Hackers have the potential to inflict some serious and lasting damage on your network, computers, and other devices. The exploitation of vulnerabilities is one of the most common ways for hackers to wreak such havoc. However, most people don’t understand how exploits and vulnerabilities differ from one another and how these concepts relate. Below, our IT support team on Long Island provides some helpful clarification.
The Definition of a Vulnerability
In the context of digital security, vulnerabilities are best defined as dangerous problems in software systems. It is best to think of vulnerabilities as weaknesses within software code that are unintentionally created as a new piece of software is developed or created through updates that alter or break specific pieces of code. Nearly every software system has vulnerabilities, regardless of whether it is an operating system, a website, or desktop software.
Vulnerabilities are typically identified and patched right away by developers who pinpoint these problems and attend to them to prevent hackers from taking advantage of them. This is precisely why software updates are so important. Each patch has security fixes that remedy existing vulnerabilities and stop them from hacker exploitation. If you have any questions about patches and updates, our IT services experts on Long Island are here to help.
A Look at Exploits
Exploits are best described as attacks that rely on vulnerabilities to pilfer data. Exploits constitute attacks that rely on vulnerabilities to snag sensitive information, pilfer personal information and perform other nasty actions against a target. Exploits commonly take shape as a software program created to zero in on specific vulnerabilities. Hackers use exploits to obtain access to software systems that are incorrectly updated/patched, steal valuable data and prevent internal access to documents through ransomware.
Let’s take a look at an example for additional clarification. Consider a hacker who is aware of a vulnerability in a specific type of database. The hacker creates a program to enter the database and steal data from it after it has been compromised. This information is transmitted right back to the hacker, leaving the targeted business with a considerable data breach that has the potential to be a public relations nightmare and also put sensitive information in the hands of evildoers. Our IT support team on Long Island is here to help should any such digital security problem arise at your business.
If you are worried about your company’s digital security or if you need any type of tech assistance, reach out to us at Total Technology Solutions. Our IT support team on Long Island is always ready to help you!