Cybersecurity is crucial in the modern day because of the widespread use of the internet. The internet helps people and businesses connect with friends and family, store and share files, and carry out daily activities. But it comes with the risk of cyber attacks. Hackers and other cybercriminals always look for unsecured networks to infiltrate and exploit for their gain.
This is particularly detrimental to companies with sensitive data because data breaches and other cyber attacks can cause financial harm and make them violate data protection laws. These attacks can also cause business disruptions, customer dissatisfaction, and reputation damage. Business owners employ various cybersecurity measures to keep their establishments operational. One of those measures is vulnerability scanning.
What is Vulnerability Scanning?
Vulnerability Scanning is a process where cybersecurity specialists use security tools to detect, analyze, and report the vulnerabilities in a computer network. This automated process helps companies find potential attack points in their IT infrastructure’s hardware and software components.
After finding these vulnerabilities, cybersecurity personnel will patch them and take other appropriate mitigation measures to prevent cybercriminals from gaining unauthorized access to the system. Vulnerability scanning is a critical component of vulnerability management, and it has the following benefits:
1. Proactive security maintenance
Scanning your organization’s IT infrastructure for vulnerabilities helps you find them proactively. This puts you several steps ahead of a problem that can severely limit your business’s ability to operate smoothly. It will also save you the cost of resolving the security incidents that may occur if you do not take preventive action.
2. Compliance with data protection laws
Companies must follow data protection laws set by the government to ensure consumers’ data remain secure. Violations of these laws might result in fines, business closures, lawsuits, and suspension of business licenses. It can also have social implications like reputation damage and an inability to convert new customers.
3. Improved security preparedness
When cybersecurity professionals find vulnerabilities in your system, they should develop adequate security measures and alert systems to prevent cybercriminals from exploiting them. This makes them prepared to respond to attacks in real-time instead of being caught unawares, risking your organization’s network being taken over.
How to Conduct Vulnerability Scans
Cybersecurity professionals use automated security tools to perform vulnerability scans. There are many of these tools, and some of them work across different operating systems like Windows, Linux, Unix, and even cloud computing environments. There are different vulnerability scans, but the main three are internal, external, and environmental.
Internal scans cover the computer network inside the company. They detect the vulnerabilities cyber attackers can exploit if they infiltrate your system. Meanwhile, external scans are focused on the components of your IT infrastructure in direct contact with the Internet.
These include applications, websites, and other systems that customers can access outside the company. Lastly, environmental scans target the environment where your company’s IT infrastructure resides. For example, cloud servers and IoT devices.
Every business needs to implement cybersecurity measures to ward off hackers and other cybercriminals seeking to infiltrate their network and exploit their data.
It is better to take preventive measures because cyber attacks have lasting consequences that can make a company lose lots of money and disrupt its operations.
Vulnerability scanning is one of these preventative measures. Companies can use it to find and patch vulnerabilities before cybercriminals exploit them.