Increasing our online presence has provided many benefits to make our lives easier but also left us vulnerable to lurking hackers who want to steal our information. As a result, vulnerability testing is essential in this day and age to test for security loopholes and to address them.
These are some of the ways to test for vulnerabilities.
Vulnerability scans are used to identify thousands of vulnerabilities and rate them according to severity. Identifying a vulnerability starts by scanning operating systems, application software, and the network to identify the occurrence of vulnerabilities. There are two types of vulnerability scans: active and passive. Both the active and passive scans co-exist and can complement the other’s abilities.
Active Vulnerability Scans
Active scanners have the ability to do many things and are therefore very valuable in vulnerability scans.
The most important thing active scanners can do is send transmissions to the network’s nodes to examine the responses. The responses are then used to determine whether that specific node is a weak point within a network. Examining nodes are beneficial since they are the connection points in your network that can receive, create, store, or send data.
Active scanners can also be used to simulate an attack on the network. This could help to uncover any vulnerabilities that a hacker could spot or identify how a hacker would breach a companies security. It is important to find these vulnerabilities early and eliminate them.
The last feature of active scans is that they can resolve some security issues on their own. Blocking dangerous IP addresses is one example of this underrated feature.
Passive Vulnerability Scans
With less features than active scans, passive scanners help to identify all active ports, applications, and operating systems on the network. Passive scanners will then monitor hardware devices to determine the network’s vulnerabilities as a whole. Passive scanners can be run continuously or at different intervals which make them useful to indicate which devices are using software that may provide an entrance for hackers or trojan attacks.
Application Penetration Testing
A penetration test is a simulated cyber attack against your web application to check for vulnerabilities. A penetration test should be done by all companies who have web applications because they are globally accessible and can be easily attacked. The penetration testing process starts by identifying the target systems then trying to attack these systems to gain and maintain access. Attackers could potentially attack a web application to gain access to the company the web app belongs to. When the penetration test is done, the results show whether a system is vulnerable to an attack or if the defenses were sufficient. Without penetration testing, holes in applications have resulted in the theft of personal client information including credit cards.
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