The reality of operating in the cyber world is that every new day brings with it a new potential for getting hacked. Routine testing of both existing web environments and new site launches is important in addressing vulnerabilities today. Every piece of a network holds the potential to become the weak link that hackers exploit.
Did you know that cyberattacks are on the rise on all fronts? The good news is that today’s security firms are rapidly developing testing and analysis tools to keep up with the sophisticated, ever-evolving techniques of hackers. Take a look at the tools your enterprise needs to utilize if you want to discover weak points before a threat emerges.
It can be hard to keep tabs on every component of your network. Vulnerability scanning is a low-cost, easy-to-use method of scanning your internal network for missing patches for vulnerabilities in your external network. Scans are often successful at detecting attack vectors that may lead to security breaches or instances of malware, and can be performed by programs that IT security officers or other professionals can purchase and implement without additional training or a big upfront investment.
The software will produce a report that lists detected vulnerabilities and provides some basic remediation steps. This is a great resource if you’re searching for a network security option that requires minimal effort.
Vulnerability scanning shouldn’t be relied upon as the only method of analyzing a network’s security posture, however. An automated scan can miss certain threats that are highly masked or extremely sophisticated. In addition, vulnerability scanning can only alert you to the fact that a threat is present on your network.
It cannot give you an estimate of the impact of the vulnerability or how much information a hacker will be able to extract from your network. It is also important to note that vulnerability scanning can only detect threats that are known. This can be a disadvantage in a world where new threats are being designed and implemented by hackers very quickly.
Penetration testing goes a step further than vulnerability scanning because it provides an in-depth diagnosis of a threat’s potential damage. The big thing that distinguishes penetration testing from vulnerability scanning is that it uses human brainpower instead of merely relying upon an automated detection route.
A penetration test is essentially a controlled hacking attempt that is provided by a reputable company. The engineers at highly qualified penetration testing companies like Redspin actually write their own code as they do their best to exploit network weaknesses during the testing process. These engineers are as skilled and relentless as the best hackers out there in the cyber world. The results of a penetration test will be able to reveal answers to the following questions:
· -How vulnerable is an enterprise to an attack?
· -How far into a network can a hacker get?
· -How long would it take for a successful breach to occur?
· -How much information can be compiled and stolen during an attack?
The Power of Two
The bottom line is that an effective plan for keeping a network secure should be robust and diverse. Combining vulnerability scanning with penetration testing is the best bet if you’re looking to get the full picture of where your network stands in terms of security. A vulnerability scan is a great first step when it’s time to get an analysis of your network’s security. In addition, doing routine scans in between penetration testing sessions is a great way to monitor basic threats.
It is so important to put your network through penetration testing if you’re serious about protecting important systems and data. The human element is what makes live testing so effective at detecting weak points before they can be exploited by hackers. Pairing routine vulnerability scans with penetration testing is the best way to create a comprehensive, up-to-date security plan for protecting an enterprise’s sensitive data and digital assets.
It is recommended that you consider setting up a schedule to have penetration tests done quarterly in order to stay on the right track.