Threats and Vulnerabilities

A natural threat circle showing a lightning bolt aimed at a computer and a human threat circle showing a hacker at a keyboard.

What is a Threat vs. a Vulnerability?

A computer security threat is any circumstance or event with the potential to cause:

  • Unauthorized loss, modification, or disclosure of information
  • Damage to your computer or any part of the information technology system

Threat sources can be:

  • Natural -Lightning, Fires, Hurricanes, Floods
  • System - Poor building wiring, insufficient cooling for the systems
  • Human - Unintentional threat - User error, cup of coffee by your keyboard, carelessness AND Intentional threat - A hacker, a disgruntled employee

A computer security vulnerability is a weakness in an information system and/or its components that could accidentally or intentionally allow the system to be compromised. This weakness allows a natural or human threat to cause serious damage.


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