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The Importance Of Vulnerability Analysis in The Corporate Sector Today

Vulnerability analysis or vulnerability assessment, as it is more popularly known, is a process whereupon the analyst takes it upon himself to identify, define and subsequently classify any security related vulnerabilities or loopholes in a specific computer or information technology (IT) related network. Or for that matter, in any communications infrastructure.

Apart from that, a typically well-rounded vulnerability analysis can also go a long way in forecasting the high-end effectiveness of any and all proposed countermeasures (so as to plug those loopholes) and thereby also evaluate the actual overall effectiveness of the same, after such countermeasures have been put into place.

Even a basic vulnerability analysis and assessment usually consist of the following series of steps:

  • Clearly defining and classifying the various system resources of an IT Exoskeleton, in order of their importance to the overall security of the system

  • Assigning the different levels of (security related) importance to these resources, relative to their importance to the overall working environment of the entire system

  • Aiding in the Identification of all potential threats to each individual resource, available to the system

  • Developing a sound strategy so as to be able to deal with some of the gravest potential issues first.

  • Looking for ways and means to clearly demarcate and define various implementation techniques to minimize the potentially horrendous consequences, just in case an attack actually occurs.

In the event of any security holes being found as a direct result of conducting just such a vulnerability analysis, then it is probable that a ‘vulnerability disclosure’ may be deemed necessary. The individual or for that matter, even an organization that is able to discover this particular vulnerability, may then opt to make this disclosure public in the better interest of the people who may be using the software, where such a vulnerability may have been discovered.

However, in case the vulnerability has not really be classified as a very high-level threat, then the security expert may opt to simply inform the corporation of the vulnerability with suggestions as to how to remove the same.

It is also possible to conduct such a vulnerability analysis (conducting a test to clearly identify various potential threats) with the help penetration testing’ as well (the security analyst will try to hack into the system to figure out how vulnerable it is to actual malicious hackers).

By using this technique to assess the overall vulnerability of the IT system, many computer security experts will deliberately probe the entire network in a bid to discover any of its weaknesses.

The core purpose of this exercise is to provide various guidelines that will help in the development of multiple counter-measures that could potentially help prevent an actual real-world attack scenario.

o  Vulnerability analysis for corporations

Most corporate entities typically do not possess the expertise or the required skill-sets and experience that are constantly needed to be able to effectively maintain the overall security of the IT exoskeleton of the company, in the modern day.

The reason being the extremely rapid developments that are taking place the IT sector. These developments effectively enable the creation of new and more dangerous threats while also ensuring the recurrence of old ones. Thanks to the fact that many erstwhile unethical hackers steadily continue to fine-tune their lethal arsenals and come up with the ever more dangerous virus and tools to penetrate even (otherwise) highly secure networks.

Due to this, it is absolutely imperative for a company (or any other organization) to have highly capable IT security experts who would be able to ‘fight the good fight,’ on their side. A sound ‘vulnerability assessment’, that may be conducted by some of the leading experts in the field can easily help to both identify and subsequently remedy the various threats (both, internal as well as external) long before they could to do any sort of lasting damage to the organization, per se.

o  Conclusion

Here, it is pertinent to note that the overall vulnerability assessment of an IT system in just about any organization will depend entirely on the individual business, as well as its highly specific needs. This is due to the fact that an IT related security solution will ultimately be only as strong as the weakest link in the chain.

This is the part where a highly focused vulnerability analysis comes into the picture since it can also act to essentially identify the myriad other weak links as well. It can then subsequently suggest the various steps need to secure both the classified data as well as access to the network itself, of the entire system, at the holistic level.