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Top 5 Cyber Security Vulnerabilities and their fixes

Top 5 Cyber Security Vulnerabilities
Credit: Clker-Free-Vector-Images / Pixabay

In today’s interconnected world, cyber-attacks have become a threat to the entire cyber world. Cyber security now has become a big deal as people have begun to worry about cyber security risks. These cyber-attacks disrupts lives of people’s across the globe by abusing some of the cyber security vulnerabilities that permit them access to the user’s system and ultimately giving them the power to access user’s data and network. The knowledge of the way these attacks function is the primary step in preventing yourself against them.

In this article, we will provide you with some of the core information about the top 5 cyber security vulnerabilities that are abused by attackers. Because hackers steal confidential data i.e. corporate secrets, Intellectual Property, etc. which directly affects security policy and secrecy of an organization, thus it has become necessary to fix these cyber security vulnerabilities.

This fix is in need because the financial damage to the world economy due to such vulnerabilities exceeds 575 billion dollars, greater than the GDP of many countries. Therefore to get away from these attacks we need to know the top 5 cyber security vulnerabilities.

Buffer Overflow

This vulnerability exists when an application tries to put data in a buffer more than it can genuinely hold. It occurs when more data is put into an already fixed-length buffer than the buffer can originally handle. The space between adjacent memories becomes overwritten and corrupted.

When such situation occurs system crashes become more often, and the attacker gets the opportunity to run an erratic code. When the application runs an inconsistent code, it traces the new buffer location due to taking up more than its prescribed buffer space. However, if the attacker gets to know the buffer allocation mechanism of the system, the attacker can gain access to the user’s system which he may use to damage or manipulate the next buffer addresses.

Countermeasures:

  • Performing Bounds Checking detects whether a variable is within some predefined bounds before it is used.
  • Running Static Code analysis is crucial to run automatic tests for detecting buffer overflow bugs.
  • Implementing the Address space layout randomization technique arranges the space positions of principle data areas used by a process.

Injection Vulnerabilities

Injection Vulnerabilities occurs when an application sends untrusted data to an interpreter, popularly affect SQL, LDAP, XML parsers and program arguments. Once such applications are successfully deployed, it can result in permanent loss and damage to data.

Countermeasure:

  • Adopting an input validation technique wherein the input is validated against a set of described rules for length and type and also against business rules.
  • To prevent the construction of fake SQL queries, users are advised to adopt a practice to refer to parameterized queries and SQL injection mitigation.
  • It is to be noted that users with the authorization to access the database have the least privileges.

Sensitive Data Exposure

Sensitive data exposure occurs every time the attacker gains access to the user protected sensitive data. The attacker has several ways to obtain such access, such as by using a malware-based attack or by interfering data between a server and the browser via the Man-in-the-Middle attack.

Countermeasures:

  • Use of robust algorithms while using sensitive data online.
  • Try Encrypting sensitive data on the system.
  • Enabled autofill data can expose passwords quickly, and disabling auto-complete forms prevent data exposure.

Broken Authentication and Session Management

This attack occurs when an attacker advantages from leak or flaws in the authentication or session management procedures to imitate other users and thereby to interact with users to access their data.

Countermeasure:

  • Brute-forcing the targeted account, using an SQL Injection attack, retrieving a session identifier from the URL, etc. are some of the ways to bypass such attack.

Security Misconfiguration

This attack is the simplest and easy to avoid and yet a dangerous cyber security vulnerability thus making it among the top 5 cyber security vulnerabilities. The common reasons for such vulnerabilities are running outdated software, running unnecessary services on the system, not changing default keys and passwords, or use of default accounts as it becomes easy to find those settings online and exploit them.

EndNote

We have gone through a brief introductory part on the issue of how to fix the top 5 cyber security vulnerabilities by informing the users about how these vulnerabilities functions and how they could prevent themselves from it. There are more of such attacks which may attack your system, and that is why we recommend you to keep yourself updated with such attacks and their countermeasures as well.

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