Explore Vulnerability Assessment Types and Methodology

When it comes to the security and privacy of your systems, data, and network, you can’t assume everything is secure and protected enough. With the exponential rise of cyber-attacks and intrusion attempts, almost all organizations, regardless of size are under cyber risks from outside and inside their digital perimeters. These cyber risks are complex, and the attacks can lead to serious financial losses.

However, how do you know which security loopholes can be exploited to orchestrate attacks?

An ideal way to protect the entire IT ecosystem is to continuously look for vulnerabilities and eradicate them with a Vulnerability Assessment (VA).

Here, we will share the importance of vulnerability assessment, types of vulnerability assessment, and security vulnerability assessment methodology for effective results.

mportance of Vulnerability Assessment

Vulnerability assessment is vital for every company these days. VA involves scanning of the systems, networks, and other parts of your ecosystem to disclose risks of issues. It uncovers the security weaknesses in both cloud and on-premises, which need remediation.

Vulnerability Assessment is wider than simple scans. It also investigates policy noncompliance issues and security misconfigurations, which are not feasible to correct just by maintenance and virtual patching. It also plays a crucial role in ensuring your company meets security compliance as well as guidelines of PCI DSS and HIPAA.

With the information collected from vulnerability assessment, your security teams can prioritize vulnerabilities and act for them accordingly.

You may also want to read, Penetration Testing Vs Vulnerability Scanning.

Types of Vulnerability Assessments

Vulnerability assessments include several tools, scanners, types, and methods to find loopholes in the given network or system. Some of the types of vulnerability assessment are:

1. Network and Wireless Assessment

Identifies possible vulnerabilities in network security. It involves the assessment of practices and policies to prevent unauthorized access to both public and private networks as well as network-accessible resources.

2. Host Assessment

Detect vulnerabilities in workstations, servers, and other network hosts. This type of assessment assesses the services and ports, which may also be detectable to network-based assessments.

3. Database Assessment

This type of vulnerability assessment examines the databases and big data systems for misconfigurations and weaknesses and discovers rouge databases and insecure development/test environments.

4. Application Scans

Identifies the security vulnerabilities and incorrect configurations in web applications and their source code using front-end automated scans or dynamic/static analysis of code.

Vulnerability Assessment Methodology

In addition to deciding on the types of vulnerability assessment, you need; the security vulnerability assessment requires a methodology in which the competence of the system to meet specified security objectives is evaluated. Without the proper vulnerability assessment methodology, you might waste your valuable resources in unnecessary protection and the worst-case — failed to obtain adequate protection against malicious threats.

1. Determine Critical and Attractive Assets

The first step in vulnerability assessment is gaining an understanding of your entire ecosystem, and determining which networks and systems are more critical to your business operation. Once the critical assets are identified, review those asset lists in view of the threats. The attacker’s objectives might vary from your perspective. Review each asset from an attacker’s perspective and rank them based on their attractiveness.

2. Conduct Vulnerability Assessment

Actively scan your entire network or system either through automated tools or manual pen-testing to identify security flaws and weaknesses. The assets which are both critical and attractive should be termed as “target”, which requires further analysis, including testing with real-time scenarios to find and assess perceived security weaknesses. The assessments should rely on vendor vulnerability announcements, asset management systems, vulnerability databases, and threat intelligence feed.

If the overall network or system effectiveness meets the defined security requirements, then the vulnerability assessment is complete. In case vulnerabilities are discovered, and the number of loopholes identified is overwhelming, you should proceed to the next phase.

3. Vulnerability Analysis and Risk Assessment

The next phase in the vulnerability assessment methodology is identifying the source as well as the root cause of the security weakness identified in phase two. This offers a coherent view of remediation. It involves assigning the severity score or rank to each susceptibility, based on factors like.

  • What data are at risk?
  • Which network or system is affected?
  • The severity of the possible attacks
  • Ease of compromise
  • Potential damage if an attack happens

4. Remediation

The main objective of this phase is the closing of security gaps. For each vulnerability identified, determine the effective path for mitigation. Certain remediation actions might include:

  • Update all the configuration or operational changes
  • Develop and implement vulnerability patches
  • Implement new security measures, procedures, or tools

5. Re-Evaluate System with Improvements

Once the security weaknesses are remediated, analyze the system with the proposed changes or upgrades. This phase involves identifying the new estimates for the probability of neutralization, the probability of interruption, and the probability of system effectiveness. Repeat this entire process until the system satisfactorily eliminated all security vulnerabilities and increased overall effectiveness.

6. Report Results

The final phase in the security vulnerability assessment methodology is reporting the assessment result understandably. The main goal of reporting is to offer accurate information, which clearly defines the system’s effectiveness and recommends potential solutions if the current security measure seems ineffective.

Select Security Service Provider

If you’re limited by resources, it is recommended to turn to a third-party security vendor. An ever-growing range of application security companies is now providing vulnerability assessments and Indusface’s Web Application scanning is a good service to consider.

Ending Notes

Types of vulnerability assessment to choose and methodology to follow can vary based on the individual environment of the organization including the threats they are facing. The vulnerability assessment methodology listed here just suggests the effective means of identifying, evaluating, and reducing vulnerabilities in your systems.

No matter you’re handling the vulnerability assessment with an in-house team or hiring an external provider, the visibility into your system security posture it offers is invaluable.

For more cybersecurity features and news, follow Indusface on Twitter and Facebook.

Originally published at https://www.indusface.com.




With cyber-security products built in the cloud and the most advanced intelligence platform, our variety of solutions will help you prevent today’s risk

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

tekSolution: Protect and Defend against attacks on your Wordpress website

What is Cloud Encryption?

Pay Yourself, Scam Yourself

Why hackers like http:? but not https:?

Hearing from CISOs at Google Cloud and Beyond

The Justice Department announced Tuesday morning it seized more than $3.6

{UPDATE} Duprix Hack Free Resources Generator

How to access the Dark Web Safely

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store


With cyber-security products built in the cloud and the most advanced intelligence platform, our variety of solutions will help you prevent today’s risk

More from Medium

Using Active Directory (AD) in ICS

Cybersploit 1 Walkthrough — Vulnhub

Creating a shellcode: Reverse tcp shell

HTB — Bashed Writeup