In the context of IT security, there are a number of different threats that businesses should be aware of. Threat sources, or the places or entities from which threats originate, vary significantly, so it’s essential to monitor cyber risks from all angles in order to fortify your digital assets. In this post, we’ll explore some of the primary threats to look out for in cybersecurity today.

Inside Threats

Inside threats refer to cybersecurity threats that originate from within your own organization. These threats can come from a variety of sources, such as disgruntled employees, contractors, or third-party vendors. Some common examples of inside threats include:

  • Insider threats: This refers to employees or contractors who use their access to organizational resources to intentionally or unintentionally cause harm. This could be through stealing or leaking sensitive data, disrupting business operations, or introducing malware into the network.

  • Social engineering: Social engineering describes the manipulation of individuals into performing actions or divulging confidential information. Social engineering attacks can take many forms, including phishing, vishing, and baiting.

  • Misuse of privileges: Employees or contractors may misuse their privileges with IT systems. For example, they might install unapproved software, access inappropriate information, or even intentionally leak sensitive information.

Outside Threats

Outside threats are security threats that originate from outside an organization. The following are some of the best examples of external threats.

  • Cyber attacks: Cyber attacks are carried out by hackers or cybercriminals to disrupt or gain unauthorized access to an organization's IT systems. Typical forms of cyber attacks include malware, phishing, and DDoS attacks.

  • Advanced persistent threats (APTs): APTs are long-term, targeted cyberattacks, mainly by state-sponsored groups, aimed at stealing sensitive information or disrupting business operations.

  • Ransomware: Ransomware refers to a type of malware that encrypts the victim's files and demands a ransom payment in exchange for the decryption key.

Intentional Threats

Intentional threats are carried out with the intent to cause harm to an organization's IT systems or data. These threats are typically posed by actors with specific goals in mind, such as stealing sensitive information, disrupting business operations, or extorting money. Examples of intentional threats include:

  • Cyber espionage: When cyber means are used to steal sensitive information or intellectual property from organizations, typically by nation-states or other advanced actors, it is called cyber espionage.

  • Hacktivism: Hacktivism is carried out for political or social reasons. Hacktivists often aim to disrupt business operations or steal sensitive information in order to make a political statement.

Unintentional Threats

Unlike intentional threats, unintentional threats are not intended to cause harm, but can still present serious consequences for an organization. Unintentional threats are often caused by human error, system vulnerabilities, or other unforeseen factors. Here are some of the main unintentional threats to be aware of:

  • Human error: Human error, as the term suggests, is caused by human folly. For instance, an employee could accidentally click on a malicious link or share sensitive information on unsecured networks, unintentionally exploiting critical vulnerabilities.

  • System weaknesses: System weaknesses include unpatched software or systems that are not configured securely. This allows hackers easy access to sensitive data.

Natural Disasters

People don’t often think of natural disasters in the context of cybersecurity, but natural threats can pose just as great of a risk as other types of threats. Natural disasters are acts of nature that can disrupt business operations and cause damage to IT systems and data. Examples of natural disasters include floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornadoes.

These events can cause physical damage to equipment and facilities, as well as disruptions to power, internet, and other critical infrastructure, making it difficult or impossible to access data and systems. Organizations need to have disaster recovery and business continuity plans in place to minimize the impact of natural disasters on their operations.

How Trava Can Help With Your Threat Response Plan

Cyber threats abound in today’s world. If you work online in any capacity, there’s no getting around it—you’ll be forced to contend with an attack at some point or another. This is why it’s important to prepare now to face whatever challenges will inevitably arise down the road. By creating and implementing a solid security plan, you can prevent attacks and respond effectively to the ones that do occur.

Trava offers a number of solutions for cybersecurity, each of which is designed to protect your business from the most critical threats in the digital space today. These include solutions for insurance, compliance, managed service providers, and SaaS leaders. You can also take advantage of Trava’s free cyber risk assessment, which can help you determine where your business stands in terms of cybersecurity. By identifying vulnerabilities in your system, you can better prepare for the unexpected.