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Common External Threats to Your Organization

Every organization has external threats. Learn about the most common external threats you need to prioritize and mitigate.

What is an External Threat?

External threats are dangers that originate outside of an organization. These threats can be malicious, such as those perpetrated by criminals or bad actors, or non-malicious, such as natural disasters or hazards caused by individuals or groups with different interests. It is important for organizations to monitor and protect against external threats in order to prevent disruption, losses, and damage to their brand and reputation.

Where do External Threats Originate?

External threats can come from a wide variety of sources and can take many different forms. This makes it difficult for organizations to stay on top of all potential threats without the help of specialized tools and software. Organizations have to monitor for potential threats across a range of channels, including social media, the dark web, and the surface web, providing a comprehensive view of potential threats.

Types of External Threats That Can Impact Your Organization

Public Health Event

A public health event is a situation that poses a risk to the health of the public, such as an outbreak of a disease or a foodborne illness. An example of a public health event is the COVID-19 pandemic, which has had a significant impact on public health and caused disruptions to many aspects of daily life.

Cyber Attack & Data Breach

A cyber attack is an attempt to gain unauthorized access to a computer system or network, while a data breach is the unauthorized access and release of sensitive information. An example of a cyber attack is the WannaCry ransomware attack, which affected over 200,000 computers in 150 countries in 2017.

Travel Restriction

Travel restrictions refer to limitations on travel to or from a particular location due to security concerns or public health issues. An example of a travel restriction is the ban on non-essential travel from the US to Europe implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Workplace Threat

A workplace threat is any type of threat, whether verbal or physical, that occurs in a workplace setting and poses a risk to the safety or well-being of employees. An example of a workplace threat is a disgruntled employee making threats of violence against co-workers.

IT and Telecom Outage

An IT outage is a disruption in the availability of information technology systems, while a telecom outage is a disruption in telecommunications services. An example of an IT outage is the power outage at the Atlanta airport in 2017 that caused the airport's computer systems to go down, leading to widespread flight delays and cancellations.

Extreme Weather Event

An extreme weather event is a weather condition that is significantly more severe than what is normally expected in a particular area, such as a hurricane, tornado, or blizzard. An example of an extreme weather event is Hurricane Katrina, which caused widespread damage and loss of life in the US Gulf Coast in 2005.

Critical Infrastructure Failure

A critical infrastructure failure is the failure of a system or resource that is essential for the functioning of a society, such as electricity, water, or transportation. An example of a critical infrastructure failure is the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, in which a tsunami caused a failure at a nuclear power plant, leading to radiation leaks and widespread contamination.

Employee Sick Out

An employee sick out is a coordinated absence from work by a group of employees, often in protest of working conditions or in support of a labor dispute. An example of a sick out is a coordinated absence from work by teachers in protest of working conditions or pay.

Supply Chain Disruption

A supply chain disruption is a disruption in the flow of goods or materials from supplier to manufacturer to retailer to consumer. An example of a supply chain disruption is the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disrupted the flow of goods and materials globally.

Natural Disaster

A natural disaster is an event caused by natural forces, such as a hurricane, earthquake, or flood, that causes significant damage or destruction. An example of a natural disaster is the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in 2011, causing widespread damage and loss of life.

Active Shooter Incident

An active shooter incident is an event in which a person is actively shooting at others in a public or populated area. An example of an active shooter incident is the mass shooting at a school in Parkland, Florida in 2018, in which 17 people were killed.

Political Violence

Political violence is violence or the threat of violence in a political context. An example of political violence is the violence that occurred during the Arab Spring uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa in 2010-2011.

Product Safety Recall

A product safety recall is the removal or repair of a product that is found to be defective or potentially harmful to consumers. An example of a product safety recall is the recall of a particular brand of car due to a defect in the brakes.

How DigitalStakeout Helps with External Threats

DigitalStakeout enables organizations to continuously monitor to detect the above external threats and many other situations that may be a risk event to your organization. With its real-time coverage of major public data sources, integration and data collection capability, and ability to investigate incidents as they develop, DigitalStakeout provides a platform to rapidly spot critical information and insights into potential risks. This enables organizations to take swift action to minimize the impact of these external threats on their operations, reputation and bottom-line.


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