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First, it?s important to recognize that threats can be classified in one of two ways: external, and internal.

External Threats

As their name suggests, these threats are those that originate from outside your business? network. This category includes most threats, especially those that you may have heard of before. External threats include the likes of:

  • Viruses and Malware: These nasty bits of code and malicious software are able to be customized by a hacker to carry out a particular task, whatever that may be. Unfortunately, we have neither the time nor the space to list all of the potential uses for viruses and malware, as the possibilities are virtually limitless.
  • Ransomware: This is another nasty attack, where a user?s files will be encrypted and the attacker will demand payment in exchange for the decryption key. These attacks are often effective, as businesses need their data in order to operate. Regardless, it is important that the demanded ransom isn?t paid, as it only encourages more attacks down the line.
  • Spam: Email has proven to be an effective means of attack for hackers to leverage, sending infected messages in the hopes that someone on the other end will download them and leave the business open to threats. While spam is largely preventable, it is also easy to fall for, leaving a network vulnerable.

Internal Threats

Internal threats can be particularly insidious, as they can come from effectively anywhere within an organization – even its most loyal and well-meaning employees who simply made a mistake. Unfortunately, these threats could also be the result of some employees acting maliciously against a business, actively attempting sabotage.

A brief sampling of internal threats include:

  • Phishing Attacks: Hackers have a good understanding of where your business? biggest weaknesses are, and most of the time, they?re sitting at their workstations. While you may have a handle on security best practices, your users may not. This leaves them vulnerable to phishing attacks, where they could easily be convinced to click the wrong link, provide sensitive information, or download a malicious attachment.
  • Account Hijacking: What would happen if a hacker managed to take over one of your employee?s accounts? Sure, you could see that the account was active, but if you didn?t know it was actually a hacker using it, you could find your data stolen? or worse.
  • Lack of Access Control: Firing an employee is never pleasant, and there?s a good chance that there will be some bad blood after the fact. If the former employee is angry enough, they may be tempted to access your network and create some problems for you. Not only would this be embarrassing for your business, it could put you into an uncomfortable situation down the line. This is why it is so crucial to cut off a former employee?s access as quickly as possible.

There is no shortage of threats out there that could negatively impact your business. White Mountain IT Services can help to keep you protected from them with advanced and effective security measures. Reach out to us at (603) 889-0800 to learn more.

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