What is the Importance of Vulnerability Assessment?

Vulnerabilities are the anomalies such as programming errors or configuration issues of the system. Attackers exploit the weaknesses in the system and can, in turn, disrupt the system. If these vulnerabilities are exploited, then it can result in the compromise of the confidentiality, integrity as well as the availability of resources that belong to the organization.

How Can We Detect and Prevent These Vulnerabilities?

Vulnerability assessment is the risk management process that defines, identifies, classifies and prioritizes vulnerabilities within computer systems, applications as well as network infrastructures. This helps the organization in conducting the assessment with the required knowledge, awareness and the risk posture for understanding the cyber threats. Vulnerability assessment is conducted in two ways.

Types of Vulnerability Assessment

Automated Testing

Automated tools such as Vulnerability scanning tools scan applications to discover security vulnerabilities. These include SQL injection, Command Injection, Path Traversal and Cross Site scripting. It is a part of Dynamic Application Security Testing that helps in finding malicious code, application backdoors as well as other threats present in the software and applications.

Manual Testing

Pen testers are the experts that dive deep into the infrastructure that will help them in finding out the vulnerabilities that cyber attackers can exploit. Following are the types of vulnerability assessment and penetration testing:

Application Penetration Testing Methodology
Application Penetration Testing Methodology

Different Types of Manual Testing

1. Application Security Testing: It is the process of testing and analysing a mobile or web application. This methodology helps pen-testers in understanding the security posture of websites and applications.    

The testing process includes: 

  •       Password quality rules
  •       Brute force attack testing
  •       User authorization processes
  •       Session cookies
  •       SQL injection

2. Server Security Testing: Servers contain information including the source code of the application, configuration files, cryptographic keys as well as other important data. Pen testers perform an in-depth analysis of the server. Based on this analysis, testers perform an approach to mimic real-time cyber attacks.

3. Infrastructure Penetration Testing: Infrastructure penetration testing is a proven method to evaluate the security of computing networks, infrastructure as well as the weakness in applications by simulating a malicious cyber attack. 

4. Cloud Security Testing: Every organization that keeps its platforms, customer data, applications, operating systems as well as networks over the cloud; must perform cloud security testing. Cloud security is essential for assessing the security of the operating systems and applications that run on the cloud. This requires equipping cloud instances with defensive security controls and regular assessment of the ability to withstand cyber threats.

5. IoT Security Testing: With our increasing engagement with the technology, we are becoming more advanced in incorporating technology with things that we use on a daily basis. Pen testers are aware of the complexities and how attackers exploit them.  IoT penetration and system analysis testing considers the entire ecosystem of the IoT technology. It covers each segment and analyses the security of the IoT devices. The testing services include IoT mobile application, communication, protocols, cloud APIs as well as the embedded hardware and firmware.

Which Is The Better Method of Vulnerability Assessment?

Manual vulnerability assessment is better than vulnerability scanning tools since automated tools often give false positives. This can seriously hamper the process of vulnerability assessment. Although automated tools make the assessment process faster and less labour-intensive, the tools are not capable of identifying vulnerabilities.

This can be far better done by observant pen testers who use systematic technology with years of experience. Manual vulnerability assessment requires time but, it is far more effective and accurate than vulnerability scanning tools. The reason behind preferring manual assessment is the lack of in-depth understanding of the system to discover vulnerabilities.

Cybersecurity companies like Kratikal have an expert team of pen testers that have satisfied more than 80 clients with their expertise in the domain. 

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