Types of Security Vulnerabilities

As the threat landscape changes and advances with time, being able to address the most common types of security vulnerabilities has gained the utmost importance. In this article, we will look at various types of security vulnerabilities and ways to mitigate them.

As information becomes an organization’s most important asset, cyber security gains increasingly more priority. In order to successfully conduct your business and preserve the hard-earned reputation of your organization, you should be able to protect your data from data breaches, malicious attacks, hackers, and other threats.

The average data breach cost in 2021 is $4.24 million, a 10% rise from 2020 findings. This also represents a new data breach cost peak in the entire history of the IBM and Ponemon Institute report. This is especially relevant as 90% of web applications are vulnerable to hacking, and 68% of those are susceptible to the breach of sensitive data.

With the recent advancements in technology and the rising trend of remote working, organizations have an increased amount of vulnerabilities, such as end-points. We will take a closer look at the most common types of security vulnerabilities and what you can do to alleviate them.

What Is a Security Vulnerability?

In order to define a security vulnerability, first, we need to understand what a vulnerability is. A vulnerability, in broad terms, is a weak spot in your defense.

Every organization has multiple security measures that keep intruders out and important data in. We can think of such security measures as the fence that circumvents your yard. Vulnerabilities are cracks and openings in this fence.

Through security vulnerabilities, an attacker can find their way into your systems and network and even extract sensitive information. Bearing in mind that a chain is as strong as its weakest link, we can assume that the security posture of your organization is as strong as its vulnerable spots.

Now having defined a vulnerability, we can narrow down our definition to cover security vulnerabilities. The term security vulnerability refers to any kind of exploitable weak spot that threatens the cybersecurity of your organization.

For instance, if your organization does not have a lock on its front door, this poses a physical security vulnerability, since one can easily come in and steal anything valuable.

Similarly, if your organization does not have proper firewalls, an intruder can easily break into your networks and network assets and steal important data. Since the assets under threat are digital, not having proper firewalls poses a cyber security vulnerability.

Vulnerability vs. Exploit vs. Threat

Having defined a security vulnerability, we must also understand the difference between a system vulnerability, a threat, and an exploit. Otherwise, we can not perceive what we are encountering, and therefore will not be able to manage cybersecurity risks effectively.

Exploit: Once a cyber attacker finds a weak spot, exploitation is the next step by using a vulnerability to mount an attack. An exploit is a piece of code, or a program, to benefit from a security vulnerability.

Threat: A threat is a hypothetical cyber event where a cybercriminal attempts to take advantage of a vulnerability. It is a malicious act that aims to damage or steal data or disrupt your organization’s digital assets. Cyber threats include computer system viruses, data breaches, Denial of Service (DoS) attacks, and other attack vectors.

Vulnerability: To define once again, a security vulnerability is an error, flaw, or weakness in a system that could be leveraged by a cybercriminal to compromise network security.

Of course, there are various types of security vulnerabilities. Let’s take a closer look at them now.

Types of Security Vulnerabilities

According to the CWE/SANS Top 25 List, there are three main types of security vulnerabilities:

Faulty defenses
Poor resource management
The insecure connection between elements

Faulty Defenses

Faulty defenses refer to porous defense measures that fail to protect your organization from intruders. There are various defense techniques including authorization, encryption, and authentication.

When employed properly, these techniques have the ability to protect your organization from a lot of cyberattacks. On the other hand, a poor implementation creates an illusion of security while exposing your organization to grave risks.

Poor Resource Management

Resource management practices include transferring, using, creating, and even destroying the resources within a system. When management of resources is poor or risky, your organization is prone to have vulnerabilities like path traversal, use of potentially dangerous functions, buffer overflow, and much more.

Insecure Connection Between Elements

When the interaction between components of your system and/or network is insecure, your organization is exposed to many threats including SQL injection, open redirect, cross-site scripting, and much more.

In order to ensure that your organization is free from such vulnerabilities, it is critical to pay the utmost attention to how data circulates across your networks and systems. If you can secure the circulation of data, most aforementioned vulnerabilities and threats can be considered solved. Yet you must also consider unique vulnerabilities and develop appropriate solutions for each.

Top 3 Security Vulnerabilities

There are specific security vulnerabilities that are targeted by attackers more often, especially software vulnerabilities. Below you can find a list of the top three security vulnerabilities that have caused the most harm to organizations this decade.

Broken Authentication: In order to pose as the original user, malicious attackers can hack user sessions and identities by compromising authentication credentials. In the past, multi-factor authentication was vastly popular, but due to its difficulties in use, password authentication prevailed.

Two-factor authentication, on the other hand, is still a widely implemented security process that involves two methods of verification. One method is usually password verification. Frequently used types of authentication technology are username/password, one-time password, and biometric authentication.

Injection: An injection flaw is a vulnerability that allows an attacker to relay malicious code through an application to another system. This can include compromising both backend systems as well as other clients connected to the vulnerable application.

Security Misconfiguration: Security misconfiguration gives attackers a chance to gain unauthorized access to some system data or functionality. Generally, such flaws evolve into a complete system compromise.

The business impact depends on the protection needs of the application and data.

Why Do You Need to Consider Vulnerability Management?

Logsign SOAR empowers your SOC team to achieve a delicate balance between automated and manual processes for vulnerability management. It assists your team in:

Adding manual information about vulnerabilities
Using contextual information about assets and vulnerabilities
Enriching alerts with endpoint information and CVE data
Adding information about vulnerabilities to an incident
Calculating the risk and impact of an incident
Allowing the SOC team to remain in control of mitigation measures and patch management

Now is the time to consider advanced security practices such as Logsign SOAR and manage security vulnerabilities effectively!