Types of Security Vulnerabilities

Dec 18, 2020

Recent data breaches show that there is no system immune to cyber attacks. Any company that manages, stores, transmits, or handles data has to institute and enforce tools to monitor their cyber environment, identify security vulnerabilities, and close security holes immediately. Before identifying certain dangers to data systems, it’s essential to know the difference between cyber threats and vulnerabilities. 

Cyber threats are security incidents or situations with the potential to attack and cause a negative effect on your network or other data management systems. Examples of security threats include phishing attacks that may cause installation of malware that infects your data, failure of an employee to follow data protection protocols that cause a data breach, or a tornado that takes down your company data and disrupts access. 

Vulnerabilities are the weaknesses or gaps in a system that make threats possible and tempt threat attackers to exploit them. Types of vulnerabilities in network security include, but are not limited to, SQL injections, cross-site scripting, server misconfigurations, and transmitting confidential data in a non-encrypted plain text layout.

When threat probability is multiplied by the potential loss that may occur, cybersecurity professionals call it risk. Even the most experienced web security professional must be alert and guard against cyber attackers. No one is safe without knowing what to look out for. 

The following are the common security vulnerabilities you must protect your organization against.

Types of Security Vulnerabilities
  1. Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)

Cross-site scripting (XSS) targets an application’s users by injecting code, normally a client-side script such as JavaScript, into a web application’s output. The concept of XSS is to manipulate client-side scripts of a web application to operate in the manner desired by the hacker. XSS allows attackers to execute scripts in the browser of a victim, which can hijack user sessions, redirect the user to malicious sites or deface websites. 

  1. SQL Injections 

SQL injection is a web application security vulnerability in which a cyber attacker attempts to make use of application codes to access or corrupt database content. If the attacker is successful, this allows the attacker to create, update, modify or delete data stored in the back-end database. SQL injection is one of the predominant types of web application security vulnerabilities. 

  1. Insecure Direct Object Reference 

Insecure direct object reference is a web application that exposes a reference to an internal implementation object. Internal implementation objects include database records, files, database keys and directories. When an application exposes a reference to one of these objects in a URL, attackers can manipulate it to gain access to a user's personal data.

  1. Broken Authentication

Broken authentication encompasses different security issues and it has to do with maintaining user identity. If authentication credentials and session identifiers are not protected, a hacker can hijack an active session and assume the identity of a user.

  1. Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)

Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) is a malicious attack where a user is tricked into performing an action that he or she did not intend to do. A third-party website will send a request to a web application that a user is authenticated. Consequently, the attacker can access the functionality through the victim’s authenticated browser. Targets include website applications such as online banking, social media, browser of client email and web interfaces for network devices. 

  1. Security Misconfiguration

Security misconfiguration includes different types of security vulnerabilities all centered on a lack of attention or a lack of maintenance of the web application configuration. A secure configuration must be defined and deployed for the frameworks, application, web server, application server, platform and database server. Security misconfiguration offers attackers access to sensitive or confidential data, and this may lead to a complete system compromise. 

Make sure you don’t let your guard down. Practice website security measures and always be ready to protect yourself and your company from an attack that you may never recover from. The most ideal way to know if your server or website is vulnerable is to conduct regular security checks.

Small weaknesses or oversights in the design or implementation of your network systems can lead to disaster. Some of the most popular network vulnerabilities include gaps in your application security. When applications are not up-to-date and patched, the doors are open to code injection, insecure direct object references, cross-site scripting and much more.

Do you want to learn more about how to protect your website from these security vulnerabilities? Do you want to find ways to improve the security of your website? If yes, Vicarius is your go-to cybersecurity company. 

At Vicarius, we believe that although network threats are potentially catastrophic, executing a reliable cybersecurity monitoring system and training protocols can greatly reduce the probability of your organization becoming a victim. 


In this article, we examined the different types of security vulnerabilities and ways to prevent cyber attackers from having access to confidential information. Do you need help managing vulnerabilities? If yes, reach out to the team of security experts at Vicarius today. 

Vicarius offers 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 and ensuring your assets are well protected. You can check our product page to learn more about TOPIA.


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Written by

Kent Weigle

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