At first look, threat, vulnerability sound one and the same. And many startups and SMBs make the mistake of chalking them up to be.
With the digital transformation underway and every business having an online presence, understanding the difference between the three becomes significant.
Threat, vulnerability, and risk are all interrelated. However, they are not the same thing.
Is something that an organization must defend itself from. Threat is reality. It’s something that exists whether you acknowledge it or ignore it. For example, DDoS attacks are always lurking around. The sooner you accept it and be prepared, the better it would be for your organization.
Is your own flaws, your weaknesses. Every organization that is online is vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Your organization is vulnerable to cyber-attack due to misconfigurations in your organization’s firewall that could let hackers into your network, for example.
Is the potential for financial loss, damage, and destruction of your asset and data due to the existing threats exploiting the vulnerabilities in your information system.
Hence, Risk ∝ Threats x Vulnerabilities
Let’s take a quick example with a problem statement to understand how threats could exploit vulnerabilities in your organization to pose a risk to assets and data. This will help you set clarity on these terms and better manage the security of your organization:
Problem: Hackers looking to gain access to your information system is an inevitable threat, while misconfigured firewalls make your system vulnerable to such threats. Any unauthorized access to your information system by such a threat due to the vulnerability in the system is a serious risk to your assets and data.
Solution: A fully managed cybersecurity service with remediation for ensuring proactive threat and vulnerability management to avoid any potential risk to your organization causing financial losses.
The better and more thorough examples could be listed down in the following matrix.
RISK ∝ THREAT x VULNERABILITY
Organizations are becoming more vulnerable to cyber incidents due to the increasing reliance on computers, networks, software, social media, and data. Data breaches have a massive negative business impact that often arises from insufficiently protected data.
Let’s understand Threat Vs Vulnerability Vs Risk in more detail.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, online threats are looming over more than ever. These threats could be found in various shapes and sizes.
It could be in the form of malware that installs fatal executables in your software, ransomware hijacking your system, or targeted hacker attacks.
Besides the threats coming in different forms, they could also come with varied intensity, the impacts depend on how profound these threats are. One thing is common though. All threats look for vulnerabilities in your system to exploit.
Threats could either be unintentional or intentional. Let’s discuss some serious cybersecurity threats:
It’s your flaws that make you vulnerable. Different vulnerabilities manifest themselves through several misuses:
Security vulnerabilities could be through:
It’s mistakenly believed that the responsibility of cybersecurity risk management falls on the IT and security teams.
It may be true to some extent, however, the actual cybersecurity depends on the awareness of the organization about the risks caused by the threats exploiting their vulnerabilities, in turn, impacting the assets.
This may result in financial losses and often legal penalties.
The organization’s risk changes depending on many factors. It is very hard to eliminate the risk 100 percent. However, understanding the vulnerabilities and threats will help to manage the cybersecurity risk.
To mitigate the risk, it is important to understand the threat and fix the vulnerabilities. One of the ways to address the vulnerability is to do pen-testing.
Cyvatar’s managed cybersecurity solution provides continuous pen-testing and also fixes the vulnerabilities that the intruders could already be using to gain access to your system with fully managed remediation. Sign up to test drive Cyvatar’s powerful cybersecurity solution for free. No credit card or contract commitment is required!
Circa Las Vegas
Thurs. Aug 5th
Cybersecurity Reunion Pool Party at BlackHat 2021