Network vulnerability assessment is the process of evaluating systems to identify a possible weakness that can be exploited to take advantage of the system. Most organisation that fails to have a risk assessment and mitigation plan in place experience difficulties in recovery in case of a security breach. It is established that most network attacks exploit known vulnerability in the system. Sever setup and installation mistakes can also expose your ICT infrastructure.
Vulnerability assessment allows an organisation to identify risks before they become a problem. There are known vulnerabilities which organisations should proactively protect themselves from the exploit. Most small and medium organisations have experienced a security breach, through known vulnerabilities that would have been prevented, if well-planned network vulnerability assessment was carried out. Due to the complexity involved and changing technology most organisation prefer to outsource ICT Support & Consultancy. Outsourcing ICT services can also be cost-effective than maintaining a full in-house ICT team.
Threats have evolved from targeted to automated attacks. Initially, attackers would target a specific system to exploit and analyse its vulnerabilities, today hackers/attackers have automated scanning process to monitor active system vulnerability for exploit.
Patches and software upgrades can interrupt other services in the network and cause exposure to the network infrastructure. A vulnerability assessment report indicates hardware, server and client software status and other details. Hiring qualified ICT security consultants is important to maintain the integrity of your IT infrastructure, mitigate loses of data and prevent an exploit of know vulnerability.
Sometimes lack of software upgrade or patches can present loopholes to the network for exploit. Wannacry ransomware attack continued to affect organisations that didn’t patch their systems after Microsoft made an update, some of these organisations halted their production lines and operations.
Every organisation whether small, medium or large should have an inventory of their network devices , software and their known vulnerabilities. A plan should be put in place to prevent exploitation of these system exposures and a recovery plan in case of exploitation by attackers.
Vulnerability assessment should be done to quantify and establish likelihood of exploitation of these vulnerabilities. Priority should be emphasized on critical assets, all vulnerabilities should be known,exploit prevented and recovery plan put in place in case f any security breach.
Some types of vulnerability assessments scans include:
- Network-based Scans – Evaluates possible network security threats . This type of scan can detect wired and wireless vulnerabilities.
- Host-based scans: such as computer servers, work stations and other hosts in the network. View security vulnerabilities on these devices such as configurations, open visible ports and services that can be exploited to advance an attack .
- Wireless Network Scans: Evaluate vulnerabilities on the WI-FI access points. Rough wireless assess points are identified and loopholes sealed.
- Applications/software scans: Enhanced to detect known vulnerability in these applications and wrong configuration in network applications
- Database Scans : Identify possible database weakness that can be used for attacks and mitigate them.
What Are The Most Common Types Of Network Vulnerabilities?
Network vulnerabilities can be classified into Physical or Non-physical. Physical threats are those regarding the destruction of network infrastructures such as server , routers, switches and cables. The risk should be assessed and measure is taken t to secure these network assets.
Non-physical network vulnerabilities involve software or organisation data. Failure to update software patches on time can create network vulnerabilities exploitable by attackers. Databases need to be scanned regularly for inconsistency. The operating system should be updated regularly as new patches are implemented on the Operating system.
Below are some of the common network vulnerabilities :
- Outdated or unpatched Software
- Social engineering
- Misconfigured firewalls / operating systems
- Malware, short for malicious software
With increased connectivity security issues arise. In today’s business environment more devices are interlinked, employees use different ways to access organisation resources. These advancements have presented new threats and risk to an organisation which should be continually assessed.
Genbright Solutions offers you the best solutions to network vulnerability assessment and report generation. Our focus is on keeping organisation IT infrastructure secure and optimal operational. IT system audit is carried out to analyse the vulnerability and threat level to the organisation. Recommend solutions and implement. Contact us today to get a full network vulnerability assessment, reduced threat risk and a recovery plan in case of intrusion.
Securing network infrastructure should be of high priority to small, medium and large organisations. A security breach can cause financial implication, data loss, reputation loss and privacy breach when it comes to sensitive client data. Trade secrets can be stolen if the network is not well secured.