- 14 Oct 2022
What is Vulnerability Assessment? Types, Process, Benefits and More
Do you want to detect vulnerabilities in IT infrastructure in your organization before hackers get a chance to exploit it? Then go for vulnerability assessment.
Quick Summary – The flip side of technological growth is undoubtedly the increasing number of cybercrimes. Hackers are always ready to exploit the slightest carelessness on your part. However, do not worry! Here is a solution that can help organizations detect their network’s vulnerabilities! Read ahead to know about it!
With the leap of technology, almost every organization nowadays depends on technology to carry out their day-to-day operations. This has simultaneously increased the risk of cyber threats that are powerful enough to halt your business instantly. During the 2nd quarter of 2022, around 52 million data breaches were reported.
Such statistics are daunting. The greatest challenge in front of the organization is how it should protect its business-related data from cyber criminals. The harsh reality is that cybercrime cannot be stopped. However, the chances of cyber attacks can be mitigated by making your organization’s networks and systems almost impenetrable.
The first step to protecting your organization against cyber attacks is to know the flaws/weaknesses in the IT infrastructure of your organization. One of the best ways to detect such defects is by conducting a Vulnerability Assessment regularly. This article discusses vulnerability assessment, its types, and how it can benefit an organization from various cyber crimes.
What is a Vulnerability Assessment?
Vulnerability assessment is meticulously reviewing and then figuring out existing and potential security weaknesses/vulnerabilities in an organization’s information system or software. This assessment process also includes assigning severity levels to the vulnerability/vulnerabilities thus identified and then coming up with solutions to remedy those security issues.
For instance, a Vulnerability assessment can help to dodge threats, such as –
- Cross-site scripting (XSS), SQL injection, and other code injection attacks.
- Guessable or default admin passwords
- Phishing attacks
- Defective authentication mechanisms
What are the types of Vulnerability Assessments?
The types of vulnerability assessments are as follows –
- Network-based assessment
As the name suggests, this assessment includes identifying potential network security issues and detecting systems on wireless and wired networks vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
- Mobile Application Assessment
It is a process of assessing mobile applications to ascertain whether these apps are vulnerable to potential cyber threats or not. Under this assessment, the defense mechanism of applications against known and potential threats is checked by performing both static and dynamic mobile security testing methods.
- Web Application Assessment
This assessment helps to identify incorrect configurations and security vulnerabilities in web applications and their source code. It can perform static/dynamic source code analysis or use front-end automated vulnerability scanning tools.
Web application assessment is a must for cloud-based and online applications. The vulnerability scanners can locate web flaws such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), and path traversal.
- Database Assessment
This assessment entails evaluating big data systems or databases to locate misconfigurations and weak points/vulnerabilities. It also involves Identifying insecure development/test environments or rogue databases and improving data security by classifying sensitive data.
This assessment prevents malicious cyber-attacks such as SQL injection, distributed denial-of-service, and brute force attacks.
- Host-Based Assessment
This assessment points out vulnerabilities in workstations, servers, and other host networks. This scan primarily examines services and open ports and provides enhanced visibility into the configuration settings as well as the patch history of scanned systems.
What is the process of security Vulnerability Assessment?
The process of security vulnerability assessment consists of 4 steps, which are as follows –
- Vulnerability Identification
It is the method of identifying and listing the vulnerabilities in the organization’s IT infrastructure. This is done by conducting automated vulnerability scanning and manual penetration testing.
- Vulnerability Analysis
Once the vulnerabilities have been identified, this step helps find the root cause and sources of those security flaws/weaknesses. While specific causes of vulnerability might be simple and easily remedied, other vulnerabilities might have a complex origin.
Hence, to identify the severity of the vulnerability, the vulnerabilities are run through a security assessment process. Through this process, not only the severity of the vulnerability is determined but also the probable solutions. The method also suggests whether to accept, mitigate or remediate the risk/vulnerability thus identified, as per the concerned organization’s risk management strategy.
