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Vulnerabilities in Cyber Security: what they are and how to fix them?

Learn all about one of the hackers' favorite breach method and keep your company safe from data breaches and cyber attacks like ransomware!

According to the 2022 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, vulnerability exploitation is one of the most common tactics used by hackers to cause a data breach. That means even simple vulnerabilities can have serious consequences, from loss of customer trust to millions of dollars in damages. Recently, big companies such as Twitter and Deezer suffered data breaches. 

In this post, you will learn everything about vulnerabilities in cybersecurity. Including what the most common are, how you can close this unwanted open door without spending too much money, and more. 

Let’s get to it. 

What is a vulnerability in cybersecurity? 

A vulnerability in cybersecurity is like a weakness or a hole in a wall that protects your computer or online information. Cybercriminals can use these exploits to access personal information, steal sensitive company data, take control of a device, or launch massive attacks, such as ransomware. 

An example of a vulnerability is a misconfiguration on a system that someone with malicious intent can exploit for personal gain.

For example, imagine you have a lock on your front door to keep your house safe. But, if someone made a mistake installing the lock or the key is easy to copy, it becomes a vulnerability that a thief can exploit to break into your house. Now imagine you are not aware of these problems. That means that someone that knows can come and go into your home as they please, and you would never have a clue.

In the same way, if a website or software has a vulnerability, a hacker can use it to gain access to sensitive information or take control of the system. Likewise, you would have no clue what is happening, until it’s too late.

Almost all technology has some vulnerability, from smartphones your employees use, to the software that runs your network. Cybercriminals are always finding new vulnerabilities, so it is crucial to stay vigilant and act quickly to protect your information, staying one step ahead of hackers before they can break into your home.

Why are companies’ websites vulnerable? 

Company websites can be vulnerable to cyber attacks for a variety of reasons. Some examples are: 

  1. Outdated software: Websites that are not regularly updated may be using outdated software that has known vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers.
  2. Compromised passwords: Some websites may have weak or easily guessable passwords, making it easy for hackers to gain access. In other cases, the passwords are not stored correctly, being exposed by hackers to find them. And to top it off, data breaches might contain passwords that can still be used to log into a service. 
  3. Lack of security measures: Some companies may not have adequate security measures in place to protect their websites from cyber attacks.
  4. Third-party vulnerabilities: This is a big one, that even big companies are vulnerable to. Websites that use third-party plug-ins or other software may be vulnerable if those third-party providers have security vulnerabilities.

It all comes down to this: hackers are betting that most companies will not have the time, or the money, to keep up-to-date on their cybersecurity. After all, expert professionals can be quite expensive.

How do hackers exchange information about vulnerabilities?

To make matters worse, not only these vulnerabilities exist, but hackers exchange information about them and even sell this information to other hacker groups. This level of organization and information sharing is unprecedented, highlighting the danger even more. Here are a few methods that hackers use to share intel: 

  1. Online forums: Hackers may use online forums and message boards to share information about vulnerabilities and exploit code.
  2. Dark web and Deep web: Hackers may use the dark web and deep web to share information about vulnerabilities, exploit code, and other hacking tools.
  3. Social media: Hackers may use social media platforms to share information about vulnerabilities and exploit code.
  4. Private channels: Hackers may also use private channels, such as encrypted messaging apps, to share information about vulnerabilities with other hackers, making it almost impossible to track.
  5. Vulnerability markets: Some hackers may sell information about vulnerabilities to other hackers or to organizations that will pay for the information.

That means that when one vulnerability is discovered, almost instantly, every hacker in the world can have access to that information, conducting attacks on their own. That makes it sound almost impossible to stay on top of these vulnerabilities, right? Not really. 

Fortunately, there are ways to fight them, with minimal effort, and without breaking the bank. 

Let’s get to them. 

What is the CVE? 

The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) is a system for identifying and cataloging known security vulnerabilities in software and other systems. The goal of the CVE is to provide a standard way to describe and identify these vulnerabilities so that they can be easily tracked and managed.

A CVE entry will typically include a description of the vulnerability, the affected software or system, and any known exploit code or attack methods. The entry may also include information on the impact of the vulnerability, such as the potential for data loss or unauthorized access, and the severity of the vulnerability, such as whether it can be used to take control of a system.

