Vulnerability assessments are a great way to identify security weaknesses in your organization. They help you understand how attackers may exploit vulnerabilities and what steps you can take to prevent them from succeeding. The following sections describe some of the benefits of vulnerability assessments, including:
Vulnerability Assessment Benefits
Identifying Security Weaknesses – A vulnerability assessment is an effective way to identify potential security problems in your environment. It provides information about known or suspected security issues so you can make informed decisions about which ones require immediate attention. This helps ensure that you address all of the most critical issues first.
Identifying Potential Threats – A vulnerability assessment also identifies potential security risks that could lead to data loss or other malicious activity. These include both known and unknown threats. For example, if you find a web server running on port 80 but have no idea what it does, you might assume it’s just a default website. However, if you discover that this server is actually a malware distribution tool, you know immediately that you need to investigate further.
Improving Business Operations – A vulnerability assessment provides detailed information about known or suspected threats. You can use this information to improve your business operations by taking action against any vulnerabilities identified during the assessment. For instance, you might remove outdated software or update firewall settings.
Reducing Costs – By identifying security weaknesses before they become major problems, a vulnerability assessment reduces the risk of costly downtime and data loss. In addition, it allows you to focus your limited time and resources on addressing those vulnerabilities that pose the greatest threat to your systems.
Protecting Your Organization – A vulnerability assessment helps protect your company by providing information about potential threats. If you detect a weakness in your system, you will be able to quickly address it. This means less downtime and fewer losses of sensitive data.
What Are The Risks of Performing a Vulnerability Assessment?
A vulnerability assessment is not without risk. Many things can go wrong during a scan. Here are some examples:
- The scan may fail due to technical difficulties.
- The scan may take longer than expected.
- The scan may return false positives (i.e., identify issues where there aren’t any).
- The scan may miss critical vulnerabilities.
If you’re using an external scanner, you must ensure that the device is properly configured and connected to the Internet. Attackers can intercept traffic between the scanner and your organization’s network.
Scanning devices such as laptops and mobile phones require special considerations. For example, scanning a laptop requires that you connect the device directly to a network switch, which makes it easier to bypass firewalls.
What Is the Difference Between Penetration Testing and Vulnerability Assessments?
Penetration testing involves trying to break into a computer system. This type of test focuses on finding weak points in a system so that hackers can exploit them.
Vulnerability assessments do not involve breaking into a system. They are designed to find weaknesses in a system or network that could lead to unauthorized access. These tests usually include a combination of manual and automated techniques.
Which Should You Choose? vulnerability assessments or penetration testing?
There isn’t one right answer here. Both types of assessments are valuable tools. However, you need to determine what kind of test you want before choosing a vendor.
You might want to perform both kinds of tests. In this case, you’ll probably want to use two different vendors. One will focus on penetration testing, while another will focus on vulnerability assessments.
You might decide to perform only one type of test. If you decide to perform vulnerability assessments, make sure you pick a reputable vendor.
If you plan to perform penetration testing, you should also hire someone to review the results. A skilled hacker can easily spot flaws that are missed by most scanners.
How Do I Choose a Service Provider for My Vulnerability Assessment Needs?
You should choose a vendor based on several factors. First, look at the experience of the provider. Ask vendors specific questions about their qualifications and experience. Make sure they have been performing vulnerability assessments for at least three years. Also, ask whether they have performed assessments for clients similar to yours.
Next, consider the cost. Look for a solution that offers a fixed price per scan rather than hourly rates. Some providers charge more for larger organizations because they have greater needs. Be wary of companies that offer discounts only when you sign up for multiple scans.
Finally, see if the provider has a good reputation. Check online reviews and talk to colleagues who have used the service. Ask yourself, “Would I trust my company’s data to these people?”
Vulnerability Assessment Services
ExterNetworks provides vulnerability assessment services to help clients improve their overall security posture. Our experts assess the security of networks, servers, and applications, and we report our findings in easy-to-understand language. We also conduct penetration testing to uncover potential problems that might otherwise remain hidden.
Our vulnerability assessment services include Network Security Audits, Server Security Audits, Application Security Audits, Web Site Security Audits, Mobile Device Security Audits, Network Infrastructure Security Audits, and Email Security Audits.