What is Vulnerability Scanning?
IT teams and MSSPs both have a critical responsibility, aside from SIEM management, that involves assessing, mitigating and reporting any security vulnerabilities that exist within a company’s systems and software. This responsibility is known as vulnerability management. You can only manage vulnerabilities if they have been discovered and identified, which is where vulnerability scanning comes into play.
A vulnerability scanner identifies and creates an inventory of all systems connected to a network. This includes servers, desktops, laptops, virtual machines, containers, firewalls, switches and printers. For each device it identifies, it also attempts to identify the operating system it runs, and the software installed on it. Along with custom SIEM services, you need vulnerability scanning to identify and highlight vulnerabilities that may need immediate attention.
How Vulnerability Scanning Works
Vulnerability scanning is part of a four-part vulnerability management process. This process involves:
- Identification of vulnerabilities
- The treatment of any identifies weaknesses
- Reporting vulnerabilities along with the method in which they were handled
- The evaluation of the risk posed by identified vulnerabilities
Cybersecurity companies rely on efficient scanners to identify weaknesses. The efficacy of a vulnerability scanner depends on two things:
- The ability to locate and identify devices, open ports and software, and gather other system information.
- The ability to correlate the information with known vulnerability information from one or more vulnerability databases.
Treatment of Identified Vulnerabilities
Fixes and patches aren’t always immediately available after a non-false positive is detected. In these circumstances, a company’s IT staff often chooses to mitigate the risk that the vulnerability poses. They do this by not using a vulnerable system, adding more security controls and other means which helped reduce the likelihood of being exploited.
The evaluation stage is crucial in vulnerability scanning, as it examines vulnerabilities and enables cybersecurity companies to decide:
- How practical it would be for a hacker to exploit vulnerabilities.
- How critical the vulnerability is and what the impact on the organization would be if exploitation were successful.
- If the vulnerability is a “false positive” and should be ignored.
- If any existing security controls could reduce the risk of vulnerability exploits.
Integrating vulnerability data with a SIEM solution can help enable a new level of contextual analysis by correlating vulnerability data with other security information and events to achieve an accurate risk-based view of your devices.
If you’re thinking about utilizing a vulnerability scanner, contact the cybersecurity experts here at StratoZen today.