A vulnerability assessment is a process of discovering potential problems within a system or network.
Why Perform a Vulnerability Assessment? Why Not Just Fix the Problem?
Fixing a problem after it has been identified is much easier than preventing problems from occurring in the first place. However, fixing issues once they have occurred can be costly. It may also cause other problems to occur because the issue was never addressed properly.
How does it work?
Vulnerability assessments typically fall under one of two categories: manual or automated.
The tester will manually review each component of the system. They will check every file, database, program, and configuration setting. When finished, they will compile all of the findings into a comprehensive report.
These scans are usually performed regularly. A scanner will run through the entire system and identify anything that looks suspicious. If a vulnerability is detected, the scanner will notify the user.
What is a Penetration Test?
This type of testing is often used to identify flaws in computer systems and web applications. It’s also commonly used to assess the effectiveness of existing security measures.
Penetration testing involves simulating real-world conditions and trying to break into the target system. The goal is to simulate the actions of a hacker and see how well they can get past the defences in place.
How does a penetration test differ from a vulnerability assessment?
Vulnerability Assessments are typically performed on a single device or server. A penetration test will involve multiple devices and servers.
Who performs a penetration test?
Penetration tests are conducted by both internal teams as well as external firms. Internal teams include employees working within an organization’s IT department or those who have been tasked with monitoring and maintaining the company’s systems. External firms can range anywhere from small companies offering services to large corporations seeking to protect themselves against potential breaches. Penetration testing is often performed by third parties due to the time and costs involved in performing them internally.
What do I need to know about a penetration test?
Before you decide to engage a firm to perform a penetration test, make sure you understand what you’re getting into. There are many different types of penetration tests, so it’s important to find out which kind you need.
The following questions should help you figure out what your needs are:
- What type of testing do you require?
- How long do you expect the test to take?
- Do you need an initial report only, or do you need ongoing support?
- Are you interested in learning about new vulnerabilities, or do you just want to confirm what you already know?
Vulnerability Assessment vs Penetration Test
A vulnerability assessment is a methodical process of looking at a system to determine whether or not it contains known vulnerabilities. For example, if a web application is being developed, a vulnerability assessment could look at the code to see if there are any known exploits available online. If the application is live, this could result in the discovery of a vulnerability before the application goes live.
A penetration test is a more aggressive approach to finding vulnerabilities. In a penetration test, the tester will attempt to compromise the system as quickly as possible. This means that they will try to bypass authentication methods, install malware, and even delete data.
When choosing a VAPT (vulnerability assessment and penetration test) service provider, what factors should I consider?
The following are some of the things you can look at when choosing a VAPT:
- What is your budget for this project?
– If it’s under \$10k then there are many free options available online.
- How much time do you have to complete the project?
- Do you want to know if your network has been breached or not?
- Are you interested in knowing how vulnerable your systems are?
- Do you need help fixing them?
- Do you need help securing your network?
If you answered yes to most of these questions, then you may be able to find a good solution through an independent third party. However, if you answered no to most of these questions then you may be better off using a managed service provider.
Managed Security Service Providers:
They usually specialize in providing a full range of services, including vulnerability assessments, penetration testing, firewall configuration, patch management, incident response, and other related services.
Why use an MSSP?
There are several reasons why you might choose to use an MSSP instead of doing everything yourself. Here are just a few:
- You don’t have the time or resources to perform a thorough vulnerability assessment.
- You’re not sure where to start.
- You don’t have enough money to hire a professional.
- You don’t want to spend too much time researching potential vendors.
- Your organization doesn’t have the technical skills needed to conduct a thorough vulnerability assessment.