What are the Types of Cyber Security Vulnerabilities?

13.12.2019 Read
What are the Types of Cyber Security Vulnerabilities?

As the threat landscape changes and advances in time, being able to address the most common types of cyber security vulnerabilities gains more importance. In this article, we will discuss types of cyber security vulnerabilities and what you can do about them. As information becomes the most important asset an organization has, cyber security gains much more importance. In order to be able to successfully conduct your business and preserve the hard-earned reputation of your organization, you need to be able to protect your data from data breaches, malicious attacks, hackers and such. Yet with the recent advancements in technology and rising trend of remote-working, organizations have an increased amount of vulnerabilities such as end-points. In this article, we will take a closer look at the most common types of cyber security vulnerabilities and what you can do to alleviate them.

What is a cyber security vulnerability?

In order to define a cyber security vulnerability, first, we need to define vulnerability. A vulnerability is, in broad terms, a weak spot in your defense. Every organization has multiple security measures that keep intruders out and important data in. We can think of such security measures as the fence that circumvents your yard. Vulnerabilities are cracks and openings in this fence.

Through security vulnerabilities, an attacker can find their way into your systems and network, or extract sensitive information. Bearing in mind that a chain is as strong as its weakest link, we can say that the security posture of your organization is as strong as its vulnerable spots. Now having defined a vulnerability, we can narrow down our definition to cover cyber security vulnerabilities. The term cyber security vulnerability refers to any kind of exploitable weak spot that threatens the cyber security of your organization. For instance, if your organization does not have lock on its front door, this poses a security vulnerability since one can easily come in and steal something like a printer.

Similarly, if your organization does not have proper firewalls, an intruder can easily find their way into your networks and steal important data. Since the asset under threat is a digital one, not having proper firewalls poses a cyber security vulnerability. Types of cyber security vulnerabilities

According to the CWE/SANS Top 25 list, there are three main types of security vulnerabilities:

  • Faulty defenses
  • Poor resource management
  • Insecure connection between elements

Faulty defenses refer to porous defense measures that fail to protect your organization from intruders. There are various defense techniques including authorization, encryption and authentication. When employed properly, these techniques have the ability to protect your organization from a great deal of cyber attacks but if their implementation is poor, they create an illusion of security while they expose your organization to grave threats. *

Resource management practices* include transferring, using, creating and even destroying the resources within a system. When the management of resources is poor or risky, your organization has the tendency to have vulnerabilities like path traversal, use of potentially dangerous functions, buffer overflow and much more.

When the interaction between the components of your system and/or network is insecure, your organization is exposed to many threats including SQL injection, open redirect, cross-site scripting and much more. In order to make sure that your organization is free from such vulnerabilities, you need to pay utmost attention to how the data circulates across your networks and systems. If you can secure the circulation of data, most of the vulnerabilities and threats mentioned above are solved. Yet you must also pay attention to unique vulnerabilities and come up with appropriate solutions for each.

Top 5 cyber security vulnerabilities

There are some cyber security vulnerabilities that are targeted by attackers more often. Below you can find a list of top 5 cyber security vulnerabilities that caused the most harm to organizations in this decade:

  • Substandard back-up and recovery
  • Weak authentication management
  • Poor network monitoring
  • End-user errors and/or misuses
  • Inadequate end-point security