Understanding the Vulnerabilities and Exploits You’ll Face
We understand that cybersecurity can be difficult to think about at times because of the terminology thrown around by industry professionals, but we want to do our part to help clear up some of the confusion. Today, we’re going to discuss the difference between vulnerabilities and exploits, as well as how your organization can do everything it can to ensure that both are minimized on your company network.
What Are Vulnerabilities?
Vulnerabilities are cracks in the code of the various solutions your business uses throughout its day-to-day operations. Hackers can use these cracks to gain access to a system. Unfortunately, vulnerabilities are something that the development and cybersecurity communities have had to, and will continue to, deal with, and there is no way to really stop it. Let us explain.
Sometimes vulnerabilities go undiscovered for a long period of time, only surfacing after they are either no longer relevant or when they are actively being exploited by hackers. This is because of the nature of software development; no developer, no matter how skilled, can take into account the development of new and unpredictable threats, hence the ongoing battle between security researchers and developers versus hackers. Vulnerabilities are the reason why you want to apply patches and updates regularly, so you can dodge any potential exploits aimed at them.
What Are Exploits?
If vulnerabilities are the roads that hackers use to access your network, you can think of exploits as the vehicle used to drive on them. Exploits are when a hacker actively seeks to use a vulnerability to gain access to a system or spread a threat. The biggest difference between vulnerabilities and exploits is that a vulnerability is a theoretical weakness, whereas the exploit is the thing that is actively taking advantage of it. Exploits are incredibly dangerous and demand the utmost attention in order to preserve network integrity.
What Do You Do?
We recommend that all businesses take a three-pronged approach to anything related to cybersecurity, including the following:
- Apply patches and security updates as needed to remove vulnerabilities, thereby lessening the chance of suffering from an exploit or data breach.
- Monitor your network for suspicious activity that could be indicative of a data breach.
- Educate your staff on how they can avoid falling victim to phishing attacks which might target vulnerabilities on your infrastructure.
Don’t Get Caught Off Guard
Cybersecurity is far from a simple thing, but it doesn’t have to be overly complicated, either. ISC can take much of the stress and frustration out of protecting your business, freeing you up to focus on other, more important parts of management. To learn more about what we can do for your business, contact the cybersecurity professionals of ISC at 502.292.5097.