The vulnerability associated with asset
Vulnerability is a term used with reference to computer security in varied contexts. In a broad sense, the term is closely related to the contravention or going against software security policies of an organization. The vulnerability may be a result of weaknesses in the security rules or problems with the software. Theoretically, each computer system is exposed to vulnerabilities but their seriousness is determined by the damage that may be caused to the system.
Some individuals define vulnerability as the software conditions that lead to a number of possibilities. To begin with, vulnerabilities give attackers a chance to execute prompts as other users. They also make it possible for attackers to gain illegal access to data that is restricted from being accessed by everybody. In addition, vulnerabilities give attackers a chance to pose as other entities and interfere with software. Finally, vulnerabilities make it possible for attackers to perpetuate denial services (Pfleeger & Pfleeger, 2003).
In an attempt to gain illegal access to software, intruders carry out routine scans of the targeted software, intercept any data available to them and take advantage of the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of the security policies. Vulnerability is therefore a sensitive software threat that organizations should address decisively.
Possible threats against the asset
Software threats are serious problems that cause damage to programs. Software conflicts damage computer systems in a manner that viruses do not damage the systems. Most computer systems are operated in complicated environments with several resident programs. Many programs function simultaneously and share data, hence facilitating interactions that are difficult to notice. This implies that some subtle bugs are always on standby to damage data.
One of the software threats is that all programs do not perform the functions they are expected to perform. For instance, if a user restores deleted files, it is not certain if the clusters are usually placed where they belong. When disks are fixed through CHKDSK or SCANDISK, the user is unable to find out the files changed during the operation. The situation turns more difficult when other utilities are employed to perform similar operations. Software threats affect computer systems and are harmful unless proper preventive measures are taken (Computer Knowledge, 2009)
Computer systems are faced with different software threats which are indicated by specific system behaviors. This means that there are certain issues that indicate the likelihood of software threats. Some of the common software threats include malicious codes, weak and default passwords, unpatched or outdated software vulnerabilities, and removable media. Malicious codes include viruses, Trojan horses, spyware, backdoors, worms, and rootkits among others. The likelihood of malicious code is indicated by file downloads, email attachments, and visiting infected websites. Such activities increase the risk of software threats through malicious codes.
Likelihood of threat occurrence
The likelihood of weak and default passwords is increased by the use of words found in the dictionary, lack of diversity in the characters used, and use of information that is readily significant to the user. Unpatched or outdated software poses the risk of attackers gaining access and interfering with information. This threat is indicated by unauthorized attempts of information access, unauthorized transmission of data, and illegal software and hardware modifications. The activities discussed above are likelihoods of software threats in computer systems (Furnell, 2005).
Consequences to mission-critical business processes
Software threats should be prevented from occurring since their occurrence brings serious implications on mission-critical business processes. To begin with, if software threats occur, they lead to the loss of important information for business organizations. Company computer systems contain critical information about the companies and basically, their operations entirely rely on data stored in their computer systems. Losing such critical information implies that the operations of the companies are adversely affected. In addition, the occurrence of some software threats costs business organizations huge sums of money in a bid to restore the normal system operations. Security threats also aid attackers to access sensitive information that should only be accessible to the top management of the business organizations (Software vulnerabilities, 2012).
Effect to organization competitive advantage
When software threats take place, this affects the competitive advantage of the business organizations adversely. Losing critical information used in the daily running of the operations of business organizations implies that business organizations have to start from scratch. This gives their competitors a good opportunity to move ahead and seize the market. A company that experiences software threats takes time to re-organize itself again, a period during which business operations stagnate. The other way in which the competitive advantage is affected when business organizations suffer from software interference is that their customer base and loyalty are disrupted. Attackers interfere with critical information on the most reliable customers. The business organizations suffer great losses since such reliable customers are important for the continued survival of the businesses. In addition, customers lose their trust in business organizations after realizing that their computer systems are not secure. It is therefore important for business organizations to put all possible mechanisms to counter software threats.
Computer Knowledge. (2009). Web.
Furnell, S. (2005). Computer Insecurity: Risking the System. New York: Springer Science & Business.
Pfleeger, C., & Pfleeger, S. (2003). Security in Computing. New York: Prentice Hall Professional.
Software vulnerabilities. (2012). Web.