Outside view vulnerability is the risk coming from an outside party that scopes out your company though public sources. They may be looking at your website and trying to find ways into your network in order to obtain data, or to just wreak havoc. There are a few steps you can take, however, to lower your risk of being successfully infiltrated.
The first thing you need to do is secure the perimeter. This step makes sure your security is in good order and that you are unlikely to be put at risk from hackers or viruses attacking you via this route. The most basic security feature you should have is a firewall, and for good reason. A firewall will protect your network from incoming threats while simultaneously allowing you to send data out. It controls the flow of traffic between your system and other networks and can be tweaked to best fit your needs. Making sure that your firewall is up-to-date and that it specifically addresses your company’s needs is vital in lowering your outside view vulnerability.
Another important step is to make sure your anti-virus software is up-to-date and that your employees are using common sense when dealing with attachments. Your software will be able to neutralize most viruses sneaking their way into your system, but what about viruses it doesn’t recognize? If your software doesn’t have updated definitions or if the virus is so new the software can’t stop it, it could do a lot of damage. Train your employees to check with the sender before opening any attachments, and to scan the attachments before opening them even if they trust the sender. After all, many viruses aren’t sent purposefully, but they still do damage. If the virus is intentionally sent, it could contain spyware or other malware that would allow an outside party to access your system without you being aware of it.
Social engineering is another way that outside view vulnerability can compromise your business. Some hackers are bold and will try to gain your employee trust in order to garner information about your system. They may even call and ask for passwords, impersonating authority figures in your business! Believe it or not, this can work. Educating your employees about this risk and having procedures in place to limit how passwords are transferred and what data is available to outsiders is key in minimizing this form of outside view vulnerability.
By virtue of running a business, you have some significant outside view vulnerabilities. By understanding the risks and taking the time to plan for them, you can reduce the likelihood of an attack on your company. Educating your employees and maintaining a secure perimeter are two important means of preventing attacks from being successful and mitigating any damage that could occur.