The importance of cybersecurity in sustaining business operations has increased significantly as the value of data increases every day. Organizations must successfully prevent employee and customer data breaches if they want to develop new business connections and sustain long-term relationships. A thorough awareness of cybersecurity vulnerabilities and the techniques used by threat actors to access networks is necessary to achieve this level of security.
Effective vulnerability management not only improves security programmes but also lessens the impact of successful attacks. For enterprises across industries, having a well-established vulnerability management system is now a must. The most typical categories of cybersecurity vulnerabilities are described below, along with methods to manage vulnerabilities on your systems.
What is Cyber Security Vulnerabilities?
Any flaw in an organization’s internal controls, system procedures, or information systems is a vulnerability in cyber security. Cybercriminals and Hackers may target these vulnerabilities and exploit them through the points of vulnerability.
These hackers can enter the networks without authorization and seriously harm data privacy. Data being a gold mine in this modern world is something that has to be secured preciously. As a result, it is crucial to constantly check for cybersecurity vulnerabilities because flaws in a network could lead to a complete compromise of an organization’s systems.
Examples of Cyber Security Vulnerabilities
Here are a few examples of cybersecurity vulnerabilities
- Missing data encryption
- Lack of security cameras
- Unlocked doors at businesses
- Unrestricted upload of dangerous files
- Code downloads without integrity checks
- Using broken algorithms
- URL Redirection to untrustworthy websites
- Weak and unchanged passwords
- Website without SSL
Vulnerability Vs. Cyber Security Attacks
A system has vulnerabilities from the start; they are not introduced. It is a fault or weakness in infrastructure similar to the construction. Few instances of cybercrime result in vulnerabilities, and they frequently come from network or operating system configuration errors. On the other hand, various types of cyber security attacks enter a system through social engineering attacks or malware downloads.
In reality, risks are the likelihood and consequences of a vulnerability being used against you. The risk is low if these two factors are low. Since they are directly inversely correlated, the high probability and impact of vulnerabilities result in high risks.
Cyber Security Vulnerability Becoming Exploitable
An exploitable vulnerability has at least one specific attack vector. For obvious reasons, attackers seek out vulnerable points in the system or network. Of course, nobody wants to have a weakness but could exploit it should concern you more.
There are instances where a vulnerability is not exploitable. The causes can be:
- Insufficient public knowledge for attackers to exploit.
- The attacker might not have had access to the local system or prior authentication.
- Current security measures
Causes of Cyber Security Vulnerabilities
There are many causes of cyber security vulnerabilities. A few of them are as follows:
- Complexity: The likelihood of errors, defects, or unauthorized access increases with complex systems.
- Familiarity: Attackers may already be acquainted with common code, operating systems, hardware, and software that result in well-known vulnerabilities.
- Connectivity: Vulnerabilities are more likely to exist in connected devices. It is better to avoid connecting to multiple devices unnecessarily.
- Poor Password Management: This can cause several data breaches because of weak or repeated passwords. It is important to change passwords using strong password generators regularly.
- Internet: Spyware and adware that can be loaded on computers automatically are abundant on the internet.
- Operating System Flaws: Operating systems can also be flawed. Operating systems that aren’t safe by default might provide users unrestricted access and serve as a haven for malware and viruses.
- Software Bugs: Sometimes, programmers may unintentionally introduce a vulnerability that can exploit.
- Unchecked User Input: If software or a website presumes that all user input is secure, SQL injection may be executed without the user’s knowledge.
- People: For most organizations, social engineering poses the biggest concern. Therefore, one of the main sources of vulnerability can be people.
Types of Cyber Security Vulnerabilities
Here are a few common types of cybersecurity vulnerabilities:
Network assets can cause system mistakes with incompatible security settings or restrictions. Networks are frequently searched for system errors and vulnerable spots by cybercriminals. Network misconfigurations are increasing as a result of the quick digital revolution. Working with knowledgeable security professionals is crucial when implementing new technology. Cybercriminals frequently search networks for vulnerabilities and misconfigurations in the system that they can exploit.
Out-of-date or Unpatched Software
Hackers frequently scour networks for vulnerable, unpatched systems that are prime targets, just as system configuration errors do. Attackers may use these unpatched vulnerabilities to steal confidential data, which is a huge threat to any organization. Establishing a patch management strategy that ensures all the most recent system updates are applied as soon as they are issued is crucial for reducing these types of threats.
Missing or Weak Authorization Credentials
Attackers frequently utilize brute force methods, such as guessing employee passwords, to gain access to systems and networks. Therefore, they must therefore train employees on cybersecurity best practices to prevent the easy exploitation of their login credentials. An endpoint system security will be a great addition to all laptop or desktop devices.