- Risk Assessment
This step is all about prioritizing the identified vulnerabilities. This is usually done with the help of a Vulnerability assessment tool such as the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) to allot a numerical score on a scale of 0 to 10, depending upon the severity and principal characteristics of the vulnerability.
In addition to this, a good Vulnerability assessment report takes into consideration the following factors:
- What system has been affected?
- What sensitive data had been stored in the affected system, e.g., protected health information (PHI) or personally identifiable information (PII)?
- What are business functions dependent on that system?
- How severe are the chances of an attack?
- What will be the consequences of a successful cyber attack?
- Can the vulnerability be accessed with the help of the internet, or does it need to be physically accessed?
- Remediation/ Mitigation
Remediation involves finding solutions and implementing them to fix the security issues identified in the risk assessment procedure. Vulnerability Management Systems provide recommended techniques of remedy to fix common vulnerabilities. These remedies might be as simple as merely installing easily-available security patches or as complex as replacing hardware. Remediation techniques always vary depending on the type of vulnerability.
However, not all vulnerabilities can be remedied. Nevertheless, organizations can mitigate vulnerabilities, i.e., reduce the degree of their susceptibility to malicious cyber-attacks and the impact of the exploitation. Some of the common mitigation steps include-
- Replacing software/hardware
- Introducing brand new security controls
What are the benefits of Vulnerability Assessment?
Organizations must frequently and proactively conduct a Vulnerability Assessment to secure their organization’s data/resources from inside and outside cyber threats. This is because of the various benefits. Some of them are:
- Early detection of vulnerabilities
Early detection of security flaws/weaknesses enables remediation of such issues as early as possible. This reduces the chances of being exploited by adversaries, which can profoundly impact an organization’s assets and reputation.
- Gaining the trust of the people
To earn the customer’s trust, the organization needs to assure them that their valuable data is safe with the organization. This will also help the organization to be at par with its competitors.
- Evaluation of the performance
Suppose an organization depends on third-party vendors for IT solutions such as backup, email, or system administration. A vulnerability assessment enables them to verify the platform’s performance in such a case.
- Compliance with industry regulations
Suppose an organization lies under a regulated sector. In that case, a vulnerability assessment ensures that the organization meets the compliance standard, which protects the organization from paying a fine for non-compliance. It also helps in getting a security certification such as ISO 27001.
How can Sattrix help your company?
Any business organization’s primary concern is safeguarding users’ data and sensitive business information. However, this attempt is being thwarted by the unprecedented rise of cyberattacks conducted by unethical hackers. Hence, it is crucial to strengthen data security measures.
Sattrix fully comprehends the importance of data security and the challenges organizations face. Thus, it offers the best quality Cybersecurity services and Cybersecurity solutions to relieve organizations of their worries about data theft. Our company provides end-to-end cybersecurity solutions not only to large global enterprises but also to startups.
Sattrix’s vulnerability assessment services are unique in several ways, which makes us popular among our clients. To understand, what makes our services one of a kind, let’s consider some of the characteristics of our vulnerability assessment tool, some of which are as follows –
- Sattrix uses advanced scanning technology to address security threats more efficiently and on time.
- We conduct application testing with manual and automated testing apparatus, following the industry standard OWASP methodology.
- It uses an intelligence gathering approach during the cyber security vulnerability assessment and exploitation phases.
- It locates flaws in systems, networks, and applications during vulnerability analysis using both active and passive mechanisms.
- The advanced scanning technology incorporated into our vulnerability assessment services enables us to address security threats efficiently.
Our services do not end here. In addition to the features mentioned above, an organization can also be entitled to the following benefits:
- Our managed vulnerability assessment tools are customer-oriented and can be customized per the client’s requirements.
- All information acquired after a vulnerability assessment is documented per the deliverables agreement.
- Our experts can manually identify security vulnerabilities in the IT infrastructure that an automated vulnerability scanning tool would often miss.