A cybersecurity vulnerability is a weak point, defect, or other problem in a system (database, infrastructure, or software), but it cam also occur in a process, a set of controls, or even just the way that something has been developed or delivered.
There are several vulnerabilities, which can be broadly categorized as follows:
Technical Vulnerabilities – such as software flaws or hardware/software errors:
IoT: These are everyday items that are networked and incorporated with software. IoT device vulnerabilities can arise from old software, inadequate default configurations, or poor security procedures used during development. Smart refrigerators, wearables, and thermostats are a few examples.
Devices (computers, mobile phones, and tablets): These endpoints are where the majority of user interactions take place, and these devices can have software vulnerabilities due to out-of-date operating systems, unpatched software, or unsafe applications. Examples include iPads, Android/iPhone, Windows PCs, etc.
Human Vulnerabilities – such as workers falling victim to phishing, smishing, or other typical assaults (learn more about this here):
Instead of software flaws, social engineering or insider threats can take advantage of human weaknesses. It’s particularly harmful because it relies on human error rather than operating system or software flaws. Examples include using psychological tricks to persuade users to make security mistakes or divulge critical information.
Some vulnerabilities are expected; you just release something and then soon issue a patch to fix it. The problem arises when your team is unaware of or unable to identify the vulnerability. If left unchecked, it can easily be exposed to an attack.
A vulnerability can be compared to leaving your door unlocked while you sleep. It’s not an issue by itself, but if a specific individual enters that door, you can easily find yourself in a bad situation – and the more vulnerabilities you have, the larger the possibility for attacks and the higher your risk.