As a business organization, building on your strengths is fine, but the weaknesses you overcome make you stronger and better able to withstand challenges. No company wants to be ransomed for stolen data, receive lousy publicity for data leaks, or pay heavy penalties for regulatory violations. The solution lies in performing vulnerability assessments to identify and remedy weaknesses before bad actors compromise your systems.
Vulnerability assessment, defined in simple terms, is the methodology that identifies security shortcomings in IT applications, systems, and networks and kickstarts hack-proof remedial measures. The scanning is done by the in-house security admin using technology tools or outsourced to domain experts in cyber security vulnerability assessment.
Vulnerability assessment combines methodologies and scanning tools to expose grey areas, threats, and risks to deploy problem-specific solutions. Vulnerability assessment benefits companies by protecting their operations, employees, and databases from malicious third-party attacks.
There are three vulnerability scanning methodologies in force:
The most serious cyber security threats involve the IT components that face the internet or external business environment. The company interacts with the end-users, the customer/unknown third parties. The network, websites, systems, and applications that face the customer are most vulnerable.
An internal scan reveals vulnerabilities in greater detail than external scanning. The most common exposures are – inefficient third-party security patching, neglecting to attend to high-risk security loopholes and failure to detect DROWN vulnerability, EternalBlue exploits, and Heartbleed attacks that target systems with weak or ageing IT architecture.
The “Work from anywhere” capabilities are posing serious security challenges. Host vulnerability scanning takes a deeper look at the cloud benchmarking parameters and the hardware and software assets that come into play when company operations shift to the cloud. Scanning covers all the endpoints connecting to mobile devices and IoT devices to protect servers and workstations.
The vulnerability assessment checklist is a sequential methodology designed to detect security flaws, provide valuable insights, and suggest remedies that cover loopholes and plug gateways that are potential entry points of cyberattacks.
The operating system undergoes scanning, and each component is prioritized according to its value in the business chain and risk-weightage analysis. The planning stage analyzes the business impact of device vulnerability on the migration process.
Advanced vulnerability assessment tools, security protocols, and analytics come into play for exposing cracks in the IT architecture. Scanning tools are very effective because they have the backing of vast databases on systems vulnerabilities and threat intelligence scenarios that enable the means to detect unusual patterns in systems.
The goal of intense probing and analysis is to unravel root causes that precipitate vulnerabilities. The most vulnerable infrastructure elements are overcome to ensure the danger gets neutralized. Various tools come into play to find the solution appropriate to the severity and urgency of the security risk. The analysis stage takes cognizance of the company’s security policies to improve safeguards.
The goal of remediation is to neutralize an attack and prevent the attacker from breaching the perimeters of the company’s IT infrastructure. Remediation involves vulnerability assessment software patching, blocking, or fixing of identified vulnerabilities on an ongoing real-time basis.
Remediation may initially involve something simpler like product updates or a systems upgrade which is then applied selectively to bring servers to the desired level of security compliance.
5. The Security Vulnerability Assessment Report: Actioning vulnerabilities before hackers do it for you
The VA Report is the do-or-die moment where the security professional prepares and submits a concise and clear blueprint outlining the business’s vulnerabilities. Each security weakness will be detailed, assigning a risk-weightage appropriate to the problem and suggesting measures to remedy bugs and block future threats.
VA reports may suggest a combination of vulnerability assessment and penetration testing, which manually simulates a cyberattack on the company’s IT systems and digital assets.
The idea is to ascertain the infrastructure’s capacity to withstand an attack.
Growing businesses accessing innovative technologies face ever-evolving cyber-attacks which threaten to compromise all that companies struggle to achieve. The deployment of threat and vulnerability assessment tools gives organizations the home advantage of identifying weaknesses and patching remedies before the threat blooms into a full-scale emergency.
You are not only warding off cyber threats using vulnerability assessments; you’re checking the systems and operating protocols for compliance against different regulatory parameters.
Vulnerability testing safeguards the customer, cocoons online transactions, protects databases, and ensures that operating protocols are regulatory compliant – in effect, you are creating a win-win situation for customers and companies.