What Is a Vulnerability Assessment?

What Is a Vulnerability Assessment?

Cybersecurity attacks rise every year, and the complexity of these threats increases the cost to small businesses. Vulnerability assessments work to understand servers and computer systems, focusing on threat and vulnerability risks.

What Is a Vulnerability Assessment?

On a broad level, vulnerability assessments are performed to find potential risks or vulnerabilities in all areas of a network or application. For example, if left unchecked, hosts may have test environments left on systems or files that leave the system vulnerable to an attack.

Cyber security risks decrease when an assessment is performed and these small issues are remedied.

Attackers often look for common security holes and scan sites, servers and applications to find common security problems. If these security holes are not corrected, the hack will have an easier time accessing a system.

What’s Included in a Vulnerability Assessment?

Vulnerability assessments are customized to the potential threats of a business’ specific systems. A few of the many dangers that are commonly tested for include:

  • Injection attacks, where coding is injected and runs on the server, are a common source of vulnerability and checked thoroughly during an assessment. XSS and SQL injections are two of the most common injection attacks that are checked during a test.
  • Authentication systems are checked for vulnerabilities. Many of these checks revolve around privileges granted to users that dictate what they can and can’t access. Small mistakes can lead to unauthorized users accessing key systems that they shouldn’t access otherwise.
  • Database assessments must be done to pinpoint vulnerabilities or misconfigurations, which can lead to sensitive data being exposed.
  • Network assessments are run as well. These assessments scan for unwanted access to networks and network resources. Additionally, policies and practices may be examined to identify areas where prevention methods may be adjusted to improve security.
  • Application scanning may be performed to scan source code and applications to analyze security measures and risks. These scans can help find common issues or vulnerabilities which may exist. For example, poor coding practices or leftover test code may leave applications open to security risks.
  • Server or host scans will detect test environments and codes that may leave the server open to data breaches.

Vulnerability assessments are crucial to every business’ security. Thorough assessments can reduce your risk of a cyber-attack by taking preemptive measures to fortify your network’s security.

4 Key Parts of a Vulnerability Assessment

Every assessment will follow a standard approach to finding and rectifying any network or application issues. The major parts of an assessment are:

  1. Identifying the vulnerability
  2. Analyzing the risk
  3. Creating a risk assessment 
  4. Remediation

Risk assessments will indicate the most concerning issues and those that are less of a priority. Once the assessment is done, remediation may be performed to try and correct any vulnerabilities that exist.

Finally, the loop comes full circle, and the testing should begin again to ensure that the vulnerabilities have been patched and didn’t create greater security issues in the process.

Our team offers vulnerability assessments and cybersecurity in Miami to secure your business’s precious data.