Cyber threats have continued to evolve continuously, and each stage of evolution becomes more sophisticated and dangerous. One of the most popular effects of cyber threats is the hindrance of the normal functioning of Information Technology (IT) systems. Cyber vulnerabilities refer to the components within the Information Technology (IT) systems that provide weak points. Hackers are professionals who know how to find these vulnerabilities for their selfish reasons. One popular motive for many hackers is the acquisition of sensitive information. Once they acquire this information, they can choose to engage in criminal activities by use of the same.
Recent times have seen an increase in cyber-attacks, which result in mass operational failures. For instance, the hack on the Sony Entertainment Company interfered with the normal operations of the organization. There are different categories of cyber-attacks. These include Broadcast attacks and Targeted attacks. The Broadcast attacks are often initiated to indiscriminately destroy the entire computer. Targeted attacks, on the other hand, are often intended to suffice a pre-established and specified need (Averbuch & Siboni, 2013). It would be significant to note that the cyber-attacks affect different aspects of the IT systems. Some of these aspects include the software, databases, hardware, and the humans.
Injection vulnerabilities make up one of the major operational faults within IT systems. These vulnerabilities occur when an application within the IT system sends unverified data to an interpreter. Different segments of the subject IT system are affected by these vulnerabilities. These segments include the SQL, XML, and LDAP (Paganini, 2015). Many people find it simple to discover injection threats. This can be accomplished through analyzing the involved codes. However, when it comes to determining the injections in a functional IT system, then the process becomes rather complicated. An injection-inspired cyber-attack can easily result in denied access to the users and loss of sensitive data.
In a business setting, such an attack could cripple the operations of the organization. In many cases, it has been found that the SQL vulnerabilities are easiest to manipulate. This is characterized by the high success rates of the cyber-attacks that exploit the SQL. An example of such a vulnerability is the Bash Bug effect and it mainly affects Linux and the UNIX power systems (Paganini, 2015). In the Bash Bug effect, the major systems have been known to cripple, and that affects the entire IT systems. For instance, one could experience the complete destruction of routers and cameras operated by the Linux and UNIX software.
The second type of cyber vulnerability is the Buffer overflows. This vulnerability is projected when an application within the IT system attempts to secure more data into a buffer than it can handle (Averbuch & Siboni, 2013). In this vulnerability, the vulnerability allows the cyber-attack to overwrite the elements of the adjacent memory blocks. Some of the possible effects of this attack include the corruption of data or crashing of the entire program. These kind of attacks are also common, but the major difference between this type and the injection vulnerability is that it is harder to discover. With the Buffer overflow attacks, the hacker must have a knowledge of the memory management process within the system (Paganini, 2015). In addition, the hacker needs to know buffers used by the systems and methods to use in manipulation of the content to meet their demands. In the case that a hacker sends manipulated data to an undersized stack buffer, he/she can introduce a malicious code into the system. The two major types of buffer overflow vulnerabilities include the Heap buffer overflow and the Format string attack. Buffer overflow attacks can cripple the functioning of web servers, web applications. [Click Essay Writer to order your essay]
Sensitive data exposure provides another cyber vulnerability in the IT systems. It occurs when an unauthorized attacker accesses sensitive data in a system’s database. The exposure flaw allows the interception of sensitive data when it is being transmitted between parties. In the case of this attack, the hackers can access the sensitive data on the system. Part of the data that can be accessed by the hackers includes those found in the history of browsers and backups. It would be significant to note that these Exposure vulnerabilities are both random and common. Systems without succinct data encryption give the hackers the ability to access different files (Paganini, 2015). Many companies tend to engage algorithms that do not reflect the sensitivity of the internal operations. This act provides the hackers with the ability to steal both the encryption keys text data off the servers used by the victims.
A wide range of persons can conduct cyber-attacks, and that shows why it is common. Common hackers include state-sponsored hackers, random cyber criminals, and hacktivists. In many cases, the attacks are usually geared towards creating more room for more future attacks. Many instances involve hacks aimed at organizations with the aim of accessing sensitive data on citizens. Commonly targeted institutions include hospitals and security agencies. An example of a cyber-attack includes the repeated hacks on the US military by foreign and internal hackers (Corrin, 2015). In many cases, the attackers use the stolen information to discredit the victim organization and further demand ransoms.[Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]
The Broken Authentication Session Management Vulnerability is an equally significant threat to IT systems. This kind of vulnerability is projected when an attacker impersonates the information of another user. The Broken authentication and session management flaws allow the attackers to access the personal information of other users. Essentially, the attacker uses the password and session IDs of other users to steal information that belongs to the victim (Corrin, 2015). The application processes such as timeouts, secret questions and password management fuel the exploitation of broken authentication and session management processes. If the attacker succeeds in impersonating the victim, he/she can use the information to engage in any activities within the limits of the breached accounts. It would be significant for one to know that mitigation of a broken authentication poses a great challenge. This is the case since most users usually engage more than one encryption code. The myriad authentication scheme established by the user complicates the retrieval of the account. In addition, once the victims regain access to their accounts, the hackers tend to change the authentication process. This explains why it becomes almost impossible for the external party to reclaim the hacker accounts. When businesses are involved, this proves to be one of the worst attacks since it gives the hackers access to all accounts and sensitive data. Also, the hackers can easily sell the data to competitors, and that could cause a negative long term effect.
Security misconfiguration is the most common of all the cyber vulnerabilities. In many cyber-attacks, security misconfigurations are inspired by various factors. These include outdated software, running inconsequential services within an IT system, and overlooking the need to change the factory settings (Averbuch & Siboni, 2013). The presence of automated scanners also plays a role in making these attacks simpler. The scanners are used to detect systems with faulty configurations. Security misconfiguration vulnerabilities pose a significant risk to business corporations. For instance, in broadband companies, a security misconfiguration attack could lead to the complete collapse of various programs. What makes it even more damaging for the businesses is that the recovery processes and the mitigation efforts are expensive.
In conclusion, cyber vulnerabilities pose a significant risk to smooth running operations within IT systems. Flaws in the systems encourage cyber-attacks, which leads to the loss of sensitive data. In order to prevent cyber-attacks, it is necessary for organizations to rely on more than one encryption processes. In addition, people and organizations need to use the latest software in conducting organization processes. [Click Essay Writer to order your essay]
Averbuch, A., & Siboni, G. (2013). The Classic Cyber Defense Methods Have Failed-What Comes Next. Military and Strategic Affairs, 5(1), 45-58.
Corrin, A. (2015, July 1). Defense cyber strategy: We can and will hit back. Retrieved September 14, 2016, from C4ISRNET:
Paganini, P. (2015, July 2). The Top Five Cyber Security Vulnerabilities. Retrieved September 14, 2016, from INFOSEC INSTITUTE: