optimizing your cyber security vulnerability
What is Vulnerability in Cyber Security?
A vulnerability in cyber security refers to any weakness in an information system, system processes, or internal controls of an organization. These vulnerabilities are targets for lurking cybercrimes and open to exploitation through the points of vulnerability. These hackers are able to gain illegal access to the systems and data and cause severe damage. Therefore, cybersecurity vulnerabilities are extremely important to monitor for the overall security posture as gaps in a network can result in a full-scale breach of systems in an organization.
Vulnerability assessments are designed to uncover security gaps within computing systems and networks. The most common mechanism for conducting such an assessment is through scanning. Once a vulnerability is detected, it goes through the vulnerability assessment process. What is a vulnerability assessment? It is a process of systematically reviewing security weaknesses in an information system. It highlights whenever a system is prone to any known vulnerabilities as well as classifies the severity levels, and recommends appropriate remediation or mitigation if required.
Examples of Vulnerabilities
- A weakness in a firewall that can lead to malicious hackers getting into a computer network
- Lack of security cameras
- Unlocked doors at businesses
All of these are weaknesses that can be used by others to hurt a business or its assets.
A vulnerability, which has at least one definite attack vector is an exploitable vulnerability. Attackers will, for obvious reasons, want to target weaknesses in the system or network that are exploitable. Of course, vulnerability is not something that anyone will want to have, but what you should be more worried about is it being exploitable.
There are cases when something that is vulnerable is not really exploitable. The reasons could be:
- Insufficient public information for exploitation by attackers.
- Prior authentication or local system access that the attacker may not have
- Existing security controls
Strong security practices can prevent many vulnerabilities from becoming exploitable.
Vulnerability scans come in the following forms:
These scans may be directed at internal, external, or environmental entities. Scanning can be manual or automated. The goal is to identify security gaps, then move on to the remediation phase.
To always be one step ahead of malicious attacks, security professionals need to have a process in place for monitoring and managing the known vulnerabilities. Once a time-consuming and tedious manual job, now it is possible to continuously keep track of an organization’s software inventory with the help of automated tools, and match them against the various security advisories, issue trackers, or databases. If the tracking results show that the services and products are relying on risky code, the vulnerable component needs to be located and mitigated effectively and efficiently. The following remediation steps may seem simple, but without them, organizations may find themselves in a bit of difficulty when fighting against hackers.
Know Your Code
Additional considerations include communicating strategy company-wide. Are there other transformation initiatives such as automation that need to be integrated to avoid duplication? Often a transformation business office can help ensure all initiatives are aligned.
Prioritize Your Vulnerabilities
With networks becoming more and more complex, it has become critical to actively manage cyber security vulnerabilities. To actively manage cyber security vulnerabilities, it is essential to have visibility of internal and third-party network ecosystems.