The CVE system is maintained by the MITRE Corporation, a non-profit organization, and is sponsored by the US government. The CVE is a widely used system and it is important for software vendors, security researchers, and other stakeholders to use the system to ensure that vulnerabilities are accurately and consistently identified.

When a software vendor or researcher identifies a new vulnerability, they will typically submit a request to MITRE to create a new CVE entry for that vulnerability. This allows other organizations to easily track and manage the vulnerability, and to take appropriate action to protect their systems and data.

To summarize, the CVE acts to counterbalance the hacker information trade machine. While they trade and gather information for attacks, the CVE (and other methods) provide information for defensive purposes. 

10 common vulnerabilities on websites

The CVE has cataloged over 200.000 known vulnerabilities. That is an astounding number, but with the help of an automated tool and a little prioritization, a company can manage without spening much and without a deticated team of cybersecurity experts. 

To get a little more practical, we have a few examples of common vulnerabilities, and what they mean: 

Injection attacks

Injection attacks occur when an attacker can insert malicious code into a web application, allowing them to access or modify sensitive data. This can include SQL injection, where an attacker inserts malicious SQL code into a web application, and command injection, where an attacker inserts malicious commands into a web application.

Cross-site scripting (XSS)

XSS attacks occur when an attacker can inject malicious code into a web page viewed by other users. This allows the attacker to steal user data, such as cookies and session tokens, and perform other malicious actions.

Broken authentication and session management

This occurs when an attacker can gain unauthorized access to a user’s account by exploiting weaknesses in the authentication and session management systems of a web application.

Insecure direct object references

This occurs when a web application references an internal object, such as a file or database record, using user-supplied input without proper validation. This can allow an attacker to access or modify sensitive data.

Vulnerabilities in security misconfiguration

This occurs when a web application or the underlying server is not configured securely, leaving it vulnerable to attack. This can include issues such as leaving default accounts and passwords in place, and not properly securing configuration files.

Vulnerabilities in Sensitive data exposure

This occurs when a web application does not properly protect sensitive data, such as credit card numbers and personal information. This can include issues such as storing data in plain text or using weak encryption.

Cross-site request forgery (CSRF)

This occurs when an attacker can trick a user into using a web application without their knowledge or consent. This can include actions such as changing a password or making a purchase.

Using components with known vulnerabilities

This occurs when a web application uses components, such as libraries and frameworks, that have known vulnerabilities. This can include issues such as using an outdated version of a library with known security issues.

Unvalidated inputs

This occurs when a web application does not properly validate user-supplied input, allowing an attacker to inject malicious code or perform other malicious actions.

Failure to restrict URL access

This occurs when a web application does not properly restrict access to sensitive URLs or pages, allowing an attacker to gain unauthorized access to sensitive data or perform other malicious actions.

How can a business find and manage vulnerabilities? 

Even with every tool at their disposal, businesses still have a hard time maintaining their online perimeter secure. That is perfectly understandable, considering how many digital tools a company uses, especially since each one of them might contain multiple exploits. The great news is that it’s possible to know all vulnerabilities without spending much and without a big dedicated cybersecurity team. 

For instance, a small business can find and manage vulnerabilities on its website by using a vulnerability scanner, which is a software tool that automatically checks for known vulnerabilities in web applications and their underlying systems. These scanners can check for a wide range of issues, including SQL injection, cross-site scripting, and insecure file permissions.

Once you have identified all vulnerabilities, the next step is to prioritize them based on their potential impact and ease of exploitation. The business can then develop and implement a plan to address the vulnerabilities, which may include patching or upgrading software, modifying configurations, or implementing additional security controls. 

Overall, regular monitoring and maintenance are key to managing vulnerabilities on a website.


In conclusion, identifying and managing vulnerabilities on a website is an essential part of maintaining the online security of your business. By using vulnerability scanners, prioritizing vulnerabilities based on potential impact, and implementing a plan to address them, you can help protect your website and your business from potential attacks, without spending too much money or overworking your IT team. You also don’t need a big team of cybersecurity experts to keep your company safe. 

It is also important to remember that website security is an ongoing process. Regular monitoring and maintenance are crucial to ensure the business has total visibility on any new vulnerability and that you have dealt with all previously known exploits. With the right tools and approach, you can help keep your website and business safe with less effort than you can imagine.

Want to know more?

Learn more about how leaks and data breaches can be harmful?
Check out this other post we commented on the subject:

Leaks and Breaches: The What, How… and Why You Must Protect Yourself!