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Types Of Vulnerability Assessment And Methodologies

by Abeerah Hashim

Vulnerability assessments are often carried out to help assure organizations are protected from well known vulnerabilities (low hanging fruit).

As the term implies a vulnerability assessment is the methodology used for identifying security loopholes within IT applications and infrastructure and their subsequent remediation. It involves robust scanning of components either by individual security experts or network security admins in an organization.

Vulnerability Assessment Categories

Depending on the areas of the infrastructure under review a vulnerability assessment can be classified into three broad types.

External Scans

Scanning those components of the IT ecosystem that directly face the internet and are accessible to external users. For instance, ports, networks, websites, apps, and other systems used by external users or customers.

Internal Scans

Finding loopholes in the internal network of an organization (not exposed to external scans) that may damage the enterprise network.

Environmental Scans

Environmental vulnerability scans focus on specified operational technology of an organization, such as cloud services, IoT, and mobile devices.

Vulnerability Assessment Methodology

The methodology for vulnerability assessments include the following steps, regardless of whether it is done by different vulnerability assessment tools or manually.

  • Initial Planning – Identifying the specific area of the organization’s IT infrastructure to assess for bugs.
  • Scanning – Manual or automated scanning of the target areas for possible or potential security vulnerabilities, flaws, exploitable bugs, and false positives.
  • Analysis – Analyzing the detected vulnerabilities for their potential impact, suggesting remedies, and quantifying the bugs to mark their severity and urgency of remediation.
  • Remediation – Applying various security measures to fix glitches by introducing product updates or system upgrades.

Common Vulnerability Scanning Methods

Web Application Scanning

Scanning web applications for identifying known vulnerabilities in the app architecture either manually, using app security scanners, or by hiring professional web app scanning services who provide both automated and indepth manual assessments along with virtual patching services as well as False positive POC for all automated scanner findings.

Network Scanning

Scanning wired or wireless networks to identify and remedy potential security flaws.

Build Assessment

Analyzing software builds for any security or performance bugs that may cause trouble in the later stages.

Database Assessments

Identifying security weaknesses in databases to help prevent data breaches.

Host-based Scanning

Running scans on workstations, servers, and network hosts including a thorough examination of ports and services.

Conclusion

Vulnerability assessments should be a requisite for big and small enterprises to ensure the inclusive security of their IT infrastructure. These robust assessments not only protect firms from malicious cyber attacks but also helps them build a credible stance among customers and the protection of their data.

The extent of time and efforts required for such vigorous analysis may be difficult for some firms to manage. In such situations, businesses may partner with professional cybersecurity firms, such as Indusface, to handle these tasks. Doing so saves them from investing their resources in this arena whilst providing a stress-free alternative to help in managing their business security.

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