Malicious Insider Threats
Employees with access to vital systems may occasionally share data that enables hackers to infiltrate the network, knowingly or unknowingly. Because all acts seem genuine, insider threats can be challenging to identify. Consider purchasing network access control tools and segmenting your network according to employee seniority and experience to counter these risks.
Missing or Poor Data Encryption
If a network has weak or nonexistent encryption, it will be simpler for attackers to intercept system communications and compromise them. Cyber adversaries can harvest crucial information and introduce misleading information onto a server when there is weak or unencrypted data. This may result in regulatory body fines and adversely jeopardize an organization’s efforts to comply with cyber security regulations.
Zero-day vulnerabilities are specific software flaws that the attackers are aware of but that a company or user has not yet identified.
Since the vulnerability has not yet been identified or reported by the system manufacturer, there are no known remedies or workarounds in these situations. These are particularly risky because there is no protection against them before an attack occurs. Exercising caution and checking systems for vulnerabilities is crucial to reducing the risk of zero-day attacks.
The process of identifying, classifying, resolving, and mitigating security vulnerabilities is known as vulnerability management. Vulnerability management consists of three key components:
- Vulnerability detection
- Vulnerability assessment
- Addressing Vulnerabilities
The process of vulnerability detection has the following three methods:
- Vulnerability scanning
- Penetration testing
- Google hacking
Cyber Security Vulnerability Scan
The Cyber Security Vulnerability Scan is performed to discover computer, program, or network vulnerabilities. A scanner (software) is used to find and pinpoint network vulnerabilities resulting from improper configuration and poor programming.
SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager (NCM), ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager Plus, Rapid7 Nexpose, TripWire IP 360, and others are some common vulnerability detection solutions.
Testing an IT asset for security flaws that an attacker might be able to exploit is known as penetration testing or pen testing. Manual or automated penetration testing is available. Additionally, it can evaluate adherence to compliance standards, staff security knowledge, security policies, and the capacity to recognize and address security events.
Google hacking is using a search engine to identify security flaws. Google hacking is accomplished by using complex search operators in queries that can find difficult information or data that has unintentionally been made public due to cloud service misconfiguration. These focused queries are typically used to find sensitive data not meant for public exposure.
A cybersecurity vulnerability assessment is the next step after identifying vulnerabilities to determine the danger they pose to your organization. Using vulnerability assessments, you can prioritize remediation activities by assigning risk levels to detected threats. Effective assessments support compliance efforts by ensuring that vulnerabilities are fixed before they can use them against the organization.
Once a vulnerability’s risk level has been determined, you then need to treat the vulnerability. There are different ways in which you can treat a vulnerability. These include:
Remediation is a process where a vulnerability is completely fixed or patched as part of vulnerability repair. Since it reduces risk, this is one of the most preferred methods of treating vulnerabilities.
To mitigate a vulnerability, one must take action to make it less likely to be exploited. Usually, vulnerability mitigation is done to purchase time until a suitable patch is released.
When an organization determines that a vulnerability carries a minimal risk, it is acceptable to take no action to resolve it. Acceptance is also acceptable if fixing the vulnerability will cost more than fixing it if it is exploited. Such a situation or process is called Acceptance.
Amidst the pandemic and rapid digital transformation, organizations are moving toward the virtual world, where there are more and more networks. It is essential to manage cyber security vulnerabilities as networks become more complicated actively. It’s critical to actively access internal and external network ecosystems to handle cyber security vulnerabilities. You can take our Advanced Cybersecurity Training to learn more about these vulnerabilities, their effects, and how to repair them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the 4 main types of cybersecurity vulnerabilities:
Operating System Vulnerabilities
One of the most common types of cybersecurity vulnerability is Network Vulnerability.
A network vulnerability is a flaw or weakness in organizational procedures, hardware, or software that could lead to a security breach if a threat is exploited.
It is generally of two types:
Network vulnerabilities that are not physical usually involve data or software. For instance, if an operating system (OS) is not updated with the most recent security patches, it may be susceptible to network assaults. If a virus is not patched, it may infect the OS, the host it is running on, and possibly the entire network.
Physical network vulnerabilities concern the security of an asset using physical means, such as locking a server in a rack closet or installing a turnstile to control access.
Any organization’s personnel are its biggest security vulnerability. Most data breaches can be linked to a specific employee of the firm that was compromised, whether caused by accident or deliberate wrongdoing.
The seven types of Cyber Security Threats are as follows:
Denial of service
Man in the middle