What are Network Vulnerabilities? Risks, Threats, Attacks?

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What is network Vulnerability?

Network vulnerability is a cyber-security term that refers to a flaw in a system that can leave it open to attack. A vulnerability may also refer to any type of weakness in a computer system itself, in a set of procedures, or in anything that leaves information security exposed to a threat.

In computer security, a vulnerability is a weakness that allows an attacker to reduce a system’s information assurance. Vulnerability is the intersection of three elements: a system susceptibility or flaw, attacker access to the flaw, and attacker capability to exploit the flaw.

What does Network Vulnerability Assessment mean?

A network vulnerability assessment is the process of reviewing and analyzing a computer network for possible security vulnerabilities and loopholes.

It is used by network administrators to evaluate the security architecture and defense of a network against possible vulnerabilities and threats.

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How Organizations are at Risks?

Organizations use local area networks and wide area networks to communicate with multiple mail servers as well as Web servers. Network hackers are always on the prowl to attack an organization’s network. Although these attacks mostly take place at major financial institutions, government agencies and pharmaceutical companies, that does not mean that an organization that deals in any other business is free from the network hacker.

Here are some areas that are mostly targeted by hackers:

  • A hacker can apply social engineering to gain confidential information from companies by pretending to be an employee and calling other employees to gain useful information.
  • Mail Servers are common targets when hackers want to gain access to network resources. Companies that access e-mail from the Internet, especially, are potential targets. To prevent a mail server from being attacked, ensure that the latest security patch is applied to both the operating system and the e-mail application.
  • Network hackers scan for vulnerabilities in a firewall that is not configured properly or does not have proper configuration updates. A properly configured firewall is one measure that can prevent a hacker from attacking a network.
  • Filtering routers are also another main source targeted by hackers with aggressive SNMP scanners. If an attack is effective, the router can easily be turned into a bridge, thus allowing unauthorized access to the network.
  • Network hackers can also intercept data transmitted over the network to mail servers. Network administrators can prevent this from occurring by using 128-bit key encryption when transferring information over the Internet or to mail servers.

Network Threats

Many computer-related threats spread by means of a network. When a network has been targeted or hit with a threat, it will likely infect other computers and PC users if not stopped.

Organizations need to be concerned about the security of their networks as there are many threats (e.g., viruses, malware, adware, spyware, Trojan horses, and others) that can infect a computer on a network. The most common threats for an organization nowadays have been malware and spyware. These are just a few of the common network security problems that occur within an organization.

Security Attacks

Security attacks are often used maliciously to consume and destroy the resources of a network. When attacks are sent (often times by a hacker, criminal, disgruntled or ex-employee) on a network, they use critical system resources (such as the CPU and RAM) to disrupt and damage an organizations’ business operation, or to install some type of malicious program.

The most common type of attack is Denial of Service which totally break the connection between server and its host partners.

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