Bug vs. Vulnerability: Whats the Difference

2 min read

You’ve may have heard the recent cybersecurity news about Apple’s “text-bomb” bug and Intel’s “Meltdown” vulnerability. But do you know the difference between a bug and a vulnerability? If not, don’t worry – we’re here to break it down for you.

Apple’s “text bomb” bug causes iPhones and Macs to crash and, in some cases, restart if they receive a message containing a specific website link. Intel’s “Meltdown” vulnerability is a little more complicated: it is a chip-level security flaw that effectively “melts” security boundaries that are normally enforced by the hardware. This means that, in theory, anything that runs as an application on your computer could steal your data.
Put simply, a bug is when the system isn’t behaving as it’s supposed to, whereas a vulnerability is a bug that manifests itself as an opportunity for exploitation. So while Apple’s “text bomb” is a bug, Intel’s “Meltdown” is a vulnerability, and therefore a more serious threat.

Where Apple’s bug is a mere annoyance, causing iPhones to crash,Meltdown has the potential to allow hackers to bypass the (usually highly protected) hardware barrier between applications run by users and the computer’s core memory. This means Intel’s security flaw could lead to theft of data, so it’s important to update your system with the latest security patch to avoid getting hacked.

With all the high-profile cyber attacks that happened last year too, news like this has only served to highlight the importance of a robust cybersecurity strategy for preventing breaches and for reacting swiftly and effectively in the event of a security failure.
This means keeping on top of updates (especially security patches); frequently backing up your data; ensuring your password health is up to scratch throughout your entire team; having a disaster recovery plan in place; and having the right support system in case anything does go awry. If you don’t have the means to develop a strong cybersecurity strategy or disaster recovery plan, get in touch to find out how our experts can help you prevent downtime and data loss.

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