Vulnerability scanning is an organized approach to testing, identifying, analyzing and reporting potential network security issues.
Every time a device connects to the Internet, there’s a risk that a hacker will take advantage of a specific vulnerability to try and access your network and network resources. This needle in a cyber-haystack can cause chaos on networks and connected computers and devices. The worst thing about this situation is that such vulnerabilities can cause a lot more difficulties than just showing tiresome and unwanted ads. They can worm their way through the network and steal important information and other business-critical data.
Vulnerability is defined as a weakness in computer logic (e.g. program code) that is plaguing both software and hardware components and, if exploited, can negatively impact the confidentiality, integrity or availability of resources. In this context, vulnerability mitigation mostly involves making changes to the program code, but may also include amending specifications and removing specific functionalities or protocols.
National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Computer Security Division maintains a National Vulnerability Database (NVD) in order to assists various enterprises and organizations in preparing for potential attacks. The NVD is sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security. As of October 2018, there were more than 115,000 vulnerabilities registered in the NVD. More information on the NVD can be found at nvd.nist.gov.
That’s why vulnerability assessment is such an important form of comprehensive network protection.
Vulnerability scanning is an organized approach to testing, identifying, analyzing and reporting potential network security issues. External scanning can reveal how hackers on the Internet can attempt to gain access to a network. Internal scanning is done from inside the network. The results can show what hackers are capable of doing once they have gained access to the network and exactly how much data may be compromised.
Vulnerability scanning is a simple assessment method that provides extremely important feedback on system security. Based on the information provided, IT security teams can take direct action to better protect IT systems and environments and various data stored within.
Tenable® Nessus Professional is a simple tool that can perform fast resource scanning – periodically and automated, as needed by your organization – proactively find and fix all vulnerabilities (software flaws, outdated versions, misconfigurations, even malware) and create a detailed report on risk assessment. Nessus is the de-facto standard for vulnerability scanning, available for all operation systems, devices and apps. It has the broadest and deepest coverage of all vulnerability scanning and assessment tools, as well as the lowest false-positive rate. Nessus is the #1 deployed solution for vulnerability assessment according to the latest survey conducted by Cybersecurity Insiders.
We should note that vulnerability scanning and assessment should only be one part of a larger vulnerability management plan. Every organization should continuously monitor their network, analyze obtained results, identify and evaluate risks, perform appropriate mitigation activities, document each and every step associated with such actions, and integrate all data into other systems that are protecting the IT environment.
Tenable® also provides other, more advanced network monitoring solutions such as Tenable.io® and SecurityCenter®. To find out more, please visit www.tenable.com.
If an organization has no information security professionals, it can employ external contractors – there are numerous IT companies today specializing in vulnerability scanning and analysis services, penetration tests, and risk assessment studies that offer comprehensive information security plans.