Internal and External Threats
Internal Security Threats
Attacks can be originated from within an organization or from outside of the organization, as shown in the figure. An internal user, such as an employee or contract partner, can accidently or intentionally:
- Mishandle confidential data
- Threaten the operations of internal servers or network infrastructure devices
- Facilitate outside attacks by connecting infected USB media into the corporate computer system
- Accidentally invite malware onto the network through malicious email or websites
Internal threats also have the potential to cause greater damage than external threats, because internal users have direct access to the building and its infrastructure devices. Employees also have knowledge of the corporate network, its resources, and its confidential data, as well as different levels of user or administrative privileges.
External Security Threats
External threats from amateurs or skilled attackers can exploit vulnerabilities in network or computing devices, or use social engineering to gain access.