´╗┐Internal Threats to Your IT Network


The most feared IT network security threat of all are hackers trying to steal sensitive information or simply cause damage for one reason or the other. In reality, however, the greatest threat to your IT network comes from the inside. Rather than a complete stranger trying to break into the system from miles away, malicious attacks are most often carried out by the ‘insiders’ who know how the system works, and what are the codes and security measures, and are authorised to access the system.

Inside threats to your IT network can be divided into two categories. The first threat are disgruntled employees who intentionally harm an organisation, while the second and perhaps even more dangerous threat are non-malicious employees who unwittingly jeopardise the system’s security.

Inside attacks by disgruntled employees are the most damaging of all types of malicious attacks. This is due to the fact that the insiders have a legitimate access to the broadband system and know how it works and what are its vulnerabilities. But they also know how they can inflict maximum damage. They can intentionally spread viruses, Trojan horses or worms in the system, reveal confidential information, change, delete or destroy data, crash the system, destroy hardware, etc.. Motives of disgruntled employees vary greatly from one person to another but they are usually led by some sort of resentment to the organisation, usually due to denial of promotion or higher salary.

Not all insiders cause harm to the system intentionally. In fact, they usually make seemingly harmless errors such as data entry errors, poorly selected passwords, unintentional disclosure of sensitive information and vital security information to hackers using social engineering (usually pretending to be network administrators), unwitting planting of the viruses, Trojan horses or worms, etc.. The extent of damage they can cause varies from data loss to crash of the system and invasion by an unauthorised person. Although they do not mean to do any harm, the damage they can cause can be as severe as that caused by intentional sabotage.

Unforeseen Security Threats

Natural threats such as floods, fires and earthquakes appear not to be taken seriously enough. Natural disasters destroying hardware are relatively rare but when they do happen, the effects can be devastating. Riots and wars also belong to the category of unforeseen security incidents that can cause a serious damage to the system either in the form of information loss, downtime or damage/destruction of hardware.