Regular vulnerability scans can be considered the first line of defense against cyber threats for any organization. Security scanning aids in finding security bugs and plays an essential part in a defensive strategy against rising exploits.
What Is Vulnerability Scanning?
As the term implies, a vulnerability scan identifies vulnerabilities in systems, computers, networks, and other equipment. For this purpose, dedicated Vulnerability Scanning tools exist that scan a target system for misconfigurations and known vulnerabilities that an adversary may exploit for malicious purposes.
As a result, the generated report of the analysis provides a clear picture for a security team to decide on the next steps. In case of vulnerabilities, this step includes devising and implementing remedial measures to avoid potential exploitation.
Why is vulnerability scanning important?
As explained above, vulnerability scanning detects many vulnerable areas in a network that an adversary may be able to exploit. It also includes detecting any misconfigurations that persist and go unnoticed despite regular patches. That is why regularly performing vulnerability scanning is vital for organizations to adopt as part of a robust patching policy.
Cybercriminals are always on the lookout for exploitable systems and employ different scanning strategies. Once they have access to an internal network, they will likely wish to elevate their privileges to that of a system admin. They may do this by detecting both unpatched vulnerabilities and misconfigurations. Once this is achieved, they may utilize further malicious activities like stealing data, taking over the network, or waging ransomware attacks.
Today, such cyberattacks succeed in the corporate world because, despite the public availability of bug fixes, the patches often take time to reach all systems. While IT personnel may work actively in this regard, they can’t always surpass an attacker’s pace. Likewise, sometimes, the vulnerabilities may evade manual analysis, only to catch the attention of cybercriminals.
That is where vulnerability scanning plays its role. Thanks to automation, vulnerability scanners often execute scans with little to no human input. They then generate a report about the network’s security status, including exploitable areas. As a result, it becomes easier for experts to assess and address the matter in time.
Regular vulnerability scanning can improve overall security when deployed on internal networks too. In essence, such scans help in remedying internal threats that often go unnoticed due to minimal interaction but can prove fatal if exploited by an adversary.
Realizing the importance of vulnerability scanning and ensuring its thorough implementation can help businesses minimize potential exploitability by actively detecting and fixing weak points. In cases where this activity becomes challenging for the IT personnel, hiring a managed service provider like Indusface can be a valuable addition to a company’s security posture. Such services manage the effort of vulnerability scanning, ultimately increasing overall productivity.