A vulnerability definition in network protection may be exploited by a cyber-attack in order to obtain unlicensed access to or execute illegal acts on a computer device. Attackers can execute code, access memory of a device, install malware, destroy, stole or edit sensitive data with the help of vulnerabilities.

In order to exploit the vulnerability of a computer system, an attacker must be able to connect to the machine used. Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities can be exploited using a range of techniques such as SQL injections, buffer overflows, cross-site (XSS) and open-source operating kits to search for established protection vulnerabilities.

  1. What is Vulnerability? 
  2. What are the Different Types of Vulnerabilities?
  3. What are the Causes of Vulnerabilities?
  4. Prevention from Vulnerability

1. What is Vulnerability? 

There are many ways to define vulnerability and are listed below: 

A) National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

System security protocols, Inadequate information infrastructure, internal controls, or execution that could be triggered or exploited by a source of danger.

B) ISO 27005

A vulnerability of an asset that can be exploited by one or more cybersecurity vulnerabilities and threats where the asset holds importance to the enterprise, its corporate processes, and stability, even information resources that serve the purpose of the organization.

C) IETF RFC 4949

A defect or vulnerability in the system design, execution or service, and management of a system that could be exploited to violate the security policy of the company.


The occurrence of a weakness, configuration, or execution mistake that may lead to an unexpected, unwanted incident that undermines the security of the computer device, network, program, or protocol concerned.

E) The Open Group

The chance of attacks exceeds the potential to survive threats.

F) Factor risk analysis

The possibility of an asset being unable to survive the actions of a threatening agent.


Failure in designs, execution, operation or internal control.

At least one known work attack vector vulnerability is listed as exploitable. The vulnerability window starts from when the vulnerability was introduced to when it is patched. When the organization has sound security policies, then vulnerabilities cannot take advantage of. For vulnerability examples, If you have installed S3 correctly, the risk of data leakage is minimized. Test the permissions of your S3 or someone else will check. Similarly, risks can be reduced via third-party risk management and partner risk management techniques. 

Attackers may create exploits or malware that exploit vulnerabilities to access a target network. They normally use “exploit kits.” An explosive kit used as a series of locks to unlock a door that is not locked properly. Indeed, hackers used to use exploit kits to infect ransomware on target users’ machines. WannaCry ransomware will be a perfect example. Various attackers are also aware of the vulnerability of Windows that will allow malware onto the device. Identified vulnerabilities are simpler to fix than any other suspected or zero-day vulnerability. All users need to download and install patches to reduce the risks posed by unknown vulnerabilities.

H) Define Zero-Day Exploit

A zero-day vulnerability has usually been undocumented and unrecognized for some time. As a consequence, it typically doesn’t have a patch or fixes. This offers cybercriminals time and opportunity to exploit the vulnerability of their campaigns. The more it stays unpatched, the more it exposes the affected device or program and as a result, the network to numerous online attacks may lead to a violation.

2. What are the different types of vulnerabilities?

One can win half of the battle if they know their enemy. Being aware of the common types of vulnerabilities will help to secure the network and those are: 

A) Poor Passwords

The use of your name, your last name, your date of birth as a password, and the reuse of it for different accounts, are standard behaviors and it makes hacking easy.

B) Lack of data encryption

Encryption makes data indecipherable so that it can only be accessed by the intended receiver. Even after encryption, the hackers would not be able to understand it through the decrypting key.

C) URLs for malicious content

Redirections can support owners of websites, but the perpetrators of attacks can exploit this by redirecting visitors to malicious sites.

D) Software Bugs

Products of software almost often contain bugs or mistakes. So you must ensure that the software you are using does not contain security bugs that can cause risks or vulnerabilities.

3. What are the causes of Vulnerabilities?

There are many causes for vulnerability issues and those are:

Complexity: The probability of a flaw, malfunction or unintended access increases when complex networks are in operation.

Familiarity: The risk that an intruder will find or have knowledge of known vulnerabilities increases with common malware, applications, operating systems, and hardware.

Connectivity: the more connected a system increases the chance of probability of a vulnerability.

Poor password administration: Brute power can crack weak passwords and the re-use of passwords which leads to a data breach.

Bugs in the operating system: Operating systems can have flaws as in other programs. Default unstable operating systems allow viruses and malware to execute commands and give all users full access.

Internet Usage: Online use the Internet is loaded with spyware and adware which can be easily placed on computers.

Software bugs: Programmers can leave an exploitable bug in the software accidentally or purposely.

Unchecked user input: If the entire input on your website or app is secure, accidental SQL commands can be performed.

People: The person at the end of the system is the greatest weakness of any enterprise. The largest danger to most organizations lies in social engineering.

4. Prevention from Vulnerability

Persons and firms alike are not prone to exploit vulnerabilities. However, related risks can be minimized or prevented by:

  • Setting up solutions for security monitoring and blocking.
  • Download and install security fixes or upgrade it as and when manufacturers release the updates.
  • Using IDSs/IPSs, which are designed to track and block the exploit of the vulnerability.
  • Check for security flaws or vulnerabilities in the network. Employ a penetration test if the tools are sufficient for that reason.
  • If patches are lacking (for zero-day), depending on the compromise indicators (IoCs) indicated in security warnings and news. Avoid pressing URLs in unknown senders and opening attachments. You should mask the exploits of weakness.


Hope the above article will make you understand What is vulnerability, their types, causes and prevention.

So, have you made up your mind to make a career in Cyber Security? Visit our Master Certificate in Cyber Security (Red Team) for further help. It is the first program in offensive technologies in India and allows learners to practice in a real-time simulated ecosystem, that will give you an edge in this competitive world.



Are you ready to build your own career?