What is a Vulnerability Assessment?
Updated: Apr 22
Assessments of vulnerabilities identify weaknesses, threats, and vulnerabilities in your organization's systems and networks. This service determines any known vulnerabilities in the system, assigns severity levels to those vulnerabilities, and makes recommendations for resolving those vulnerabilities if necessary. Vulnerability assessments can prevent threats such as the following:
Injection attacks such as SQL injection, XSS, and others.
Faulty authentication mechanisms result in an escalation of privileges.
An insecure default setting, such as a guessable admin password.
Importance of Vulnerability Assessment
The Internet has become almost everything these days, but it can be dangerous. Employees use the internet, email, and remote access every day, which leaves the door open to a cyber breach at any time. Managing and monitoring each point of entry in your network is nearly impossible. In an investor meeting where the Berkshire Hathaway CEO suggested cyberattacks are as imminent as nuclear, biological, or chemical war, Warren Buffet said, "I don't know much about cyber-attacks, but I think it's the world's biggest problem.". Identifying and implementing policies related to regular vulnerability assessments will help alleviate the effect of a possible cyberattack and provide insight into ways to improve cybersecurity efforts for the company.
Types of Vulnerability Assessments
Vulnerability assessments come in a variety of forms. Among them are:
Host assessment: Assessing the vulnerability of critical servers that do not originate from a tested image or have not been adequately tested.
Network and wireless assessment: Examining practices and policies to avoid illegal access to public or private networks and resources could be improved.
Database assessment: An organization's infrastructure should be assessed and classified for sensitive information, including databases with rogue content and development environments that are insecure.
Application scans: Security vulnerabilities are detected by scanning web applications or analyzing their source code using an automated scan.
Tools Required for Vulnerability Assessment
A vulnerability scan tool is essential for vulnerability assessment. The tool will be able to perform different types of scans, including:
Scannable credentials and unverified credentials
Scanners for external vulnerabilities
Scanners for Internal vulnerabilities
Process of Vulnerability Assessment
Testing, analysis, assessment, and remediation are the four steps in the security scanning process.
Vulnerability Identification (testing)
An application's vulnerability list is developed in this step. Next, an application, server, or other system's security is evaluated by automated tools or manually scanning and testing them. Analysts also consult databases of vulnerabilities, vendor vulnerability announcements, asset management systems, and threat intelligence feeds to identify security weaknesses.
At this step, we will try to pinpoint the root cause and source of the vulnerabilities outlined in step one. Vulnerabilities are identified by identifying the system components responsible for them and the root cause. For example, old versions of open-source libraries may be the root cause of a vulnerability. Upgrading the library would be a clear solution.
In this step, vulnerabilities are prioritized. Each vulnerability is ranked or rated by a security analyst according to factors such as:
Who is under attack?
Which data is at breach risk?
What information is at risk?
Ease of attack or a negotiation.
The extent of an attack.
Estimation of impairment as a result of the susceptibility.
Closing security gaps is the goal of this step. The best path for remediating or mitigating a security vulnerability is often determined by a joint effort by security, development, and operations teams. Typical remediation steps are listed below:
A new security procedure, measure, or tool is being introduced.
Changes made to operating procedures or configurations.
A vulnerability patch must be developed and implemented.
An assessment of vulnerabilities cannot be a one-time event. This process must be operationalized and repeated regularly for organizations to be effective. In addition, security, operations, and development teams must work together. Therefore, it is mandatory and should be part of any business organization to conduct vulnerability assessments periodically to avoid any big loss.
We can help!
Are you looking for ongoing advisory services to assist in identifying vulnerabilities and security policies that should be in place and help improve your security posture? The team at Inception Security™ has been leveraged to enhance the security posture of fortune 100 companies, small and medium-sized businesses. Our team has a depth of knowledge in the cybersecurity industry and will be able to provide value to your business right away.
Contact Inception Security if your company is looking for advisory services.