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Why You Need a Vulnerability Assessment As Soon As Possible?

Vulnerability assessment or Vulnerability analysis is a well-defined procedure in which a cybersecurity analyst clearly and concisely identifies, defines, classifies, and subsequently isolates the various vulnerabilities and loopholes in any information technology exoskeletal of any organization.

Running a proper vulnerability assessment program of activities is absolutely fundamental for the cybersecurity of any organization that is operating in today’s highly connected world.

As a matter of fact, when an IT (information technology) network administrator is in the process of securing the organization’s network, there will be a whole lot of activities that he needs must keep in mind.

But unfortunately, when it comes to something of such seminal importance as the overall security of the entire network, then such administrators do little more than stop at a relatively simple ‘patch management’ with the periodic running of any commercially available, low cost antivirus software, being thrown in for (otherwise) good measure.

Few administrators have the knowledge to understand that they also need to check various third-party applications, system configurations, any known issues (that may be in public knowledge regarding vulnerabilities in the OS).

Apart from that, there may also be potentially troublesome hardware resources that without additional software updates by the manufacturers i.e. in their default configuration can end up being really harmful to the security of the entire network overall. A compilation of all of these processes taken together essentially constitutes the vulnerability assessment of an organization’s IT architecture.

The simple fact is that the myth that “our organization is adequately protected since we already have a series of firewalls firmly in place, as well as a dedicated IDS or Intrusion Detection System”, simply does not hold true anymore.

This is so because in spite of all the attention that many if not must anti-virus applications, firewalls, and Intrusion Detection Systems typically tend to receive, security vulnerabilities nevertheless still continue to plague companies and other organizations.

As a matter of fact, the determined implementation of these relatively tools quite often leads a system’s administrators into believing that the whole network is completely safe from any sort of intrusion, whatsoever. Sadly this is rarely, if ever, the case.

If we vector in today’s really complex threat environment of malware, malicious spyware, mixed in with disgruntled employees and highly skilled and aggressive international hackers then the toxic brew can effortlessly overwhelm many simplistic security systems, easily enough.

In today’s testing times, many hackers are backed by their respective states as well. This, in turn, makes a comprehensive vulnerability assessment an absolute need of the hour.

This means that the development and subsequent enforcement of a really strict and fairly consistent network security policy are required especially if it incorporates an element of continuous vulnerability assessments that may be absolutely critical to maintaining overall business safety, confidentiality, security, and continuity as well.

o Why is a comprehensive vulnerability assessment deemed indispensable for the security of any corporate network?

This is due to the fact that even if the network has been secured by both, fully patching as well as deploying various antivirus solutions, nevertheless a hacker just might still be able to gain access to and thereby exploit any number of loopholes and misconfigurations in the system. Let us take a look at some of the more common issues that may tend to crop up from time to time:

  • All unused user accounts

  • Absolutely unnecessary open shares

  • Highly dangerous script configurations

  • Rogue devices connected to your systems

  • Various servers that may allow only the use of highly dangerous protocols

  • Incorrect permissions on many different and important system files

  • The running of any sort of non-required and potentially dangerous services

Apart from these fairly common loopholes and misconfigurations, when the system administrator runs a detailed vulnerability assessment on the network, odds are they might find several security-related issues on both hardware and software configurations. These include some of the following:

o Default passwords on many important systems

o Dangerous applications that may include various peer to peer applications

o Several third-party applications that have already been deemed to be highly vulnerable to penetration

o Conclusion

In the light of the above, we can safely conclude that vulnerability assessment is absolutely pivotal to the overall security protocols of just about any networked organization in today’s technologically connected world.