• Mikaila Menezes

What You Need To Know About Vulnerability Assessments

Did you know that in 2019, 39% of hacked WordPress sites recorded outdated installations, which resulted in more than 40 000 WordPress websites being hacked every day? While, according to a recent study, every 39 seconds a person with internet access could be hacked. These statistics show how vulnerable you are as a person and a business.


One of the ways to ensure you are safe from prying eyes is to do a vulnerability assessment. Not sure what it is and how it could save you from getting hacked? Read on below to find out all you need to know about vulnerability studies!



What is a Vulnerability Study?


A vulnerability assessment refers to the process of identifying risks and vulnerabilities in your computer networks, systems, hardware, applications and other parts of the IT system. These assessments provide security teams with information that they need to analyze and prioritize risks that the computer network may be facing.


These assessments are a critical part of vulnerability management, helping to protect systems and data from unauthorised entries and data breaches. Vulnerability assessments typically use tools to identify threats and risks within an organisation's IT structure.


Why are Vulnerability Assessments so Important?


You can’t sit back and assume you are well protected, the best way to guard against an attack is to regularly seek out and eradicate those threats. These 5 reasons below will help you see why doing vulnerability assessments are so important.


Identifies vulnerabilities in the systems that protect your network


Scanning your network constantly identifies vulnerabilities in the critical systems that protect you against outside threats. Not only do you scan against the latest hacker strategies but you are scanning to see that everything is up to date.


Security vendors frequently release new updates to keep up with the latest security vulnerabilities. A regular scan of your network systems will help to confirm that they are current for most of the changes.


Verify That Management Processes are Keeping Up With the Security


A vulnerability scan helps identify any critical patches that may have been missed due to a change in your company’s management processes. The harder you work to maximize operational efficiency, the harder it becomes to keep up with changes in your IT vendor.


Checks System Configurations


Vulnerability scanning can also help in identifying improperly configured IT systems that can leave your network vulnerable to an attack. We all trust our IT department to implement new systems safely but it helps to have a fresh set of eyes look at the system from top to bottom.


Validate the Actions of Third Party IT Services


Most people want to believe that third-party IT services deliver on all their promises. How can you be sure that you have maintained your systems as good as they say? If things are going smoothly it is easy to assume that nothing needs to be fixed if it isn’t broken.


The problem is that your system is vulnerable, things could be smooth until someone finds and exposes its vulnerabilities. Without testing regularly, your system could be broken but you just don’t know it yet. A vulnerability assessment is a good way to test if you are being provided with the service that the third-party company says.


Provides Assurance for Customers


More and more businesses and consumers are becoming aware of the importance of data protection. They demand a high level of cyber security from their suppliers. Many contracts are won and lost nowadays based on the ability of the company to protect customer information. A vulnerability assessment can therefore help you stand out from your competitors and assure your customers that their data is well protected.


Tools That Can Help With Vulnerability Assessment


The most vital part of vulnerability testing is making use of a vulnerability scanning tool. These tools should be able to carry out various types of scans such as:


  • Environmental scans

  • External vulnerability scans

  • Internal vulnerability scans

  • Credentialed and non-credentialed scans


When choosing a vulnerability scanner, emphasise that the tool has the following:


  • Allows for integration into other vulnerability management tools

  • Quality and quantity of vulnerabilities

  • Actionability of results

  • Frequent updates


How to Perform A Vulnerability Test


With the right tools in hand you can perform a comprehensive vulnerability assessment by going through the following steps:


  1. Asset Discovery- First you need to decide what you want to scan, which isn’t always as simple as you might think. One of the most common challenges facing organisations is not knowing about all the connected devices. This is because mobile devices and laptops are designed to be frequently connected and disconnected from the network and I0T devices are connected primarily to mobile networks.

  2. Prioritising- Once you know what you got, the next question is whether you can afford to run a vulnerability assessment on all of them. In the perfect world, you would run an assessment on all your devices however, vendors often charge per asset so prioritising helps where the budget can’t cover every asset.

  3. Vulnerability Scanning- Vulnerability scanners are designed to identify known security weaknesses and provide guidance on how to fix them. The scanners initially send probes to systems to identify, open ports and running services, Software versions, and configuration settings. Based on this information, the scanner can identify known vulnerabilities in the system and provide ways to fix them.

Finding Vulnerability Assessment Service Providers


Knowing the important considerations is crucial when choosing a reliable provider of information security services. Get a complete understanding of your possible vendor's capabilities and competencies before selecting the business to do your network's vulnerability assessment.


Vendors may occasionally fail to offer their clients high-quality services owing to a lack of experience, qualifications, etc.


Luckily, you've already made MRB's acquaintance, contact us now to start the discussion for your vulnerability assessment expectations.