-sized businesses that have no IT department.

How To Protect Against Common Internal Cyber Threats?

Dealing with internal cyber threats can be even more challenging, and under certain circumstances, they might pose a greater risk for your business.

Businesses large and small use corporate networks and cloud services to which employees have access, both in the office and remotely. An external intruder has to eliminate your cyber defenses before getting access to your business systems, but an insider has direct access to your digital assets. Small businesses often run on loyalty and trust, but mistakes, hacker tricks, and disgruntled employees still happen every day. The Strive Technology Consultants team suggests that you implement strong protections against internal threats, like:

  • Grant custom user rights. You need to grant specific user privileges to each employee instead of adopting an all-or-nothing access policy. Thus, you grant access only to digital assets a person needs for performing his or her specific tasks under a specific scenario.

  • Train your team on policies. Adopting an adequate user rights policy is one thing, but making it work is another challenge. Well-trained employees are able to follow a flexible cybersecurity strategy that is adapting to the changing cyber threats landscape.

  • Train your team on detection. Hackers know your employees have full access to everything, and they tune their attacks to trick your users into unwittingly doing their work for them. Train your employees to recognize these approaches and report them when they happen.

  • Change passwords regularly. Changing login credentials on a regular basis is an important preventive measure, as employees tend to share passwords with colleagues. Also, prevent people from sending passwords via email or other channels.

  • Remove former employee access rights. One of the worst scenarios is when an ex-employee still has access to your business systems. Revoke user rights immediately after a person leaves your company, including wi-fi access.

Strive Technology Consultants are the outsource cybersecurity professionals that will leverage IT security best practices to protect your business from both internal and external threats.