Today’s attackers are looking for specific types of organizations, individuals and data. They consider different security loopholes in order to steal sensitive data or compromise the organization’s operations. A vulnerability assessment can help your business to identify security weaknesses that put your organization at risk.
Why perform continuous vulnerability assessments?
Continuous vulnerability assessments can help organizations to identify security patches and make changes to rectify them by issuing the necessary updates. Sometimes attackers use the identified weaknesses as a basis to develop malicious code. If the organization doesn’t install the updates or take any other security measures to contain the threat, the attackers may soon come back and this time the business could incur serious losses.
If vulnerabilities are not properly managed within the organization, its systems may become a prime target for attackers who are looking to benefit in one way or another. Continuous vulnerability assessments ensure that your system is always on top of security. It is a recommended practice that can help organizations to minimize the window of exposure to potential threats.
Challenges of vulnerability assessments
Performing vulnerability assessments is never easy. The activities involved may vary from organization to organization depending on several factors such as hardware and software systems in place. Effective vulnerability assessment requires an understanding of your organization’s most critical processes and the underlying infrastructure. Every vulnerability assessment should at include the following steps:
Understanding your business processes
Identify your most critical applications and data within your business processes
Identify the hardware you utilize for your business processes
Identify what controls your organization already has in place to protect it from vulnerability
Run new vulnerability scans to identify potential threats
Identify vulnerabilities and what risks they pose to the organization
Every organization needs a team of IT security managers whose role is to continuously assess its state of security. Given the current trends in IT security, it is important to remain on top of things by performing continuous vulnerability assessments.
One of the fastest ways to implement vulnerability assessments is by using automated tools. Although manual tests can still be performed, automation allows the process to be faster and more efficient. Automated systems can record any abnormal activity that is found in the systems. The organization can even identify whether the suspicious activity is because of a previous attack that was detected and not fully rectified.
Any tools that are used to perform the automated scans should be up to date. Using outdated solutions will not only put your business at risk of potential threats but will also not provide critical information regarding the true state of security. When updates are applied, caution must be exercised to avoid jeopardizing the entire operation because of interfering with the applications. It is also important to ensure that the solution to prevent or rectify vulnerabilities is not more expensive than the asset that is being protected. In this case, the application is not feasible so the organization needs to consider an alternative security measure to protect its asset.