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Everything You Need To Know About Vulnerability Scanning

Everything You Need To Know About Vulnerability Scanning

We all have heard and read about the big data breaches of the 21st century, and are aware of the fact that cyber-attackers are continuously finding ways to access confidential data by exploiting weaknesses and vulnerabilities residing in systems, networks, and applications.

What many do not know is that the size of the business does not matter to cyber terrorists and that they will exploit vulnerabilities if they exist. Most often, small and medium businesses tend to ignore cybersecurity and end up victims of vicious cyber-attacks that leave them in dire straits. So, cybersecurity cannot be taken lightly in today’s day and age. One of the most basic steps towards cybersecurity is vulnerability assessment.

Vulnerability scanning can be defined as a computing technique used by software professionals to detect and classify system weaknesses in computers, networks, and communications equipment. A scan can be either performed by an organization’s IT department or a security service provider, possibly as a requisite condition imposed by some authority.  An Approved Scanning Vendor (ASV), for example, is a service provider that is certified and authorized by the Payment Card Industry (PCI) to scan payment card networks. Vulnerability scans are also used by attackers looking for points of entry to breach.

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Scanning a system for vulnerabilities and resolving them requires extensive technical proficiency and in-depth knowledge about how various systems can be exploited. To ensure your system never gets compromised by anyone, we at Codegrip provide top of the line vulnerability scanning and IT security services for the enlightened businessman.

Recommended read: What is code vulnerability? 

How does vulnerability scanning work?

To realize the importance of vulnerability scanning, one must know how the process of vulnerability scanning works. Mentioned below is a four-step process that describes vulnerability scanning:

  • Identification of vulnerabilities

The first step to deal with a problem is to first identify it, the same is true when it comes to vulnerability scanning. The effectiveness of this step depends upon the following two factors:

    1. The ability of the expert or the software tool selected (scanner) to locate and identify devices, software, and open ports, and gather other system information.
    2. The intelligence to correlate this information with known vulnerability information available from one or more vulnerability databases.

 

  • Evaluation of risks

After scanning a system for vulnerabilities, system exploits are detected whose intensity needs to be determined. The main reason for risk evaluation is that IT experts can prioritize which issues need to be fixed first. Threats like spyware generally tend to be taken more seriously over other issues.

Image showing security threat level in vulnerability scanning

  • Vulnerability treatment

After threat determination and evaluation, the next step is to fix the vulnerability. Lower priority threats which are easy to fix tend to be fixed with a single patch. However, complicated exploits such as spyware require some additional effort to fix them. After the exploit has been fixed, supplementary measures are installed onto the system to make it more secure.

 

Types of Vulnerability Scanning

To ensure that your system remains as secure as possible, Codegrip provides multiple types of vulnerability scanning facilities to ensure that all exploits within your system are fixed and none evade our measures. The different types of scanning facilities we provide are:

  • External vulnerability scan

In this type of scanning, what generally happens is that the system to be scanned and fixed is first scanned from a location that is outside of your network. This is done to detect vulnerabilities in the perimeter defenses such as open ports present in the network firewall or the specialized web application firewall. This helps us in securing your systems against hackers who look for an opportunity to gain access and compromise the confidentiality of your data while not being too intrusive.

  • Internal vulnerability scan

Most of the time, an external security scan is not enough and as such the need for a more intrusive, internal security scan arises. The key purpose of an internal vulnerability scan is to detect vulnerabilities in the system that could be exploited by hackers who successfully penetrate the perimeter defenses, or equally by “insider threats” such as contractors or disgruntled employees who have legitimate access to parts of the network.

  • Unauthenticated and authenticated vulnerability scans

The concept of an unauthenticated and authenticated vulnerability scan is akin to internal and external vulnerability scans. Unauthenticated scans, like external scans, are used to probe for weaknesses within the network perimeter. These are not officially licensed by the owner of the target system. Authenticated scans provide vulnerability scanners with various privileged credentials, allowing them to search the network for weak passwords, configuration issues, and misconfigured databases or applications. This type is scanning technique is permitted by the target system’s owner.

Conclusion

To ensure that your organization has an edge over your competitors, you need to guarantee that corporate secrets stay with you and not with your rivals. Preventing corporate espionage is the name of the game.

 

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