Cybersecurity Vulnerability: Meaning and Types
Cyber Insurance

Cybersecurity Vulnerability: Meaning and Types

For businesses to cultivate a long–term relationship with their customers, they must have the means to protect their customers’ data from a breach. Any company that runs its business operations online is vulnerable to external threats as well as internal flaws known as cybersecurity vulnerabilities. This article explains what vulnerability in cybersecurity means and its different types. Keep reading to learn more about this cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

What is Cybersecurity Vulnerability?

Cybersecurity vulnerabilities are flaws in an organisation’s internal systems that cybercriminals can exploit. Through weak internal controls, hackers can gain access to your customer database with ease. You must not mistake vulnerabilities with cybersecurity threats. Threats are external factors, while vulnerability in cybersecurity exists from the time the systems are developed. Cybersecurity vulnerabilities are inherent and are a result of misconfigurations in the operating systems, which make your data open to threats.

Cyber Vulnerability Explained with an Example

Let’s say you run an e–commerce business. While building the website, you notice one or more minor flaws in the payment systems. You have also built a substantial customer database since commencing business operations. A cybercriminal looking for a way to get card details may find that flaw and hack into your system, stealing your customers’ card information.

As a business owner and, by extension, a data collecting entity, you must constantly monitor your security systems. Failure to do so can lead to dire consequences, including exposing your business to cyber vulnerability and data breaches on a large scale.

Types of Vulnerabilities in Cybersecurity

To be able to tackle the vulnerabilities, you must be aware of the possible cyber vulnerability types your organisation may face. Below are some examples.

  • Security misconfigurations

    These vulnerabilities take place when a component in an application is vulnerable to attacks due to a weak or unsecured configuration. Cybercriminals typically scan networks to sniff out system misconfigurations they can exploit. The number of security misconfigurations is on the rise as more and more businesses are adopting digitalisation. To prevent such vulnerabilities, you must work with experts when starting your business or implementing new systems.

  • Unpatched software

    Another type of vulnerability in cyber security is known as unpatched software. Unpatched software refers to a computer code weakness that IT experts know and detect during the coding process. Instead of fixing the existing code, experts write a new code or a ‘patch’. Cybercriminals are always looking for unpatched systems to hack your database before you can patch the software. They may run malicious codes and exploit the security bug. To prevent harm caused due to unpatched software vulnerabilities, you must implement the new patches at the earliest.

  • Unsecured APIs

    API stands for Application Programming Interfaces. APIs are responsible for providing an interface that allows computer systems to communicate with one another via the internet. They are systems that function on a public Internet Protocol (IP) address. Cybercriminals can easily target public addresses. Instead of relying on standard security protocols alone, IT experts must be aware of all possible security risks that can accompany APIs.

  • Poor data encryption

    Encryption is the process of translating data. For instance, let’s consider a credit card. When customers make a credit card payment towards your business, their sensitive financial information is deciphered by the rightful authorities using a decryption key. The same goes for businesses. If the encryption–to–decryption system is not appropriately secured, attackers can hack into the systems and get hold of sensitive information, including customer databases, employee details, and so on. Cybercriminals can also inject false information into your systems.

  • Zero–day vulnerabilities

    Sometimes, cybercriminals detect system flaws before experts and software providers have had a chance to detect these errors. These security misconfigurations are known as zero–day vulnerabilities. This vulnerability in cybersecurity essentially means that the software provider has had zero days to work on a patch or fix the issue, hence the term ‘zero–day’. Here, criminals are already aware of the flaw and are waiting for the right opportunity to breach the system. These attacks can be detrimental as they can be incredibly challenging to detect with your regular systems. As a business owner, you can make sure that you take measures to prevent zero–day attacks. To curb damages in the worst cases, you should have a solid response plan ready.

  • Weak or stolen authorisation credentials

    Cybercriminals can also access your systems by simply guessing or stealing employee credentials. This type of vulnerability in cyber security is the easiest way for hackers to enter the databases, as authorised access would hardly be suspicious. Hence, it is imperative that you train your employees and educate them about the harms that vulnerability in cybersecurity can cause to your organisation. Employees must be careful and not share their user IDs and passwords on the internet.

What is Vulnerability Management?

Vulnerability management is a security practise wherein organisations can access and identify cyber vulnerabilities. It is a continuous process that involves finding, managing and rectifying vulnerabilities from time to time. Experts deploy a vulnerability management tool that allows them to detect various vulnerabilities that cybercriminals can exploit. This way, organisations can immediately recognise and patch the system flaws.

Your organisation’s IT teams can locate vulnerabilities via search engines. They can utilise advanced software to search for hard–to–find data that could potentially expose the business to a cyber vulnerability. Penetration testing is another IT tool that allows experts to test cybersecurity awareness amongst employees, identify security breaches, etc.

Once you detect the vulnerabilities in your organisation, the next step is to remedy them. Organisations must map out a timeline to fix the weaknesses and flaws in a manner that prevents cybercriminals from attacking the systems.

How Cyber Insurance Can Help Organisations?

As a business owner, it is imperative that you protect yourself from financial losses caused by cybercrimes. Cybersecurity vulnerabilities associated with your business could only lead to data breaches, malware and cyberextortion. If your organisation falls victim to a cybercrime, the financial losses could be immense. Therefore, you must get it insured with cyber insurance.

Cyber insurance is a contract between the insurance company (insurer) and the policyholder, wherein the insurer promises a sum insured to indemnify you for your financial losses. Cybercrimes include theft of funds, identity theft, malware, cyberbullying, ransomware, social media crimes, network security, data breach, etc. The policy also covers you against any legal costs involved with cyberattacks. Essentially, your cyber insurance policy pays for any expenses related to restoring the data. Click here get started.

Disclaimer: The above information is indicative in nature. For more details on the risk factor, terms and conditions, please refer to the Sales Brochure and Policy Wordings carefully before concluding a sale.

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