Internal and External Cybersecurity Risks: Facts You Should Know

Jun 29, 2022Cybersecurity, Network Security

Technology has continued to progress over time. Along with it, companies and organizations have long switched to digitalization regarding their processes, workflow, and more. With this, it is inevitable for them to encounter constant cybersecurity attacks that are originating from the digital world. Regardless of the best efforts to put up a strong security defense against hackers and threats, some companies, even the biggest ones such as Yahoo, Facebook, Marriott International, and more. 


As cybercriminals improve their approach, it is imperative that businesses develop a resilient security defense to prevent any data breaches. On top of that, it is equally important to have a good grasp of the different cybersecurity risks out there.


What are External Cybersecurity Risks?

external cybersecurity risks

Generally, an external cybersecurity threat is a risk coming from a person or organization from the outside of a company that aims to steal confidential information through the use of malicious software, hacking, sabotage, or social engineering. Cyber intruders can target your business at any time wherein your company’s sensitive information can be compromised. Compared to internal cybersecurity threats, external threats can be much harder to deal with since you can’t simply determine where the risks are coming from and what will happen next.


External threats come in many forms and some of which you may probably have already heard of. Here are some of the common external threats:

  • Malicious software (malware)
  • Social engineering techniques
  • Worms
  • Phishing
  • Hacking (DDoS Attacks, Session Hijacking, Man-in-the-Middle Attack)
  • Drive-by Download Attack


What Are Internal Cybersecurity Risks?

internal cybersecurity risks

As humans, people tend to do harm not only to themselves but also to others. Internal threats occur when an employee, staff, or business partner would want to expose the company’s data and ruin them willingly. In most cases, data is being used potentially for poaching or recruiting purposes. Let’s also consider that this type of threat increases because of the growing number of devices used by employees for their work-related activities. 


These days, a portion of employees are working from home and companies are using third-party applications to promote business continuity and productivity. Meanwhile, this could also mean that their security can be at risk at any time since data is shared across multiple applications and devices. Some threats can go unnoticed for weeks or months, nevertheless, the effect is the same.


 Potential internal cybersecurity threats and attacks include:

  • Unauthorized downloading of sensitive data on personal storage drives
  • Theft of physical devices
  • Accidental or intentional loss or disclosure of data
  • Poor access control management 
  • Employee sabotage and theft


How To Prevent Both Cybersecurity Risks 

How To Prevent Both Cybersecurity Risks

In this time and age, people and businesses are becoming more reliant on technology, notably the internet to stay connected and reach more customers. On the other hand, cyber attackers can take advantage of this for their own personal gain. As such, taking a proactive approach to address vulnerabilities and prevent cybersecurity threats, whether it is an external or internal.

User awareness is one of the major elements in preventing cyber-attacks. Aside from that, here are other steps you could take:


  • Establish a log management platform that unifies all logs and correlates with uncovering threats and raising alerts.


  • Invest in employee cybersecurity training. It is also a form of weapon against cyberattacks. Understanding cyberattack methods and the fundamentals of cybersecurity can help you and your team make informed decisions using corporate networks and even your home devices.


  • Implement preventative monitoring procedures and systems, and employ anti-ransomware software and tools.


  • Integrate critical security technology and best practices into the company’s cybersecurity strategy in order to guarantee that key defensive measures are implemented.
  • Create recovery plans in the event of an intrusion.


  • Automate routine security updates. Employees are less likely to delay required security patches and other upgrades if frequent security updates are automated.


  • Streamline essential security procedures and continuously secure all endpoints using Zero-Trust Approach.


  • Protect hardware as well as software and ensure all devices (both work and personal) are adequately password protected and remotely erasable.


Key Takeaway


Keeping your company’s private information is of utmost importance and working on resilient security defenses could help you achieve this goal. Do not let your guard down and don’t overlook any vulnerabilities. Effective key management and rotation policies should also be put in place. Also, two-factor authentication should be used for all high-level user accounts that have unrestricted permissions.