Regular scans of your web servers, networks, devices, and applications can reveal some of the weakness that hackers may exploit. You need to understand why it’s necessary to conduct a vulnerability scan to ensure that you keep your customer data safe from thieves and prying eyes.
The scanners will allow your business to check if there are weak links in the overall IT infrastructure that can be used to attack your company. This is a form of threat management that’s a common practice among enterprise networks, and it’s even become a government regulation. Knowing the threats and the processes available out there will strengthen your network against a planned attack and ensure that you can evade these in the near future.
You can utilize plenty of products and tools when it comes to vulnerability scanning. Some have additional features and assets that will patch the weaker programs and mitigate these vulnerabilities.
External and Internal Scans
Vulnerability assessments are performed inside and outside the network. Many enterprises run these scans outside the network perimeters to check how their applications and servers are exposed to attacks from people who can access them worldwide. On the other hand, the internal checks aim to identify the possible flaws that many hackers can use to gain entry and exit points to a local network.
The ease of access can depend on several factors like the network segments or configurations. Because of these vulnerable spots, the mapping, inventory, and programs should start as soon as possible to ensure that the organization has a strong defense in place.
In some standards like the ones noted by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards, some enterprises are required to conduct both internal and external scans monthly or quarterly to increase security. If there were new components installed or other systems were integrated, the organization’s topology also changes, and the firewalls are modified. A PCI-approved vendor must only perform the scans. Know more about best practices in firewall on this page here.
The adoption of cloud-based infrastructures today is widespread, and in the years that followed, the procedures have hosted a lot of assets. Some of the external scans are becoming essential because they are configuring some of the insecure database deployments present in the system.
As part of your efforts to contain and prevent threats, it’s imperative to pair vulnerability scans with pen-testing. The two may have different goals and involve other processes, but they will be a good foundation for evaluating your security services.
The scans are usually automated and passive activities that make their judgments based on CVE/NVD databases. However, they don’t usually come with the fixes of identified flaws and exploit the entire network. On the other hand, penetration tests are performed by an IT professional that simulates what a black hat hacker will do in real life. This will result in a more accurate identification of the risks involved and the solution to the different vulnerabilities identified during the test.
Authenticated and Unauthenticated Types
The vulnerability assessments can be classified into authenticated or unauthenticated, non-credentialed, or credentialed types. With the non-credentialed scanning, the process will discover some of the weaknesses present in the network or computer device. Read more about vulnerability scans here: https://www.techopedia.com/definition/4160/vulnerability-scanning.
It will send packets on the ports to determine the current software version, operating systems, files for open sharing, and other information that may be available without the need to authenticate. Based on the specific reports gathered, the scanner that’s present will search the database for lists of weaknesses that are likely to be present in a system.
The authenticated scans are using log-in credentials for collecting more accurate information about the software and operating systems in a specific machine. The programs may become inaccessible when it comes to another network, but there are still weak points to consider in preventing an attack.
Others often fall victim to malicious links, suspicious web pages, and crafted files designed to attack a network. Vulnerability scanning both utilizes authenticated or credentialed and unauthenticated or non-credentialed scans for more security. They are designed to look for various weak links in any version of an application in a business.