Difference between vulnerability, threat, and risk

Vulnerability, threat, and risk are the most commonly used terms in cybersecurity and their understanding is very important to keep the company safe from attackers and build strong policies against them.

However, these terms are often mixed up as they are interrelated but not the same.


Vulnerabilities are the weakness present in a system or devices which may be exploited to get unauthorized access to the system. And the process of identifying, reporting, and fixing vulnerability is called vulnerability management.

Types of vulnerability:

  • Hardware vulnerability: A hardware vulnerability is an attackable flaw in a computer system that allows access to the system hardware physically or remotely.


  • A weakness present in a firewall could lead a malicious hacker to enter the system.


Vulnerability will not be a big deal if there is no threat. Threat is a malicious act that has the potential to steal, damage, or destroy the system or network. Having a good understanding of threats helps in reducing the severity and taking the right decision in cybersecurity.

Types of threat:

  • Natural: fire, flood, power failure, earthquakes, etc., are not typically associated with cybersecurity but have the potential to damage your assets.


Risk is the probability that a given threat will exploit a vulnerability present in the system or devices which can cause damage to the organization. Risk can never be removed but it can be managed to reduce its impact on the organization.

Types of risk:

  • External: The risk which comes from outside the organization such as malware, malvertising, phishing, DDoS attacks, and ransomware are some of the methods that hackers use externally to gain access to your website, system, or devices.



Identifying top 1% Vulnerabilities in enterprise tech stack

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store