Cyber Security Threats from the Inside Out

In the digital age, worrying about our online safety is an everyday concern. This is true for nearly every aspect of our lives, but especially so when it concerns sensitive personal or business information. Many people believe that the greatest risk comes from the outside world, such as hackers or identity thieves, but in addition to those types of cyber security threats, there are hazards that come from within our own homes and businesses as well. We’ve recently seen that industries like manufacturing, finance, and beyond are all susceptible to these threats and that they can occur in any geographic location around the globe. In order to prevent cyber threats, it’s necessary to recognize that attacks can come from virtually any angle, and may not always be intentional.

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What is Cyber Security?

At its most basic, cyber security can simply be defined as the protection of computers and other tech devices, as well as their operating systems, data, and networks, against unauthorized or criminal use. More specifically, a cyber threat is any type of event that can cause harm, no matter how small or large, to those items. But what type of cyber security risks should you be most concerned about? Which current cyber threats pose the most potential harm to your business? These answers can get complex, which is why it’s so important to understand that cyber security threats can come from both inside and outside of your business.


External Cyber Security Risks

Most commonly, a cyber attack originating from outside of your organization will be intentional.  Much of the time, they’ll start within the IT enterprise environment and come through some type of phishing or spear phishing attempt. In fact, the IBM X-Force® Threat Intelligence Index 2021 indicates that scan-and-exploit has surpassed phishing to become the number one type of initial attack method. In addition to these, you might also incur an external cyber security threat through unsecured remote access being exploited by malicious actors. These are what most people think of when discussing cyber security, but there are also a number of ways that it can be threatened from within your own organization.


Internal Cyber Security Risks

Some of the greatest risks to your cyber security infrastructure can come from inside of your business. Oftentimes, these types of cyber threats are completely unintentional and occur because of a lack of education or training on the best practices in regard to security. One example of this could be an employee who brings their own personal device to work and then connects it to the larger system. They may not know their own phone or computer is infected until it spreads the problem to the organization’s network. Another example of an internal cyber security threat might be outdated software that is more vulnerable to attack. Even if that attack ultimately comes from the outside, it could have been prevented through internal methods.

IT/OT Alignment Protects Against Cyber Security Threats

One simple solution to guarding yourself against any kind of cyber threat, from the inside or the out, is the alignment of your information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) systems. This means that the two networks must work in tandem, rather than as separate entities operating independently of one another. Thankfully, PA is well-versed in the convergence of these two systems and can provide a holistic approach to ensuring that they are as secure as possible in order to prevent attacks.

An overview map of PA's holistic approach to tackling cyber security threats

Our offering creates seamless IT/OT alignment by allowing the two groups to “speak” with one another and operate in harmony. You’ll find all of the details, with real-life examples and an in-depth look at PA’s offerings, in our webinar, “Mission Critical: How to Maximize Your Cyber Security Through IT/OT Convergence.” Join our experts by heading to the link below for all of the information.

A Proactive Approach to Cyber Security

As with anything else in life, it’s always better to be proactive instead of reactive when it comes to your organization’s cyber security. The alignment of your IT and OT systems allows you to do just that. To get started, contact the team at PA today. No matter how small or large your company may be, our team of experts will ensure that you don’t take any unnecessary risks.