Businesses today face more risks than ever with cyber criminals actively increasing their efforts to exploit companies’ vulnerabilities by stealing data, demanding ransom, or conducting any number of illegal activities that will help them generate illicit profits, gain notoriety, or fulfill political motives.
Regardless of the motive, cyber criminals pose a very real threat to businesses of all sizes. To prevent the bad guys from exploiting them, strategic companies are investing in vulnerability management assessments and correlating tools to better protect themselves from becoming victims.
What are the Four Primary Types of Security Vulnerabilities?
Vulnerabilities are different than cyber threats because the latter come from outside the organization, whereas the former is a problem that exists within a company’s internal technology infrastructure. Let’s take a look at security vulnerabilities since remediating them will often entail getting different solutions, especially since threat actors are consistently looking to find weaknesses to exploit.
- Human vulnerabilities are generally considered to be the “weakest link” in terms of security – user errors, misconduct, or falling victim to social engineering are just a handful of human activities that create vulnerabilities.
- Operating system vulnerabilities are flaws within an OS that enable hackers to exploit and gain access to a company’s systems.
- Network vulnerabilities are issues residing in a network’s hardware or software where cyber criminals can take advantage of their existence and use it to infiltrate.
- Process vulnerabilities can be created by specific controls – or lack of controls – such as weak passwords, lack of security protocols, opening access to all instead of restricting to a “need to know” basis, or leaving peripherals unsecured.
Cyber criminals typically use threats to exploit the vulnerabilities, but if those are eliminated, it makes their illicit job a lot harder to do.
Learn more about how Trava's phishing simulation works to prevent social engineering attacks. Watch the video.
What are Vulnerability Management Tools?
Many SMBs don’t have robust IT departments (if any), and they are familiar with antivirus and firewall software products. However, these tools are reactive and designed to combat threats as they occur. On the other hand, vulnerability management software tools are proactive and are designed to scan networks to identify weaknesses and offer remediation suggestions to prevent attacks from happening.
Not unlike other types of software, vulnerability management tools come in a variety of shapes and sizes – some are more detail oriented and go beyond simply finding risks, they prioritize them and give insight as to where IT decision makers should place their most focused attention. Some vulnerability management tool software will even apply patches and fix the problems immediately.
Benefits of Vulnerability Management Tools
The most obvious benefit of vulnerability management tools is the fact they help companies mitigate weaknesses and bolster their defenses before a cybercriminal finds them. However, other benefits, include the following:
- Ability to understand IT risk levels
- Saves time identifying problematic issues
- Enhances credibility and strengthens brand reputation
- Manage and allocate resources efficiently
Overall, integrating vulnerability management tools helps to effectively improve security systems and provide a strong defense against the bad guys.
For a detailed account of vulnerability scan types, including a description of each scan type, key insights learned from each scan recommended frequency for running each scan, download the ebook.
Today’s businesses face many different types of security threats. It’s hard enough battling the threat actors as it is, but strategic companies actively avoid giving them an easy “in” in the first place by utilizing vulnerability management tools to fulfill this role.
Trava Security can help! We invite you to try a free demo or contact us today if you have any questions.