What is Vulnerability Scanning?

Vulnerability is always a part of the cyber security discussion, but it is important to understand its link to cyber-attacks and subsequent disaster for your organization . We cannot stress enough how essential vulnerability scanning is to maintaining a secure network. Vulnerability is a weakness in an IT system that can be exploited by an attacker to deliver a successful attack. It can occur through flaws, features or user errors, and attackers will look to exploit weaknesses, often combining more than one.

Vulnerability scanning identifies security weaknesses and flaws in systems and software running on them and analyzes and reports on these flaws. As part of a vulnerability management program, it protects the organization from breaches and the exposure of sensitive data. It is critical to optimizing security and minimizing risk. Its goal is to identify the risks and then recommend the appropriate mitigation or remediation to reduce or remove the risks.

A vulnerability scanner is an application that identifies and creates an inventory of all systems connected to a network. In identifying each device, it also identifies the operating system that is running and the software installed on it. In checking inventory against databases, it compiles a list of all the systems and highlights any that have known vulnerabilities and need attention. An example would be if your scan checks for outdated operating system versions and discovers a Windows 7 operating system on a workstation, it would flag the operating system as vulnerable.

Vulnerability scanning differs from penetration testing, and the two are often confused. A vulnerability scan is an automated high-level test for vulnerabilities while a penetration test involves a live person looking into your network’s complexities for weaknesses. The penetration tester digs deeper to find the root cause of the vulnerability.

It is important to understand how critical a vulnerability is and how it could easily impact a business with disastrous outcomes. A vulnerability scan could find possible exploitations for a hacker.

Please reach out to us for further discussion and ensure you are protected.