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The Biggest Threats to Your Data

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The biggest threat to your data is internal and external sources that want to steal that data. The right security is the only way to defend it, and your data is one of your biggest assets. You might get away with poor security and monitoring for a while, but poor defenses can lead to devastating results.

Internal Threats

Companies started realizing that internal threats are the biggest concern for security. In past couple of years, many of the biggest cyber threats were from negligent employees. Insider threats are a growing trend in the security industry, because they are the hardest to identify and usually last the longest. It takes months before the business determines that an insider is the root cause of a data leak. One of the biggest mistakes made by an organization is giving long-term employees access to any resource. This phenomenon is called “privilege creep.” Permissions to data should only be given on a “need to know” basis.

Another issue is giving employees unfiltered access to the Internet, including phishing and malware sites. One can’t protect from every website, but can filter out known malicious websites. Filtering Internet access greatly reduces the chance that an employee will fall for an external phishing site or download malware that can spread throughout the organization.

Finally, another big mistake is routing all email to user inboxes. Filtering emails stops many of the phishing emails that can lead to security breaches from macro viruses or malicious links. Hackers target specific employees that have higher levels of access to capitalize on their permission to sensitive data. Email filters scan message content including attachments to block many of these malicious emails. The best way to encompass all of these issues is to add monitoring and content filters on the network.

External Threats

Even with internal threats dominating the cyber security industry, you still must monitor and defend against external threats. External threats can also be coupled with internal threats. For instance, a social engineering hacker could get an internal user to provide sensitive credential information. The hacker then uses this information to gain access to the internal network.

Phishing and malware sites are external threats, but the hacker needs the employee to open the website and provide details about his credentials. Like we highlighted in the previous section, content and email filters can be used to protect against these threats. User education and security awareness training are the two other methods to reduce these types of risks.

One of the most common external threats that don’t require any type of social engineering is a distributed denial of service (DDoS). These threats can lead to damaging results from server downtime. DDoS can also happen from within the organization, but since it’s much easier to track the attacker, it’s not as common as data theft internally.

The right router and monitoring service helps prevent a successful DDoS attack. Quick mitigation can be done if traffic patterns are analyzed and identified as an attack. These attacks are swift and come without any warning, so it’s important that the organization has the right solution to quickly detect traffic patterns. You can’t be too careful with your data. It only takes one critical leak to cause brand damage and threaten your customers’ privacy. The right monitoring technology can stop both insider threats and the external cyber attacks that can cause your organization to lose massive amounts of revenue.

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The Biggest Threats to Your Data. (2019, February 11). GradesFixer. Retrieved August 15, 2022, from
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