The term “cybersecurity” is used to describe the protection of information systems from unauthorized vulnerabilities and VAPT access, use, or disclosure. It is a broad area that includes network security, application security, physical security, human resources (HR) security, data privacy, and other areas. A common misconception about cybersecurity is that it only applies to organizations that have an online presence. However, this is not true; any organization can benefit from cybersecurity. For example, if you own a small business, your employees may use personal devices at work. If these devices contain sensitive information, you should ensure that they are protected by using a secure password manager. This will help protect against malware being installed on your employee’s device.
In addition to protecting computers, networks, and mobile devices, cybersecurity also protects data and people. The most common types of attacks include phishing, where attackers send malicious emails to trick users into divulging confidential information; social engineering, which involves manipulating someone into providing confidential information through deception; and malware, such as viruses, worms, and spyware, which can damage computer hardware or steal private information.
A vulnerability assessment (VA) is an in-depth analysis of your system’s security posture. It helps you identify potential threats, vulnerabilities, and risks that could impact your business or organization. A VA provides the information needed to make informed decisions regarding how to best protect your assets. You need to perform a VA periodically throughout the year because new threats emerge daily.
What are the 5 stages of vulnerability assessment?
The five stages of vulnerability assessment include:
Identifying vulnerabilities. This is where you start to consider what could go wrong and how it might affect your business.
Planning. Once you have identified vulnerabilities, you will need to plan how to mitigate them. Assessing vulnerabilities. This step requires you to actually perform a vulnerability assessment. You should use different tools to detect weaknesses in your systems.
Planning remediation. After you have performed a vulnerability assessment, you can begin to think about how to fix any problems found. For example, if a server has been compromised, you may need to reinstall the operating system.
Implementing remediation. Finally, you must implement the changes required to address any issues uncovered during the process.
The difference between a Vulnerability Assessment and a Penetration Test
A vulnerability assessment is a more comprehensive approach than a penetration test. A penetration test focuses only on finding vulnerabilities within a single application or device. It does not take into account other applications running on the same host. A vulnerability assessment looks at all software on a computer system as well as hardware devices connected to it.
What are the 5 stages of penetration testing?
Stage 1 – Discovery. This is where you start your investigation by identifying what vulnerabilities exist on a system or network. You may be able to find them via scanning, but it’s often easier to identify them through manual review.
Stage 2 – Exploitation. If you find a weakness, you may try to gain control of the system using social engineering techniques. Or, if there is a remote code execution vulnerability, you may attempt to run malicious code on the machine.
Stage 3 – Post exploitation. This is when you investigate what happens after you have successfully exploited a vulnerability. You may see evidence of unauthorized activity, such as files being deleted or changed, or an attacker gaining access to sensitive information.
Stage 4 – Reporting. Depending on the severity of the issue, they may choose to patch the problem immediately or wait until a new release of the product is available.
Stage 5 – Remediation. The final stage involves fixing the problem once and for all.
Importance of a Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Test (VAPT audit)
The answer is simple: you want to find out if your network is vulnerable.
Many organizations are now requiring penetration tests before they sign a contract with a vendor.
When conducting a VAPT (vulnerability assessment and penetration test) audit, you will discover which systems are vulnerable, what those vulnerabilities are, and what steps should be taken to mitigate them. Once you have identified the weaknesses, you can plan appropriate countermeasures to prevent future attacks.
For example, if you discover that your web server has a SQL injection flaw, you might decide to change its password right away. However, if you find that your email servers are exposed to phishing attacks, you might need to update anti-spam software, add additional firewalls and implement two-factor authentication.
How do I conduct a vulnerabilities and VAPT Audit?
There are several different methods for conducting a VAPT. Some of the most common include:
Scanning. You can use automated tools to scan networks for known vulnerabilities. These tools usually send requests to a target and record responses. They also check for open ports and other indicators of potential problems.
Manual testing. A human tester will manually test each host on a network to determine if it is vulnerable.
Pen Testing. A pen tester will use various attack vectors to probe a network for weaknesses.
Network mapping. Network mappers create detailed diagrams of networks to identify vulnerabilities.
What types of vulnerabilities can be found during a vulnerabilities and VAPT?
A VAPT audit can reveal a wide range of issues. Here are some examples :
- Weak passwords
- Unpatched systems
- Misconfigured firewalls
- Malware infections
- Missing patches
- Poor patch management
- Incorrectly configured antivirus programs
- Outdated operating systems
- Slow or unresponsive servers
- Lack of proper backup procedures
Use the best vulnerability assessments and penetration tests (VAPT Audits)
ExterNetworks is a leading provider of network security solutions for the enterprise, government, and service providers. With over 25 years of experience in designing, developing, and delivering secure networks, ExterNetworks has built an extensive portfolio of products and services designed to protect organizations against cyber attacks. ExterNetworks provides a broad suite of services including managed infrastructure services, firewall, VPN, intrusion prevention, content filtering, anti-virus, email gateway, cloud computing, and more.