What is Vulnerability Assessment?

October 23, 2019

What is an effective way to ensure IT security, manage vulnerabilities, and quickly respond to a cyber attack? That would be a vulnerability assessment. It’s a process that helps you determine and quantify network and data security vulnerabilities in a specific organization’s environment.

By having an extensive vulnerability management program in place, your organization will always be equipped with the knowledge and training necessary to understand various online threats as well as respond correctly.

The above are the benefits of a vulnerability assessment, but why, exactly, is it important?

A comprehensive vulnerability assessment provides your organization with details concerning the security weaknesses in its environment. It also offers direction on how to evaluate potential cyber crime risks related to those weaknesses and other evolving threats.

With a better understanding of your security flaws and risks, you are less likely to find yourself a victim of a cybercriminal - one who might breach your network security and catch your business off-guard.

Given that, what are the main steps involved in vulnerability assessment? Generally, there are three.

1. Gathering of Information

This is the first step, where an organization conducts an information-gathering effort to have a better understanding of the software and hardware the organization uses and its environment. This step usually involves network scanning to find hosts and scanning ports to find protocols and services that might be at risk.

This means that, if there's a device in your organization that has been used to visit the dark web, you can find out - not to mention pinpoint if your system is at risk or not.

This step also includes a review of directory service and DNS information to determine which hosts might be targeted by cyber criminals.

2. Thorough Review

After discovery efforts to better understand the environment’s hosts, there will be a more encompassing review and enumeration of services, ports, applications, protocols, and operating systems. This identifies the full extent of the attack surface that is vulnerable to cyber criminals.

Another important part of this stage is to find out the version information of certain assets in your business. By knowing the version number of software and other tools, you can patch old vulnerabilities or make way for new ones.

3. Threat Detection and Final Report

The last stage of the assessment involves actual vulnerability detection. It is also where a detection tool is used to determine any vulnerabilities outlined earlier in the process. Once that is done, a report is generated, including complete scores and risk details.

Remediation tools are then implemented to debug, configure, and patch any assets accordingly. This is to eliminate or reduce security risks associated with the detected vulnerabilities.

Related Content: Must Have Cyber Security Solutions for Small Businesses

For anyone who wants to strengthen their cyber security, conducting a vulnerability assessment is a good place to start. Having an in-depth assessment of all software and hardware assets is an excellent way to point out any vulnerabilities that may be putting your entire organization in danger.

Remember: many businesses are being attacked by hackers every day, from huge corporations to small businesses. Don’t let your organization be caught unprepared–consider implementing a vulnerability assessment with the help of your trusted service provider to increase cyber safety in your organization.

Take our free assessment

This one-of-a-kind digital analysis goes deep into diagnosing your actual status, strengths, opportunities and threats (did we mention its FREE?)