As our lives are spreading wide on the digital arena, every activity or transaction that we do leaves behind a footprint which is recorded as data that can range from our social media activity to any software that we use. Within the last 24 months, numerous cases of fraud have been recorded owing to vulnerabilities in software being used by the masses. Hence, it is imperative to address this major concern and rid of all the security flaws in the systems to live a safer life online.
What Are Software Vulnerabilities
Any weakness within a software or a program that can be used by an attacker to gain access to data and/or perform unauthorized activities which are deemed illegal or unethical is a software vulnerability.
There can be various kinds of such weaknesses in a system which we shall be discussing further. Attackers use various techniques to exploit these different types of vulnerabilities to their advantage.
The causes that could give rise to of such weaknesses include the complexity of the software, connectivity, password management flaws, OS design flaws, software bugs, unchecked user input points, and more.
Vulnerability and risk are often incorrectly used interchangeably. Risk can be defined as the potential of some significant impact resulting from the exploit of a vulnerability.
Types of Software Vulnerabilities
- Memory safety violations
- Input validation errors
- Privilege-confusion bugs
- Privilege escalation
- Race conditions
- Side-channel attack, and
- User interface attack
When developing software, companies maintain a software vulnerabilities database which is regularly updated as new loopholes in the software are discovered. Moreover, as new weaknesses are discovered, software updates are rolled out to ensure they are fixed in time. There can also be a network vulnerability which proper coding of the software can plug.
How to Effectively Address the Software Vulnerabilities?
Following is a list of measures that can be taken to ensure that the software vulnerabilities are addressed effectively:
- Timely updating the software vulnerabilities database
- Swiftly rolling out software updates
- Running a thorough testing cycle
- Ensuring compliance with set standard (local and global)
- Having a failsafe to ensure users are safeguarded against attacks
Software or network vulnerability can occur anytime. It is a matter of being vigilant to address them at the right time and stopping them before any damage is done. There are many software vulnerability examples, Microsoft being one such example which is targeted extensively – hence the numerous Windows updates. Many other apps such as Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Zomato, and various more which we use in our regular lives have been attacked using their software vulnerabilities. So always ensure to keep your software updated.