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  • Context (TH): The Corporate Affairs Ministry has resolved a critical vulnerability that jeopardized the personal information of prominent industrialists and celebrities.

What are cyber security vulnerabilities?

  • Cybersecurity vulnerabilities are weaknesses in an organisation’s infrastructure, like internal controls or information systems.
  • Hackers can exploit these weaknesses to gain unauthorised access.
  • While vulnerabilities themselves aren’t harmful, they become risky when targeted by hackers, potentially leading to data breaches.
  • Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) periodically releases information about vulnerabilities, assigning a Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) score to assess the potential risk.
  • Common sources of vulnerabilities: Cybersecurity vulnerabilities arise from misconfigurations, bugs, weak passwords, and inadequate data encryption practices.
  • Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) are databases where vendors for operating systems, applications, and systems publicly declare vulnerabilities

Different types of cyber security vulnerabilities?

Type of Vulnerability

Definition

Prevention

Misconfigurations Many security tools require manual configuration, leading to errors and potential vulnerabilities. Organisations should seek security tools with automation options to minimise human error.
Unsecured APIs APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) with public IP addresses are vulnerable to exploitation by hackers. IT security teams need training on best security practices, including encryption, to address API-related risks.
Outdated/Unpatched Software Failure to update software with patches can leave systems vulnerable to exploitation. Organisations should take responsibility for ensuring all systems are up to date.
Zero-day Vulnerability Zero-day vulnerabilities are flaws unknown to organisations until exploited by threat actors. Disaster recovery plan, is essential to identify and mitigate zero-day vulnerabilities.
Weak/Stolen User Credentials Human error, like weak passwords, is a common cause of data breaches. Enforcing strong password practices, changing passwords frequently, and implementing multi-factor authentication can enhance security.
Access Control/Unauthorized Access Employees often have excessive access, creating a broader attack surface. Adopting the principle of least privilege (POLP) limits user access to what is necessary.

Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In)

  • CERT-In is the national nodal agency that deals with cybersecurity threats.
  • It is an office within the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
  • It was formed in 2004 under the Information Technology Act, 2000.
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