Imagine that you’re getting a network infrastructure that already has all of its custom software and hardware resources configured to set up. Waiting for your network’s weaknesses to get exploited before turning to cybersecurity services isn’t the best strategy as intruders will get in, steal all sensitive information stored on your servers, and encrypt your databases. Due to this fact, your company needs to get a vulnerability assessment done to their network.

A Comprehensive Guide to Network Vulnerability Assessment

In this article, FortySeven will help you learn that preventing the problem from occurring is better than coping with the consequences later, as we will be guiding you through the entire network vulnerability assessment process and explain how it is carried out.

Table of Contents

What is Network Vulnerability Assessment

Network vulnerability assessment is the process of defining, identifying, classifying, and prioritizing vulnerabilities in computer systems, applications, and network infrastructures. It also provides an organization like software development companies access to the proper knowledge, awareness, and risk to understand and react to threats to its environment.

The vulnerability assessment process mainly points to identifying threats and the risks they pose. They use automated testing tools, like network security scanners, whose results they further list in a vulnerability assessment report.

Different development companies and individuals that encounter increased risk of cyberattacks tend to benefit from some vulnerability assessment. Although, large enterprises and other types of organizations like custom software development firms undergoing some ongoing attacks tend to benefit more from vulnerability analysis.

You should know that security vulnerabilities can leave IT systems and applications open to hackers. Different enterprises should identify and remediate weaknesses before they get exploited. Put down vulnerability assessment and mix it up with a management program, and viola! It’s just like a perfect recipe; it can help companies improve the security of their systems.

A Four-Step Guide to Vulnerability Assessment

For you to start an effective vulnerability assessment process for your mobile app development or software development company, follow the four-steps guide below using any automated or manual tool.

A Four-Step Guide to Vulnerability Assessment

1. Initial Assessment

Start by searching and Identifying the assets and defining the risk and critical value for each device. Keep in mind that you must identify the importance of the device on your network or at least the devices you are probably going to test. Understanding if the members of your company or just the administrators and authorized users can access the device (or devices) is crucial.

You ought to have a good understanding of the strategic factors and details, like:

  •  Risk appetite
  •  Risk tolerance level
  •  Risk mitigation practices and policies for each device
  •  Residual risk treatment
  •  Countermeasures for each device or service
  •  Business impact analysis

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2. System Baseline Definition

Ensure to get some info about the systems just before the vulnerability assessment. Check or review instead, things like if the device has open ports, processes, and services that normally should not be opened. You should understand and have proper knowledge of the approved drivers and software and the basic configuration of each device. You could get assistance from one of the many custom software development companies. Try performing a banner grabbing or learning what kind of public information should be accessible based on the configuration baseline.

3. Perform the Vulnerability Scan

Ensure to make use of the right policy on your scanner for you to get desired results. Before starting the vulnerability scan, search for any compliance requirements based on your software development company. You need to recognize the client industry context and determine if you can scan at once or if segmentation is required. Always remember that re-defining and getting the approval of the policy for the vulnerability scan to be performed is essential.

For you to get the best results at your fingertips, you need to make proper use of related tools and plug-ins on the vulnerability assessment platform like:

  •  Best scan (i.e., popular ports)
  •  CMS web scan (Joomla, WordPress, Drupal, general CMS, etc.)
  •  Quick scan
  •  Most common ports best scan (i.e., 65,535 ports)
  •  Firewall scan
  •  Stealth scan
  •  Aggressive scan
  •  Full scan, exploits, and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks

When you plan on performing a manual scan for critical assets to ensure the best results, try configuring the credentials on the scanner configuration. With that, you will successfully perform a better and deeper vulnerability assessment (if the credentials are shared with the team).

4. Vulnerability Assessment Report Creation

Report creation is the fourth and also the most crucial step. Pay good attention to the details and try to add extra value to the recommendations phase. To get a real deal from the final report, ensure to add recommendations based on the initial assessment goals.

FortySeven IT always advises that you avoid forgetting to add risk mitigation techniques based on the assets’ criticalness and results. You should ensure that you add your development findings if they are related to any gap between the result and the system baseline definition to correct the deviations and mitigate possible vulnerabilities. Keep in mind that various findings on the vulnerability assessment are pretty useful and ordered to understand the findings.

You should keep the following details in mind at all times and know that high and medium vulnerabilities ought to have detailed reports that may consist of:

  • The name of vulnerability
  • The date of discovery
  • The score, based on Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) databases
  • A detailed description of the vulnerability
  • Details regarding the affected systems
  • Details regarding the process to correct the vulnerability
  • A proof of concept of the vulnerability for the system (if possible)

A blank field for the owner of the vulnerability, the time it took to correct, the next revision, and countermeasures between the final solution.

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Vulnerability assessment is not a remedy. It’s one of the major measures made for preventing networks from getting hacked by exploiting their vulnerabilities. That’s because it permits one to focus on the network environment’s crucial assets and reveal its weaknesses.

A company whose interest is to protect its security and reputation, FortySeven software professionals recommend that available opportunities be embraced. With that, your custom network infrastructure will get proper protection to help it resist pressure from intruders. An indispensable step that one needs to always be ready for cybersecurity challenges is to conduct a network vulnerability assessment and penetration testing regularly.