In today’s ever-evolving security landscape, your network undergoes continuous changes, making security a dynamic process that cannot be approached with a “set-it-and-forget-it” mentality. Vulnerability scans are essential for identifying potential entry points that attackers could exploit to compromise your organization.
These scans can detect vulnerabilities such as outdated software and operating systems, weak passwords, insecure service configurations, and even default user credentials on network printers. According to a recent State of Software Security Report, “76% of all applications have at least one vulnerability” (Source).
With cybercriminals constantly refining their tactics to infiltrate networks, performing vulnerability scans at least quarterly is crucial for staying ahead of the curve and identifying new threat vectors.
What does vulnerability scanning entail?
Vulnerability scanning is a vital component of a comprehensive security analysis for your network. It involves an automated process that examines your computer or network system to identify potential points of exploitation. The scan assesses Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs), misconfigurations, weaknesses, and flaws in an organization’s networks, systems, devices, and applications. After the vulnerability assessment is complete, a detailed report is generated, highlighting the degree of risk associated with each vulnerability and recommendations for mitigation.
Different areas of an IT environment are typically scanned to provide a complete risk assessment. External vulnerability scans are conducted outside the organization’s network perimeter and target external IP addresses, checking a network’s firewall and perimeter defenses. Internal vulnerability scans test every device on a network to identify vulnerabilities that could put the business at risk once a hacker or malware gains access. Environmental scans are performed based on the environment in which a business’s technology operates, such as the cloud.
What are the main features of Vulnerability Scanning?
- Identify anything new that was added to your network
- Identify any new vulnerabilities that have emerged since your last scan
- Assess any specific weaknesses caused by the vulnerability
- Ability to take action before a threat actor does
What are the benefits of Vulnerability Scanning?
- Ensure that your network has the proper protections necessary to secure your valuable data
- Achieve a primary control for most cyber insurance applications
- See progress over time as vulnerabilities are remediated
- Receive valuable analysis of prioritized vulnerabilities by a certified Chief Information Security Manager (CISM)
- Obtain peace of mind that vulnerabilities in your network are being addressed before threat actors can find them.
Vulnerability Scanning is Critical for Compliance Standards
Several regulatory compliances and standards recommend and/or REQUIRE vulnerability scanning or penetration tests. Noncompliance with these and several others could result in unwanted fines or penalties. Vulnerability scanning and penetration tests, therefore, help comply with regulatory bodies.
There is a difference between vulnerability scanning and penetration testing. Vulnerability scans will help determine what possible vulnerabilities or potential breach points there are in your network. A penetration test would then attempt to exploit those vulnerabilities to gain access to valuable internal resources and systems. While both pieces of the puzzle are important, they are very different.
Even if you’re company isn’t required to follow any government or industry cybersecurity requirements, you should still work towards maintaining a strong cybersecurity posture. Regular vulnerability scanning and penetration testing is necessary to achieve this. It is important to understand the liability you have if your network were to be breached so you can formulate a proper security plan for your organization. Insights provided by the tests can be used to fine tune your security policies and remediate detected vulnerabilities.
Identify vulnerabilities, threats, and risks within your environment.
It is critical to identify vulnerabilities, risks and threats within your environment before a bad threat actor does. We will help you achieve this by assessing and remediating security gaps to improve your security posture. Aside from being good business practice, many organizations are subject to a regulation or compliance such as HIPAA, DFARS, PCI, CMMC or others which requires regular security testing.