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Security Dictionary
Can't tell 'smtp' from 'snmp'? Find the precise meaning of these and hundreds of other security-related terms in our convenient and up-to-date Security Dictionary.
vulnerability
(I) A flaw or weakness in a system's design, implementation, or operation and management that could be exploited to violate the system's security policy.

(C) Most systems have vulnerabilities of some sort, but this does not mean that the systems are too flawed to use. Not every threat results in an attack, and not every attack succeeds. Success depends on the degree of vulnerability, the strength of attacks, and the effectiveness of any countermeasures in use. If the attacks needed to exploit a vulnerability are very difficult to carry out, then the vulnerability may be tolerable. If the perceived benefit to an attacker is small, then even an easily exploited vulnerability may be tolerable. However, if the attacks are well understood and easily made, and if the vulnerable system is employed by a wide range of users, then it is likely that there will be enough benefit for someone to make an attack.

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