What Is The Difference Between A Vulnerability And An Exploit In Cyber Security?

What Is The Difference Between A Vulnerability And An Exploit In Cyber Security

Exploiting vulnerabilities in software systems is one of the most common ways that hackers are able to breach network security precautions and steal data. But what is an exploit, what is a vulnerability, and how do these two concepts relate to one another? Find out now.


A Vulnerability Is A Dangerous Issue Within A Software System

Basically, vulnerabilities are “weak points” in software code. They are usually created unintentionally when developing a piece of software, or can be caused by updates that “break” or modify certain pieces of the code.

Just about every type of software system, from websites to operating systems and even desktop software have some vulnerabilities. These are usually identified and patched rapidly, as there are typically teams of developers whose job it is to identify potential vulnerabilities and fix them before they can cause any serious issues and be used by hackers.

This is why it’s so important to keep all of your software updated at all times. Every patch typically contains security fixes to repair known vulnerabilities and prevent them from being exploited by hackers or other malicious individuals.


An Exploit Is An Attack That Makes Use Of Vulnerabilities To Steal Data & More

Exploits are closely related to vulnerabilities. Essentially, an exploit is any type of attack that uses a vulnerability to obtain sensitive data, steal personal information, or take any other malicious action against your company.

An exploit often takes the form of a software program that was developed specifically to attack a particular vulnerability. For example, if a hacker knows about a vulnerability in a particular type of database, they could build a program that will infiltrate the database, collect data from the compromised database, and send it back to the hacker, resulting in a data breach.

By using exploits, hackers are able to gain access to software systems that have not been properly patched and updated, and harvest sensitive data and information, or even do things like lock down your files with ransomware.


Your IT Team Needs To Take Action To Fix Vulnerabilities & Prevent Exploits

When it comes to data security, regularly patching and fixing vulnerabilities is an essential step for protecting your IT systems. Your IT team needs to make it a priority to find and fix known vulnerabilities by regularly updating operating systems as well as servers, software, and other IT systems.

Need help with business computer services in Santa Rosa, or computer security services that help lock down your data? Contact West County Computers or call us at 707-360-8652 now to schedule a consultation with our team, and get a free IT risk assessment.

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