Dec 17, 2020
Cybercriminals are always looking to take advantage of your computer security vulnerabilities. While the objectives of these cybercriminals may differ in terms of monetary gains, political moves, or prestige, they pose a major threat to your company.
Part of safeguarding your business against cyber attacks and threats is to take into consideration different types of vulnerabilities that may put your software at risk and securing those weaknesses before an attacker can exploit them. What are the important software security vulnerabilities and how can you counter them?
Before going deeper into the types of software vulnerabilities, it’s important to know what a vulnerability is.
A computer system vulnerability is a weakness in a network or system that can be exploited by a cyber attacker to manipulate the system. The way a computer vulnerability is exploited depends on the nature of the vulnerability and the aims of the attacker. These vulnerabilities can exist because of unexpected interactions of different system components or software programs or from basic flaws in a particular program.
It’s essential to know that vulnerabilities are present in nearly all software. There is no way to identify and address all of them because of the complex nature of modern network architecture. However, you can reduce your risk of a data breach by knowing the most important security vulnerabilities and finding ways to address them.
Security vulnerabilities can be grouped into different classes based on criteria such as where the vulnerability exists, what caused it, or how it could be used. Some categories of these vulnerabilities include:
Network Vulnerabilities: These are problems with a network’s software and hardware that expose it to possible third-party intrusion. Examples include insecure Wi-Fi access points and poorly configured firewalls.
Operating System Vulnerabilities: These are vulnerabilities within a particular operating system that hackers may exploit to gain access to the OS or to cause damage.
Human Vulnerabilities: The weakest link in many cybersecurity architectures is a human being. User errors can create exploitable access points for attackers, disrupt systems or expose sensitive data.
Process Vulnerabilities: Some vulnerabilities can be created by particular process controls. For instance, using weak passwords.
This is an example of an intentionally created computer security vulnerability. When a software, manufacturer components, or whole computer installs a program that allows a computer to be accessed remotely (mainly for configuration, diagnostic or technical support), that access program is known as a backdoor.
When the backdoor is installed onto computers without the knowledge of a user, it can be known as a hidden backdoor program. Hidden backdoors are massive software vulnerabilities because they make it easy for someone with knowledge of the backdoor to illegally access the affected computer systems and any network that it’s connected to. Malicious actors may be able to access the network through this vulnerability.
One of the simplest principles of managing software vulnerabilities is to reduce the access privileges of software users. The less resources or information a user can access, the less damage that user account can do if it’s compromised.
Nevertheless, many companies fail to control user account access privileges, which allow nearly every user in the network to have superuser or administrator-level access. Some computer security configurations are flawed enough to allow unprivileged users to create admin-level user accounts.
Verifying that a user account is limited to only what each user needs to do for their job is essential for managing computer security vulnerabilities. Also, ensuring that newly created accounts can’t have admin-level access is key for preventing less-privileged users from creating more privileged accounts.
One common security vulnerability that some attackers learned to exploit is the use of certain web browsers to automatically run safe or trusted scripts. By imitating a trusted piece of code and tricking the browser, cyber attackers may get the browser software to run malware without the knowledge of the user. While keeping employees from visiting unsafe websites that may run malware is a major concern, disabling automatic running of safe files is more reliable and needed for compliance.
Computer software is complicated. When two or more programs are made to interface with one another, the complexity of the program increases. The issue with this is that within a single piece of software, there may be programming issues and conflicts that can cause security vulnerabilities. When two programs are connected, the risk of conflicts that creates software vulnerabilities increases.
Programming bugs and unforeseen code interactions rank among the most common computer security vulnerabilities. Cyber attackers work every day to discover and abuse them. Unfortunately, predicting the creation of these computer system vulnerabilities is nearly impossible because there are no limits to the combinations of software that may be found on a single computer.
A lack of encryption on the network may not cause an attack but it makes it easier for attackers to steal data. Unencrypted data on the network may lead to severe risks for companies of all sizes.
Even though encryption won’t stop an attack, it can deny attackers the ability to put stolen information to use, making it look like unintelligible gibberish until it can be decoded. This will give time for consumer protection teams to notify affected parties so they can take identity theft countermeasures to avoid harm.
These are some of the software security vulnerabilities that your organization might be exposed to at any time. Do you need help managing your software security vulnerabilities and protecting your company from cybercriminals? If yes, reach out to the team of security experts at Vicarius today.
Vicarius is a vulnerability management software that targets cybersecurity officers and operators, as well as IT managers and operators from the U.S. market. You can make use of our product TOPIA for accurate cybersecurity defense measures to ensure your assets are well protected. You can check our product page to learn more about TOPIA.
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