Vulnerabilities That Companies Face In The Digital Age

Fatihah Ramzi, DigitalCFO Asia | 16 November 2022

Every company faces ongoing threats from a wide range of sources and there are simply too many threats in the world to adequately thwart them all.

A weakness, mistake, flaw, or bug is referred to as a vulnerability when it compromises the accessibility, privacy, and authenticity of data stored within a data system. Because they can be used to infiltrate the systems on which they dwell in, hardware, software, and firmware vulnerabilities are sought after by adversaries. 

Researchers and others with a stake in cybersecurity are encouraged to report vulnerabilities as soon as they are identified and shared with the affected vendor because vulnerabilities can only be fixed once it is known.Every system that has not been updated will continue to face ongoing threats and remain susceptible to getting compromised.

The associated hazards brought on by vulnerabilities can be addressed more effectively when more suppliers, security groups, and individual researchers participate in the vulnerability identification and remediation process. These vulnerabilities have a wide range of potential effects; some (with little to no impact) are merely bothersome, while others are severe enough to have disastrous effects on the company’s systems, their employees and their clients.

Security Vulnerabilities

While innumerable new threats are created every day, many of them rely on outdated security flaws to function. One of the biggest dangers a corporation can face is failing to fix those vulnerabilities after they are detected because so many malwares attempt to repeatedly exploit the same few flaws.

In order to avoid losing the 5–10 minutes of productive time required to execute the update, it’s all too usual for businesses—or even simply individual users on a network—to ignore the “update available” warnings that appear in some programmes. Most users find updating to be a pain. It is a “nuisance,” but one that might later save a company a staggering amount of time, resources, and lost revenue.

The simple solution is to keep a regular updated schedule—a day of the week when your IT team examines for the most recent security patches for the software used by the organization and ensure they are applied to all of its systems.

Admin Account Privileges

Limiting program users’ access privileges is one of the simplest principles of mitigating software vulnerabilities. The less data/resources a user can access, the less harm a compromised user account can cause.

However, a lot of companies don’t manage user account access privileges, which means that practically every user on the network has “Superuser” or administrator-level access. Admin-level user accounts can sometimes be created by non-privileged users due to security configuration flaws in some computer systems.

Managing computer security vulnerabilities requires making sure that user account access is limited to only what is required for each user to perform their job. Additionally, it’s crucial to make sure that newly-created accounts cannot have admin-level access to stop less privileged users from just creating more privileged accounts.

Phishing Attacks

In a phishing attack, the attacker tries to persuade a victim, usually an organization’s employee, to download malware or to divulge important information and account passwords. The most typical way that this attack is launched is through an email that pretends to be from a vendor of your business or from a high-ranking employee.

Saying something like, “This is Mark from IT, your user account displays suspicious behavior. Please click this link to reset and protect your password,” is an example of an attacker’s line of attack. Such emails frequently contain links that take users to websites where they can install malware that will compromise the system. Other phishing scams may request user account details from victims in order to resolve a problem.

This tactic’s main objective is to use an organization’s employee to get around one or more security measures and gain easier access to data.

There are several ways to defend against this attack strategy, including:

  • Tools to identify email viruses by scanning email attachments for malicious software that could damage your network.
  • Multi-factor authentication (MFA). It is more difficult for cybercriminals to take control of user accounts using just the login and password when you use various authentication methods (such as biometrics, one-use texted codes, and physical tokens) to grant users access to the network.
  • Cybersecurity awareness training for employees. A knowledgeable employee is less likely to fall victim to phishing scams than one who is unfamiliar with fundamental cybersecurity procedures. Employees who receive cybersecurity awareness training are better equipped to recognize and resist phishing scams.
  • A defense-in-depth strategy for network security adds additional layers of security between each of the network’s constituent components. By doing this, additional layers of security will exist between the compromised asset and the rest of the network in the event that attackers manage to get beyond the network’s outermost protections.

Every company faces ongoing threats from a wide range of sources. No company is 100% protected from an assault, not even the largest Fortune 500 firms or SMEs. There are simply too many threats in the world to adequately thwart them all. Malicious actors may take advantage of network weaknesses and cybersecurity issues to steal data from businesses or harm them. As businesses continue to go digital, it’s critical that they keep informed on the vulnerabilities that they currently face.