When computers are connected to an unsecured network, software security could be compromised if there are no protocols in place. Organizations are open to computer security vulnerabilities when they ignore the importance of software updates, use low-quality devices, and fail to resolve issues with their developers. Critical errors in computer software can leave network data vulnerable to some malicious threats including malware, phishing, spyware, proxies, spam, botnet, and adware. Cybercriminals can take over a piece of software, disable it and steal data. And attackers today target cyber vulnerabilities more often.
Common Computer and Network Security Vulnerabilities
The following vulnerabilities should be checked; otherwise, they can result in more advanced attacks like distributed denial of services (DDoS):
- Malware. This malicious software can be unknowingly bought, downloaded, or installed. Hackers use malware to exploit computer and network vulnerabilities. When a system is infected with malware, it will show symptoms like running slower, randomly rebooting, sending emails without user action, or starting unknown processes. Examples of malware are viruses, trojans, worms, ransomware, adware, rootkits, and more.
- Social engineering attacks. Threat actors use this attack method to bypass authentication and authorization security protocols and gain access to a network. Social engineering attacks include spear phishing, phishing emails, smishing, whaling, vishing, spam, and pharming.
- Outdated or unpatched software. To minimize vulnerabilities, developers constantly introduce new patches to fix bugs and errors. These patches can solve flaws or security holes found in the initial release. Computer and network vulnerability scans and assessments must be performed to identify and remediate known vulnerabilities on networks.
Organizations must enforce the care assessment of free software, downloads from peer-to-peer file sharing websites, and emails from unknown senders to avoid malware. The majority of web browsers have security settings that can be updated to maximize defense against online threats. However, the most effective way to fend off viruses is to keep antivirus software up-to-date.
Harms of Computer Security Vulnerabilities
There are many ways the harm of computer system vulnerability can be presented. These include confidential data leakage, the spread of internet viruses, and hacker intrusion. These can cause serious harm to businesses and individual users by resulting in significant economic loss. As the degree of information constantly improves, extremely serious computer system vulnerabilities can become a threat to national security in terms of economic, political, and military aspects. These vulnerabilities can compromise the dependability of systems, the confidentiality of information, system security, as well as computer and network usability.