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Difference between Threat and Attack

  • Difficulty Level : Medium
  • Last Updated : 13 May, 2020

Prerequisite – System Security
Threat and attack are two important events from a security perspective. It is really important to understand the difference between both from the perspective of network security.

A Threat is a possible security violation that might exploit the vulnerability of a system or asset. The origin of threat may be accidental, environmental (natural disaster), human negligence or human failure. Difference types of security threats are interruption, interception, fabrication and modification.

Attack is an deliberate unauthorized action on a system or asset. Attack can be classified as active and passive attack. An attack will have a motive and will follow a method when opportunity arise.

The difference between threat and attack are:

1Can be intentional or unintentionalIs intentional
2May or may not be maliciousIs malicious

3Circumstance that has ability to cause damageObjective is to cause damage
4Information may or may not be altered or damagedChance for information alteration and damage is very high
5Comparatively hard to detectComparatively easy to detect

6Can be blocked by control of vulnerabilitiesCannot be blocked by just controlling the vulnerabilities
7Can be initiated by system itself as well as outsiderIs always initiated by outsider (system or user)
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