Vulnerability in computer security: definition, types and advices to protect the human being

Vulnerability in computer security is a weakness in IT systems that jeopardizes the security and privacy of your company. Credential...
6 February 2024

Table of contents

Vulnerability in computer security: definition, types and advices to protect the human being

Vulnerability in computer security is a weakness in IT systems that jeopardizes the security and privacy of your company.

Credential and identity theft, extortion and virus infection are some of the risks you face if you do not properly manage the potential IT vulnerabilities of your systems and infrastructure.

Because of the serious consequences, implementing vulnerability management programs has become a priority for many organizations and users. 

For this reason, it is necessary to know in detail what the computer vulnerability is, how to detect it, and how to protect yourself.  

What is the definition of vulnerability in computer security? 

Vulnerability in computer security is a weakness in the design, implementation, management or operation –of a system or information environment– that can be exploited by a malicious source to threaten or directly violate your security and/or privacy policies.

These types of security breaches expose companies and individuals to serious risks, making it imperative to identify the vulnerabilities of each asset in order not to jeopardize the continuity of projects and prevent possible attacks. 

Any external agent, such as a hacker, can cause attacks with varying degrees of damage to databases, software, information access systems, etc. 

The result can be significant financial loss or a very negative impact on the organization’s brand image.

Subscribe today to SMOWL’s weekly newsletter!

Discover the latest trends in eLearning, technology, and innovation, alongside experts in assessment and talent management. Stay informed about industry updates and get the information you need.

Simply fill out the form and stay up-to-date with everything relevant in our field.

Types of computer security vulnerabilities and examples

Vulnerability in computer security can be of different types, so knowing them can help you understand their importance. 


This affects the availability of information and refers to security flaws in the environments in which data is stored and manipulated. 

This can include poor facilities, inadequate resources or lack of effective access control systems.

Natural or Environmental

This type refers to environmental conditions that can put information at risk. 

For example, elements such as moisture, dust, fire or flooding can adversely affect facilities, equipment, and infrastructure. 


The manufacturing defects of equipments, lack of updates or poor maintenance are factors that cause this type of vulnerability.

Similarly, functional issues such as insufficient storage or speed can also compromise digital security.


Software vulnerability in computer security is related to applications and programs with poor configurations and control systems. 

These vulnerabilities become gateways to computer systems or means of implementing malware. 

Storage media

Any means of storing information can become a vulnerability. 

Hard disks, pendrives and databases can be victims of attacks on the integrity, availability and confidentiality of data. 


Vulnerabilities in ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) concern information received or sent through all types of digital channels such as satellites, waves, wifi, optical fiber, etc. 

Smartphones, tablets or computers can be the source of a security breach, underscoring the need to strengthen trusted internet connections.


People can cause vulnerabilities intentionally – fraud, phishing or impersonation, etc. – or accidentally.  

The most common cause of computer security vulnerabilities among an organization’s users is often a lack of cybersecurity training and awareness. 

This can lead to the use of unauthorized devices that may be infected, failure to use sufficiently secure passwords, clicking on dangerous links in emails, etc. 

Similarly, the application of digital hygiene measures, such as the use of protection tools like firewalls and antivirus, is essential.

How can vulnerability in computer security be detected?

Vulnerability in computer security can be detected through a process of scanning weaknesses, manually or automatically, for both potential and known vulnerabilities. 

This type of probing of systems and networks requires tools capable of identifying and scanning devices whose security flaws, once identified, can be compared with existing ones. 

They are also compiled into centralized reports so that organizations can apply the necessary patches and create an action plan.

The goal of these plans is to be proactive before a vulnerability becomes a real cybersecurity problem and to optimize the resources dedicated to managing security breaches. 

What can we do to reduce IT vulnerability?

As we just mentioned, implementing a vulnerability analysis and management system into your organization’s security policy will help protect both project continuity and users. 

Some of the measures you can take are as follows: 

  • Communicate a best practices manual to users about what can and cannot be done. 
  • Perform regular vulnerability scans
  • Keep track of security patches.
  • Update all types of software and computer systems
  • Implement all types of security measures, such as intrusion detection systems, multi-factor identity verification, firewalls, etc.
  • Develop a vulnerability management policy

This last point deserves special development because of its importance. 

Vulnerability in computer security management strategy

Vulnerability in computer security management strategy is developed in the following phases

  1. Asset inventory and prioritization. The first step is to inventory the assets that exist in the organization and organize them by level of importance, which will help you determine the resources you need. 
  2. Create risk profiles. Next, you need to assess the risks of each asset, the nature and level of potential threats, etc.
  3. Vulnerability reporting. Then, thanks to the data obtained, it is necessary to centralize the information in vulnerability reports that will be used to develop an action strategy.
  4. Application of corrective measures. The solutions -proactive and reactive- to the vulnerabilities must be applied with a priority criterion that corresponds to the level of risk. 
  5. Follow up on the results. Finally, it is essential that the verification of the solutions applied is periodic and can guarantee the effectiveness of the protocols. 

At Smowltech, we develop professional and flexible online proctoring solutions that protect the security and digital privacy of your users. 

These solutions are translated into our proctoring plans, plans designed to ensure that the assessment and interaction environments you provide to your users are secure.

Learn more by requesting a free demo. We will show you how we can help with your specific case.

Download now!

8 interesting


about proctoring

Discover everything you need about online proctoring in this book to know how to choose the best software.

Fill out the form and download the guide now.

And subscribe to the weekly SMOWL newsletter to get exclusive offers and promotions.

You will discover all the trends in eLearning, technology, innovation, and proctoring at the hands of evaluation and talent management experts.

Share on:

Write below what you are looking for

Escribe a continuación lo que estas buscando