What is an External Threat?

Every organization has external threats. What threats will impact your organization’s safety, security, reputation, and bottom line?

What is an External Threat?

An external threat is a threat that originates external to your organization. External threats come in many forms, including physical, cyber, and reputational. Malicious threats come from bad actors, criminal groups, or may be a byproduct of a targeted, spiteful event. Non-malicious threats are situations resulting from unintentional actions of an individual or group.

External Threat Situational Awareness

Mitigating an external threat may not be at the top of your list of necessary tasks, but with the rise of the Internet as the global hub for communications and commerce, you and your security & risk management team must adopt a full-spectrum approach in their goal of securing your organization.

Organizational protection from today’s Internet is no longer limited to simply monitoring social media or
policing blogs in an effort to insert positive comments or detect a typosquatted domain. Nowadays, security team analysts, serve as a compliment to digital marketing and PR teams, and must be proactive in monitoring threats external to the organization in order to catch threats in their infancy and prevent them from growing into viable threats to the entire organization and its operations.

External threat management can take many forms, from protecting the name of the company in the face of legitimate missteps to rooting out campaigns that target the organization. Due to the exponential creation of data and digital footprint on the Internet, a blind spot can impact your brand, employees, or customer experience, resulting in reputation damage, regulatory issues, and revenue loss. Below is a list of important items to monitor and maintain situational awareness of at all times.

Let’s take a look at some of the necessary areas that must be included in a comprehensive threat monitoring strategy that properly protects an organization with 24 x 7 real-time situational awareness. This list should be the minimum, basic coverage as part of your threat monitoring program.

Threats To Board Members and C-Suite

Threats that impact the principles of an organization and their family members include:

  • Negative posts mentioning principles.
  • Undiscovered or unsecure social media profiles.
  • Over-sharing and pattern of life disclosures.
  • Breaking events in proximity to principles.
  • Safety and security of content directed at principles.

Physical Threats

Physical security and operational threats include:

  • Physical threats against employees, facilities, and other assets.
  • Disgruntled posts from current or former employees.
  • Malicious events or emergencies in proximity to organizational assets.
  • Interruption to business operation, events, or supply chain.
  • Operational disruption from non-malicious hazards.

Cyber Threats

Information security can be impacted by the following cyber threats:

  • Impersonation of brand or product digital presence.
  • Undiscovered and mis-configured shadow-IT and cloud assets.
  • Leaks of confidential and proprietary information.
  • Interruption to digital presence and third-party vendors.
  • Vulnerabilities associated to the brand, product, or organization.

Reputation Threats

Reputational threats can be driven many ways:

  • Employees involved in political or highly offensive and hateful online engagement.
  • Fake reviews, complaints, and inaccurate press coverage.
  • Organized action to protest, boycott or cancel your brand or product.
  • Breaking events, incidents, and threat actor campaigns.
  • Public disclosure or actions of regulatory compliance incidents.

Implementing an External Threat Detection Solution

Unfortunately, most threat monitoring software these days can do one or two of the things listed above well. However, the solution lacks greatly in the other areas. Usually, organizations must purchase a litany of software applications and invest time and effort to make brand, marketing, security, and HR teams all function together properly.

It’s hard to avoid the countless news stories impacting organizations from threat actors being successful in malicious endeavors. With Odin Threat Visibility (OTV), threats can be monitored and investigated as they develop, not after the fact. Built with coverage, detection, and alerting in mind, OTV analysts handle the difficult tasks under the hood with setup, monitoring, and analysis, leaving precious time for you and your team to focus on keeping your people, places, and brands safe and trustworthy.

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