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How to Perform a Vulnerability Assessment

The modern age is a marvel for cyber professionals. The abundance of new and innovative technology causes the digital plain to shift, change and adapt constantly. With these advances in technology arises new security threats. Hackers and cybercriminals now have more ways to access networks and wreak havoc.

Working as a cybersecurity professional in today’s world requires examining and stopping any security breaches before they happen. This makes performing a vulnerability assessment so necessary.

What Is a Vulnerability Assessment?

Essentially, a vulnerability assessment is the necessary process of examining your network and computer systems for any security weaknesses while recording information on each vulnerability and formulating a plan to combat the threat. It’s important to highlight that a vulnerability assessment is a preventive measure. Ideally, you will find and correct any weak areas in your security before any breach. Regularly examining your security layout will help you stay on top of any vulnerabilities before they develop into anything further.

Despite your best efforts, security issues are an ever-present threat in today’s digital world. The best way to prepare for a security breach or other security issues is to stay educated on changes in the digital landscape, as well as any new tactics that cybercriminals may use to access networks. Continually learning how to troubleshoot security issues is an important part of working with technology, and can help you prepare for future challenges.

Types of Vulnerability Assessments

Cybercriminals can access your data through a variety of different channels making it important to analyze your threat potential at different levels. The typical way to complete a vulnerability assessment is by scanning your framework with specialized software. These scanners will look through your network and point out any weaknesses. Other tests should be completed in conjunction with these scans to get a complete picture of any vulnerabilities. Penetration testing is a good choice to gather more information on your infrastructure’s safety.

Network Assessments

Regularly scanning your network with assessment software can help prevent any network-based attacks. You will want to complete a thorough scan on both your wired and wireless networks regularly to account for any vulnerabilities.

Host Assessments

Your network’s host is another vulnerable location that hackers may try to target. Scanning a host server enables you to get a better look into the configuration of your network. Like network scans, host scans should be completed regularly to find any weaknesses that put your server at risk.

Application Assessments

In addition to network and host-level scanning, it's also important to examine vulnerabilities at the site level. By scanning your site’s applications, you get a much better idea of any weaknesses on the site. You should complete an assessment whenever new applications add to the site, or existing ones change.

Database Assessments

Database assessments are important because they key you in on any problem areas in your database that may be a target. These examinations are especially important because databases are the subject of SQL injections, which is when a cybercriminal adds code to a form on your site to make changes to the database or capture its information.

Once you complete your assessment, create a report detailing your security vulnerabilities. This report allows you to keep a record of your findings over time. Additionally, this audit will help you to create an action plan for protecting your infrastructure.

Prepare for Security Issues

Taking action early on by remaining aware of potential issues, in addition to completing a vulnerability assessment, can prevent serious security breaches and improve network performance.


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