Cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities are prevalent in all types of businesses, from Fortune 500 companies to mom-and-pop shops. The basic fact is that there are far too many risks to counteract all of them adequately.
According to Kaspersky Lab, a leading antivirus company, “The number of new malicious files processed by Kaspersky Lab’s in-lab detection technologies reached 360,000 a day in 2017.” This contributes to 250 new malware threats every minute.
When it comes to cybersecurity threats and network vulnerabilities, malware is not the only thing to be worried about. Hackers can steal your data and sensitive information.
Cybersecurity Threats and Vulnerabilities: The Difference
To put it simply, vulnerabilities are weaknesses or flaws in a system or network that could be exploited to bring harm or allow an attacker to manipulate the system in some way.
This differs from a cyber-threat. Computer system vulnerabilities are the weaknesses and flaws present in the system, unlike a cyber threat. Cybercriminals will also use these flaws in their attacks, but they aren't usually the result of a deliberate plan. I short, vulnerabilities lead to cybersecurity threats.
How a computer cybersecurity vulnerability is exploited is determined by the nature of the exposure and the attacker's motivations. For example, these problems could be caused by software programs that don't work well together, system parts that don't work well together, or flaws in a single application.
Top Cybersecurity Threats and Vulnerabilities of the Year
Internet of Thing Devices
The Internet of Things (IoT) includes many smart devices, such as Wi-Fi-equipped refrigerators, printers, factory robots, coffee makers, and countless other appliances. The challenge with these devices is that attackers can use them to create slaved networks of compromised devices to carry out additional attacks. Worse yet, many firms are unaware of how many IoT devices they have on their networks. This means they are unaware of the risks and possible threats they are exposed to, as well as the vulnerabilities to information security.
These unknown devices provide countless opportunities for attackers and increase the vulnerability risk in cybersecurity for corporations.
To reduce the network security threats and vulnerabilities of IoT devices, a security audit
should be conducted that identifies the diverse assets of the network and the operating systems they use. In this manner, the company's cybersecurity plan can effectively account for these IoT devices. In addition, audits like these should be done regularly to account for any new devices added to the network over time.
Phishing Attacks or Social Engineering
In a phishing attack, the attacker tries to persuade an employee of the targeted organization to divulge important information and account credentials by prompting them to download malware. The most common attack is through identical emails from one of your company's vendors or someone from a higher level.
One such example of a phishing email is: "This is Mark from IT. Your user account has shown unusual behavior. Please click this link to reset and secure your password." When you click the link in the email, it directs users to a website that downloads malware and compromises their machine. Other phishing scams may try to get people to handover their user account credentials to the attacker to resolve a problem.
New malware is generated regularly. The figure of 360,000 new malware files every day may appear alarming. Many of these new malware files are simply rehashes of earlier malware programs that have been tweaked just enough to make them unidentifiable to antivirus software.
However, numerous new types of malware have been developed over time, such as ransomware, trojans, and worms, each uniquely affecting the target's systems.
Security Vulnerabilities That Are Unpatched
As new sophisticated threats are produced regularly, companies have to find sophisticated ways to tackle them perfectly. Malware is looking to exploit the same cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities repeatedly. Failing to patch those cybersecurity vulnerabilities, once they're discovered, it can be dangerous for companies.
It's all too usual for a company—or even individual users on a network—to ignore the ‘update available’ warnings that appear in some programs because they don't want to waste the 5-10 minutes to perform the update. These updates can save a company a lot of time and money and save from threats. Thus, it is good for companies to update programs regularly.
Backdoor Programs that Are Hidden
This is an example of a computer cybersecurity vulnerability that was purposefully engineered. Usually, a backdoor is a piece of software or code that is installed by the manufacturer of computer parts, software, or entire machines. This allows the manufacturer to access a computer remotely for diagnostic, configuration, or technical support purposes.
A hidden backdoor program installs a backdoor into a computer without the knowledge of the user. Secret backdoors are a significant software flaw because it is easy to gain unauthorized access and affect the computer system and the networks to which it is connected.
The employees working for an organization are considered to be cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Most data breaches
can be traced back to an employee due to intentional mistake or an accident.
Employees, for example, may take advantage of their access credentials for personal gain. Alternatively, an employee could click on the wrong link in an email, download the wrong file from a website, or give the wrong person their user account credentials, giving attackers simple access to your systems.
Using a least privilege policy, for example, prevents users from having too much data at once, making it difficult for them to steal data. Another benefit of cybersecurity awareness
training is that it helps employees recognize phishing and other social engineering-style attacks and not fall for them.
Software or Programming Interfaces With Unknown Security Flaws
Computer software is complicated to comprehend. The complexity of a system grows exponentially as two or more programs interact with one another. The problem is that there may be programming flaws and conflicts inside a single piece of software, resulting in cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities. When two applications are linked together, the chance of disputes that result in software flaws increases.
Programming errors and unexpected code interactions are the most frequent cybersecurity vulnerabilities
. Cybercriminals constantly seek new ways to exploit them. Unfortunately, forecasting the emergence of these threats and vulnerabilities to information security is not possible because of the infinite number of software combinations that can exist on a single computer, let alone an entire network.
3 Ways to Find and Prevent Cybersecurity Threats and Vulnerabilities
Identifying vulnerabilities in cybersecurity before an attacker can exploit is one of the essential steps in preventing a security breach. Many firms, however, does not have the tools and expertise to identify network security threats and vulnerabilities.
Here are some ways to find threats and vulnerabilities in information security:
Audit Your Network Assets
Create a Threat Intelligence Framework
Cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities have become too sophisticated as our dependency on digital technologies grows. It is because of this companies that use outdated cybersecurity techniques are at a risk of being hacked. Organizations must improve their cybersecurity program to avoid risks. An effective cybersecurity program can assist firms in preventing attacks, reducing recovery time, and containing future risks.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do you mean by cyber threats and vulnerability?
Vulnerabilities are gaps in a system that allow threats to occur and let threat actors take advantage of the data. It is called a threat when the chance of an attack is multiplied by the possible loss.
What are some of the vulnerabilities in cybersecurity?
Network vulnerabilities, operating system vulnerabilities, human vulnerabilities, and process vulnerabilities are some of the vulnerabilities in cybersecurity.
What is the difference between vulnerability and threat?
A threat is a process that increases the possibility of an adverse event, such as a vulnerability being exploited. On the other hand, exposure is a flaw in your infrastructure, networks, or apps that could expose you to threats.