Nowadays, organizations need to conduct cybersecurity vulnerability assessments regularly to protect their critical data and ensure their networks and systems cannot be exploited by cyber attackers. However, failure to do this can affect the organization in unimaginable ways. This is because cyber attackers are constantly on the lookout for ways to exploit a security vulnerability.
However, with vulnerability analysis, cybersecurity professionals and IT security experts can easily identify the weaknesses in a system or network to help improve the security level of the system. There are four main steps that must be taken for vulnerability tests and management to be successful. The best way that security experts can execute these steps is by undergoing training to gain the necessary knowledge and skills.
In this post, you will learn everything you need to know to get started with vulnerability analysis and management, from what is vulnerability assessment to the tools used for vulnerability analysis.
What Is a Vulnerability Assessment?
Vulnerability assessment is the process of reviewing security weaknesses in a system or IT equipment by recognizing, analyzing, and prioritizing the weaknesses found. It helps trace the prevailing cyber threats in the system and recommends the best way to mitigate them. Moreover, vulnerability analysis is not specific to any sector as it can be applied across industries, ranging from IT to energy.
Types of Vulnerability Assessments
Here are some types of vulnerability assessments that can be carried out by your organization to prevent data breaches:
Host Assessment: This process is used to identify the server and host vulnerabilities. In this assessment, the ports and services will be examined. It provides visibility into the patch history of the scanned and configured systems.
Network Assessment: This process is used by cybersecurity experts to identify network security attacks. It helps to assess policies and practices to make sure there is zero vulnerability related to wired or wireless networks.
Application Assessment: This process is used to identify weaknesses in web applications and their source code.
Database Assessment: This assessment is used to assess the database or to identify the grey areas in a database.
Four-Step Guide to Vulnerability Assessment
In this section, we will highlight the four-step method that security experts must implement for an effective vulnerability assessment process using any manual or automated tool.
In this stage, you will need to identify the assets and define the risk and its critical value for each device. During a vulnerability assessment, you must identify the importance of the devices that you will be testing. You will also need to understand if the device can be accessed by any member of your company or only administrators and authorized users.
System Baseline Definition
The second step is to gather information about the system before you carry out a vulnerability assessment. In this stage, you need to review whether the device has open ports and note the services and processes you should not open. You will also need to understand the approved software and drivers, and the basic configuration of each device.
Perform the Vulnerability Scan
The next step is to use the right policy on your scanner to get the results. However, before you start a vulnerability scan, always search for any compliance requirements according to your business and know the best time to perform the scan. You will also need to recognize the client industry context and determine whether you will perform the scan all at once or if segmentation is needed.
Vulnerability Assessment Report Creation
The last and most important step is to create a report. During this stage, you need to pay attention to details and try to add extra value during the recommendation phase. Everybody can get real value from a final report if security experts add recommendations based on the initial assessment goals.
Details that an in-depth vulnerability report must have include:
- The name of the vulnerability.
- The date of discovery.
- A detailed description of the vulnerability.
- The score according to the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) database.
- The details of the affected systems.
- The details of the process to correct the vulnerability.
- A blank field for the vulnerability owner, the time taken for correcting it, the next revision, and the countermeasures between the final solution.
Spot Vulnerabilities and Tackle Attackers with CodeRed
Technology is rapidly evolving and it is vital for enterprises to continually update their policies. This is because cyber attackers are on the lookout for vulnerabilities they can use to exploit both small and large-sized businesses.
EC-Council CodeRed’s “Getting Started with Vulnerability Analysis and Management” course breaks down everything you must know about threat and vulnerability management. You will be introduced to the core components of comprehensive vulnerability tests while you get hands-on experience to prepare you for a vigorous defensive strategy right from day one.
By the end of this course, you will understand how to build a solid base around the entire vulnerability management process, which includes understanding vulnerabilities, identifying and ranking security breaches, and recommending solutions to mitigate security issues. This course will also teach you how to prevent security breaches.
EC-Council also offers industry-recognized cybersecurity certifications in Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT) to help create skilled penetration testers. For more information, check out the Certified Network Defender, Certified Ethical Hacker, and Certified Penetration Testing Professional programs by EC-Council.