What is a Vulnerability Scan?
Proactively close any gaps and maintain strong security for your systems, data, employees, and customers
HEALTH CHECK FOR YOUR IT
Vulnerability scanning is an inspection of the potential points of exploit on a computer or network to identify security holes.
Similar to health check or dental X-rays it is a proactive measure to identify and tackle issues early.
A vulnerability scan detects and classifies system weaknesses in computers, networks and communications equipment and predicts the effectiveness of countermeasures.
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Improved vendor management
Why Should Businesses Perform Vulnerability Scans?
Performing a network scan for security vulnerabilities is crucial for keeping your organization secure especially with new vulnerabilities emerging or discovered as a result of a system change. A vulnerability scan will help with identifying weaknesses in your network and software before cyber criminals do. Cyber-attacks are often automated to exploit known vulnerabilities. The cyber criminal is not creating a vulnerability or even attempting to hack at this point; they are simply searching for vulnerabilities much like anyone can with the proper scanning tools. When organizations utilize the same tools, they are able to discover weaknesses and resolve them before a cyber criminal has the opportunity to exploit them. Also, performing a vulnerability scan can give you a solid baseline on the overall effectiveness of your security. If your network is loaded with vulnerabilities, then that is a sign that your systems or software is flawed and must be redesigned. Vulnerability scans are cost effective and will save you money in the future since scanning mitigates the risks of a data breach. Remediation of a data breach is costly including fines and potential loss of customers as a result of a damaged reputation. Also, if you have cyber insurance, it is commonly required to conduct vulnerability scanning on a regular basis.
What Are External vs Internal Vulnerability Scans?
An external vulnerability scan can help organizations identify and fix security vulnerabilities a cyber criminal can use to gain access to its network. External vulnerability scan is performed from outside an organization’s network, targeting IT infrastructure that is exposed to the internet including web applications, ports, networks etc. An external scan can detect vulnerabilities in the perimeter such as:
- Open ports in the network firewall
- Specialized web application firewall
An internal vulnerability scan is carried out from inside an enterprise network. These scans allow you to harden and protect applications and systems that are not covered by external scans. An internal vulnerability scan can detect issues such as:
- Vulnerabilities that can be exploited by an adversary who has penetrated the perimeter defenses
- Threat posed by malware that has made it to inside the network
- Identify “insider threats” posed by disgruntled employees or contractors
What should you do?
At Benchmark we work as the trusted IT advisor for our clients. We help clients by having a strategic focus, as well as encouraging forward planning. We help eliminate IT issues that keeps you up at night. We don’t want to be another vendor but rather a long-term partner for your business.
STAY AHEAD OF CYBER CRIMINALS
Cyber criminals use automated tools to search for and exploit known vulnerabilities. Regular vulnerability scans allow organizations to discover weaknesses and fix them before anyone has a chance to exploit them.
SAVE TIME AND MONEY
Scans are easy to repeat and will save you money in the long term. That’s because vulnerability scanning mitigates the risks of a data breach, which lowers remediation cost, loss of customer goodwill, and fines.
Cyber insurance can also require you to conduct regular vulnerability scans to prove that you were addressing your cyber security responsibilities.
DETERMINE YOU RISK LEVEL
Conducting regular vulnerability scans will help you determine the overall effectiveness of your security measures. It may point to fundamental flaws in system design which will need to be addressed.
Vulnerability scanning is being mandated by more government agencies and regulatory bodies to protect personal and organizational data. eg. IRS publication 1075
The international standard for information security, ISO 27001, also requires organisations to take similar steps, and the PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) includes vulnerability scanning in its list of requirements.