Remediation of network vulnerabilities is something every organization wants done before hackers exploit the weaknesses. The basic definition of a vulnerability is a security weakness or flaw that could potentially be exploited by a threat actor (i.e., malware, external attacker, or malicious insider). Effective remediation entails continuous processes that together are called Vulnerability Management. The processes and related technology defined by vulnerability management help organizations efficiently find and fix network security vulnerabilities. Systematic use of these processes protects business systems from ever more frequent viruses, worms and other network-borne attacks.
Continuous Processes of Vulnerability Management involves:
A vulnerability assessment is a review of security weaknesses of devices by following a process of defining, identifying, classifying and prioritizing vulnerabilities. Vulnerability assessments enable an organization to apply a consistent, comprehensive, and clear approach to identifying and resolving security threats and risks.
Most vulnerability assessments assign a risk-level to each cyber threat. These risks can have a priority, urgency, and impact assigned to them, which helps to channel focus on those cyber threats that could create the most impactful issues for an organization.
The most vital part of vulnerability assessment is a vulnerability scanning tool. This tool can be used to execute various types of scans, such as:
In a non-credentialed, or unauthenticated method, the vulnerability scanner performs the scan as an intruder would, testing for vulnerabilities without trusted access to the devices on the network. Such a scan reveals vulnerabilities that can be accessed without logging into a device on the network.
In a credentialed, or authenticated scan, the vulnerability scanner logs in as a user within the organization, revealing the vulnerabilities that are accessible to a trusted user, or an intruder that has gained access as a trusted user.
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