Evaluating External Threats — Know Your Enemy

When it comes to evaluating external threats to your company’s data, narrowing down the primary attacks can be difficult. So what can you do to pinpoint the most likely sources of a cyberattack? The first step is taking stock of what your company has to lose.

How to Spot External Threats

If you know the type of data in your network and where it is located, that will make it easier to determine direct external threats to your data. Threat Intelligence is the name given to this type of evaluation. By discovering what your data’s greatest threats are, you can be prepared to repel the most likely attacks.

One thing you can be certain of is that cyber criminals are always looking for tools that can provide a way around standard security measures. So while you need to take the standard precautions, these alone are rarely enough. As security companies develop new antivirus programs, anti-malware tools, and firewalls, the world of cyber criminals gets to work on developing better attacks that can evade those tools. It’s vital to keep everything up to date. Every time hackers find a way around, security companies update their software, and so the escalation continues.

When a weakness is discovered and exploited, the subsequent attacks are referred to as zero-day attacks. These attacks prove successful until a patch is released to update the vulnerable software or platform. While zero-day attacks were a rarity in the past, this is a common external threat today. The world of cybercrime has an entire system of developers to exploit vulnerabilities, and brokers who act as a go-between to provide these attacks to those who would use them against your company as well as other unsuspecting innocents.

It calls for the proper mix of defensive and proactive behaviors to keep the risk of data loss at a minimum. Your online security team has to be on guard daily to keep your brand from becoming an easy target and the next headline news feature involving cybercrime. When your security team and employees work together to maintain a safe environment, it decreases the likelihood that your organization will need to release the next public apology for experiencing a data breach.