Are you aware that every IT system has vulnerabilities that can negatively impact how your infrastructure operates? 

Most people aren’t aware of their cybersecurity vulnerabilities until after they’ve been a victim of a cyber attack. Many business owners are under the assumption that their firewall and antivirus software are enough to protect their digital assets from data breaches and other types of IT security threats. 

Unfortunately, waiting to learn about your system’s cybersecurity vulnerabilities until after a cyber attack or relying solely on your firewall and antivirus software for protection may leave your business and data in a compromised position. 

We’d like to help you understand what cybersecurity vulnerabilities are, the different types of vulnerabilities, how to find them, their impacts on your IT infrastructure, and what we can do to protect your data infrastructure. Keep reading for more information.  

Vulnerabilities vs. Cyber Threats

The biggest question that you probably have is what is a vulnerability and how is it different from a cyber threat? 

To put it simply, a cybersecurity vulnerability is any security weakness that can possibly be exploited by a threat actor–the perpetrators of the attack. These threat actors may be a person, a group, or some other entity, even at a nation-state level.  For example, China and the CCP lead the world in cyber warfare.

On the other hand, cyber threats are the events that are responsible for attacking your vulnerabilities. These threats may include malware like trojans, viruses, ransomware, adware, and spyware; threats may also include Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), and cloud jackings.  Most (about 90%) of cyber threats are in the form of email phishing attacks. 

The success of cyber threats and attacks will depend on your system vulnerabilities as well as the steps you take to protect your system from them. 

Different Types of Vulnerabilities

Similarly to the wide variety of cyber threats, there is also a wide variety of vulnerabilities when it comes to the security of your computer and IT systems. You can typically count on a few common vulnerabilities that occur in every system. 

These vulnerabilities include: 

  • Unpatched software – skipping software updates or forgetting to install available patches gives threat actors an easy access point to run malicious code or install malware.
  • Poor password practices – cyber attackers may run a dictionary or brute-force attack. These attacks systematically use words found in the dictionary to guess passwords; brute-force is similar – the attacker may submit multiple passwords in their attempt. And to give you an idea of the ease at which a common high-end server can guess an insufficient password, about 30 BILLION passwords PER SECOND!  We recommend to our clients that length is the most important factor in a password.  You should still avoid common names, and include numbers, caps, and symbols, but it can be easy and we can show you how.
  • Unmonitored user access – many businesses don’t consider limiting the amount of access their staff members have which can allow users to see, modify, or delete information without needing any credentials. Ideally, you should only allow users access to the information that’s required for their job.
  • Non-encrypted Data – when data is encrypted, it is coded so that only authorized users can access it. If your data isn’t encrypted, it is left in the open for almost anyone to find, see, or use for their own gain.  Data encryption usage depends on individual situations, but is always recommended for remote/mobile devices such as laptops and tablets.
  • Insufficient WiFi security – your wireless network security can be a gaping hole for threat actors to compromise.   There are actually six areas of breach within a WiFi network itself!  An improperly configured WiFi network will leave your systems highly vulnerable to cyber threats.  This is one area much overlooked and should be taken very seriously.  
  • Disgruntled employees – unfortunately, a disgruntled employee can wreak havoc on your system–even with minimal access. 
  • Not using cybersecurity best practices – cybersecurity, cyber threats, and vulnerabilities change rapidly.  Keeping up with these changes, or as we refer to as the Threat Horizon, takes experience, time and knowledge to continuously combat. Cybersecurity best practices should always be followed.  We focus on common breach areas in all data infrastructures including Security Awareness Training to help avoid Phishing emails, web filters, software patching and many other areas.  This ensures layers of protection because there is no solution that can cover all breach points.  

How to Find Your IT System’s Vulnerabilities

The only method to ascertain the risk level to your company is to perform a vulnerability assessment (also known as a risk assessment) as well as penetration testing or pen testing.. Vulnerability assessments look for any risk that hasn’t been properly managed or mitigated to your satisfaction. 

These assessments also allow for a prioritization path in order to focus on higher risk areas. 

In addition to a vulnerability assessment, a pen test will simulate a cyberattack from the outside (against the firewall) but is performed by cybersecurity professionals. These tests help identify poorly configured firewalls so that the areas at fault can be rectified before a real threat occurs.  

Addressing Computer Security Vulnerabilities

Having a pen test and vulnerability assessment is a great start toward securing your IT infrastructure. Unfortunately, in order to see real results and maintain the highest level of protection, you will need ongoing monitoring to help manage vulnerabilities and hence your risks. 

The best way to address all of these issues and to avoid the impacts of a cyber attack is to consider hiring an experienced managed service and security provider (MSP or MSSP). Cybersecurity companies like Techspert Data Services are not only knowledgeable about security best practices but also stay current on the ever-changing types of attacks and threats.  

Techspert has identified 5 layers of cybersecurity breach for every network and has formulated specific solutions to mitigate all high-risk areas.  Techspert offers affordable monthly agreements that encompass all areas of cybersecurity only or cybersecurity PLUS helpdesk services.

MSP agreements will include (but limited to) continuous device monitoring, software patching, alerting, mitigation plans, and business continuity and disaster recovery–including best-in-class recovery time objectives to keep your company running.  

If you’d like to better understand your cybersecurity vulnerabilities or would like to know how you can be better protected from all of the various cyber threats, contact Techspert Data Services today.  Allow us to eradicate your highest risks first, everything else is easy.  We are Technology Experts.  It’s in our name!