Cyber Security Assessment
A cyber security assessment is a systematic review of security weaknesses in an information system. It evaluates if the system is susceptible to any known vulnerabilities, assigns severity levels to those vulnerabilities, and recommends remediation or mitigation, if and whenever needed.
Vulnerability Identification (Testing)
The objective of this step is to draft a comprehensive list of an application’s vulnerabilities. Security analysts test the security health of applications, servers or other systems by scanning them with automated tools, or testing and evaluating them manually. Analysts also rely on vulnerability databases, vendor vulnerability announcements, asset management systems and threat intelligence feeds to identify security weaknesses.
The objective of this step is to identify the source and root cause of the vulnerabilities identified in step one. It involves the identification of system components responsible for each vulnerability, and the root cause of the vulnerability. For example, the root cause of a vulnerability could be an old version of an open source library. This provides a clear path for remediation – upgrading the library.
The objective of this step is the prioritizing of vulnerabilities. It involves security analysts assigning a rank or severity score to each vulnerability, based on such factors as:
- Which systems are affected.
- What data is at risk.
- Which business functions are at risk.
- Ease of attack or compromise.
- Severity of an attack.
- Potential damage as a result of the vulnerability.
The objective of this step is the closing of security gaps. It’s typically a joint effort by security staff, development and operations teams, who determine the most effective path for remediation or mitigation of each vulnerability. Specific remediation steps might include:
- Introduction of new security procedures, measures or tools.
- The updating of operational or configuration changes.
- Development and implementation of a vulnerability patch.
You can prove to prospects, customers, partners and other stakeholders that you’re secure.
The people trusting you with their data want to know you’re able to protect it. In more and more industries, providing security assurance is a prerequisite for winning or retaining business. Failure to conduct network vulnerability assessments is becoming a major red flag. Whereas attestation of robust network security is a growing competitive advantage.
You get added support for regulatory compliance.
If you operate in a regulated industry and need to comply with PCI, Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) or HIPAA regulations among others, “rigorous vulnerability management practices” are basically mandated to maintain compliance. Network vulnerability assessment is also key to achieving and retaining cybersecurity certifications like ISO 27001.
You get feedback on your patch management and change management programs.
Have you missed any critical patches or firmware updates? Are there any systems on your network that aren’t documented? The more you streamline your network to boost efficiency, the harder it can be to stay current on changes. Why not take advantage of some help?
You can better evaluate the performance of third-party IT service providers.
Are the vendors you rely on for IT services like VoIP, backup, email, system administration, etc. helping or hurting your security posture? An independent network vulnerability assessment can be an excellent “cross-check” on third-party performance. It’s amazing how often we find network issues that directly relate to service providers failing to account for security; e.g., retaining default device passwords so the tech “always knows the password.”
It helps guide remediation efforts and test their effectiveness.
Are you thinking of purchasing a new security service or tool? Have you recently done so and would love to know more about its “real-world” performance? Most network vulnerability assessments not only identify specific issues, but also help you prioritize them and develop a strategy for dealing with the most serious gaps. Short of a network penetration test (or as a prerequisite prior to conducting one), a network vulnerability assessment is one of the best ways to validate current or proposed security countermeasures.
While we are focusing on solving Human Resource of the businesses, their owners can have more time and focus on their core responsibilities.