Difference Between Vulnerability and Threat

Nothing in this world is without weakness. It is all the same for the humans, animals and all other objects that exist in our surroundings. Often people do not realise these subtle weaknesses. However, some of them are pretty obvious and others may not notice them but also use them to their advantage.

The general terms that are related with weakness are vulnerability and threat. They both have different meaning and should not be considered the same.

Vulnerabilities are the problem areas that can be cause of trouble for a person or an object and even an organisation. It is generally an inherent trait that can be reduce but not completely removed.

A threat, meanwhile, is something that is from the outside. It can be a predator in case of animals or a new entrant in the market for an organisation or an aggressive adversary in case of the humans. Threats can be removed altogether by neutralising them. However, a threat should never be taken lightly or ignored as they can become very significant in the long run.

Vulnerabilities are generally individual in nature whereas threats can be both individual as well as collective in nature.


  • 1


    Vulnerability can be caused due to an attitude or way of doing things. Similarly, it is possible that a new stimulus can leave someone in a vulnerable state. Animals can be vulnerable due to a predator having superior capabilities. It may not have a very significant impact.

    In case of an organisation, it can be vulnerable due to its structural or operational issues. Similarly humans can be vulnerable due to emotions or lack of practical approach. Everyone is vulnerable in one manner or another.

    Vulnerability can also be used to describe various computer systems that do not have the proper software to protect them from malware or viruses while accessing the internet.

    - Image Courtesy: islandvulnerability.org

  • 2


    A threat is an outside force that can cause harm to a person, animal, object or an organisation. It generally carries a lot of significance and often is related to potential bodily harm. The threat can be on various forms and must be dealt with in a proper manner.

    There is a possibility of reducing the threat or altogether neutralising it by adding protection that is related to the threat. Once you can carefully identify a threat it becomes easier to deal with in both the short and long term.

    - Image Courtesy: wired.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

four + = 8