What Is a Vulnerability vs an Exploit?

Have you ever considered the difference between a vulnerability vs an exploit? 

A vulnerability is a weak spot in a system, human or otherwise. Hackers and software crackers can gain access to a network through vulnerabilities. In IT tech systems, it is almost impossible to have no weak spots. It’s important to remember that not all weak spots are contained in the system’s code itself. People are the biggest cyber security vulnerability for many companies. 

Some examples of human vulnerabilities are when a human responds to phishing emails, or when a human generates an easily remembered (but weak) password. Software vulnerabilities include outdated software that hasn’t been patched or updated or a weakness in the software code of a program.

An exploit occurs when a malicious party uses a vulnerability to enter or compromise IT systems or software. Exploits need vulnerabilities to exist, which is why preventing vulnerabilities is so important.

Nowadays, criminals don’t need to be computer experts or sophisticated coders to exploit a vulnerability, especially human-based vulnerabilities. There are automated tools hackers can purchase to exploit weaknesses on a grand scale. There’s lots of information available on the dark web to trick your team into making a mistake and letting them in.

Cybercriminals know how to target your people, so your best defense is to train your team on how to spot fishy (and phishy) emails. If you’re concerned about phishing attempts on your company, feel free to download our Phishing Prevention Cheat Sheet

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The Aeko Tech

Our goal is to share our IT services knowledge with our region. On our blog, we share the latest cyber security threats and technology news.