SecOpsJan Kahmen6 min read

Vulnerability Assessment with Turingsecure

Identifying vulnerabilities in IT is not always easy. The more complex the IT infrastructure, the more expertise is required.

vulnerability-assessment

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Identifying vulnerabilities in IT is not always easy. The more complex the IT infrastructure, the more expertise is required. That's why security experts help companies identify potential security gaps. The basis for this is the so-called vulnerability assessment.

Definition: What is a Vulnerability Assessment in IT?

Vulnerability assessment is a process in which companies systematically scan their systems for security gaps. The additional assessment of current security helps the security team take further action. This includes classifying, prioritizing and remediating the vulnerabilities at hand. It is important to note, however, that vulnerability assessment goes far beyond traditional vulnerability scans. It usually involves an extensive team. Team members are usually ethical hackers who perform in-depth assessments.

Types of Vulnerability Assessment

In general, vulnerability assessment can cover individual systems as well as an entire organization. There are basically four types of vulnerability assessment:

  • Network assessment: in this form of vulnerability assessment, the process is limited to network resources. It examines the security of public or private networks and tests security policies.
  • Application assessment: Here, vulnerability management focuses on application-level vulnerabilities. This means vulnerability assessment can test cross-site scripting attacks, for example.
  • Database assessment: This assessment focuses on uncovering vulnerabilities such as misconfiguration or SQL injection.
  • Host assessment: This IT vulnerability assessment examines servers in the network. This makes it possible to identify exploits and vulnerabilities. Here, for example, the vulnerability assessment can identify weak default credentials or excessive privilege escalation.

What Threats can be Identified with Vulnerability Scanning?

Continuous Vulnerability Scanning is an excellent way to identify security vulnerabilities. Combined with bug bounty hunting, companies are able to close critical vulnerabilities. And they can do so before a problem even occurs. In doing so, vulnerability assessment can uncover numerous security vulnerabilities. Typically these include:

  • Weak passwords that are easy to guess or can be determined using brute force.
  • Operating systems or applications that have not been patched.
  • Vulnerabilities of any kind that cybercriminals exploit using, for example, XSS attacks or SQL injection (code injection).
  • Faulty configurations such as vulnerable ports and unchanged default settings.

Vulnerability Assessment: The 4 Steps of Successful Vulnerability Assessment

Exactly how the vulnerability assessment process turns out depends on the company. Therefore, planning and strategies in vulnerability scanning are critical to success. However, the following approach has proven effective:

  • Step 1: Define scope. Before the computer vulnerability assessment can begin, its scope must be defined. This ultimately determines the specific approach to be taken. This point includes, for example, the applications, networks and systems to be tested. In the vulnerability assessment of a website, the company also defines domains or subdomains for the targeted vulnerability analysis.
  • Step 2: Check system function. Before the vulnerability assessment begins, the security team reviews applications and systems. This makes it possible to identify the impact on business functions.
  • Step 3: Vulnerability scan. Automated scans help organizations find the most common vulnerabilities. Then, the actual vulnerability analysis by the security team begins.
  • Step 4: Report generation: A detailed description of identified vulnerabilities is the result of the vulnerability assessment. This also includes severity ratings and recommendations for remediation.

Bug Bounty and Vulnerability Assessment: Which is Better?

Vulnerability Disclosure & the Bug Bounty Program are two methods to drive vulnerability assessment. Basically, both aim to identify security vulnerabilities so that organizations can close them. In bug bounty hunting, hackers search for vulnerabilities and report them to the company. The incentive is that the company pays a premium. They are ideal for disclosing vulnerabilities. However, this in no way means that companies have to choose one approach over the other. Rather, the two types of tests can complement each other. It is possible to conduct regular vulnerability assessments while improving the security profile and minimizing exploits.

Pentest vs. Vulnerability Assessment: What is the Difference?

Vulnerability assessment is an approach that helps organizations improve their IT security. On-demand penetration testing has the same goal and starts with a vulnerability scan first. Penetration testing is thus another testing option for internal IT security. Pentesting supports the Website Vulnerability Assessment, for example, by simulating the effects of cyberattacks. This allows companies to see what damage a potential attack will cause. Ideally, companies opt for a combination of penetration testing and vulnerability assessment.

Vulnerability Assessment with turingsecure

In addition to these tools, there are many other options for effective vulnerability analysis. Companies particularly benefit from security platforms that provide them with a complete solution. A good example of this is Turingsecure's Vulnerability Management & Reporting. This software solution combines comprehensive vulnerability management, reporting tools and data protection.

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