Since threat actors are constantly developing new tools and techniques for infiltrating an organization’s defenses, effective cybersecurity can never be a “set it and forget it” mentality. It’s true that vulnerability scans and other software tools are important to your organization’s security posture — but you also need a team of cyber security experts on your side to keep up with cyber criminals. Below, we’ll discuss the value of an expert eye and what you can expect with a vulnerability assessment from Mitnick Security.
What Is a Vulnerability Assessment?
Vulnerability scanning products can perform automatic scans for predetermined threats. They are traditionally used by organizations to catch low hanging fruit in their defenses and surface-level vulnerabilities. A vulnerability assessment is when a cybersecurity expert takes a deeper look at your organization’s vulnerability scan reports to identify and verify additional potential issues.
Vulnerability Assessment vs Penetration Testing
A vulnerability assessment is not the same as penetration testing. In most cases, penetration testing is a simulated attack on your organization’s systems, networks, or outward-facing assets. Pentesting is the ultimate assessment of your security posture and shows you what a threat actor could do if they target your business.
A vulnerability assessment is not a simulated attack. Instead, it’s an efficient way to maximize the benefits of vulnerability scanning. These assessments:
- Should be done quarterly to keep up with system updates and patches.
- Are used to check the accuracy of the vulnerability scan, including identifying false positives.
- Come with a vulnerability assessment report so you can work to mitigate risks.
Benefits of a Vulnerability Assessment
Assessments done right will uncover vulnerabilities not found by scans alone. They are less rigorous than a penetration test, so you can expect them to be completed more quickly and budget-friendly; making them an ideal part of your routine security plan. One of the major benefits of vulnerability assessments is that they help you to prioritize weaknesses that need to be addressed urgently. Following the suggestions in each quarterly vulnerability assessment report can help you mitigate risks year-round.
Vulnerability Assessment Protocol With Mitnick Security
Mitnick Security supports many organizations long-term with services such as vulnerability assessments and penetration testing. Typically, businesses will work with Mitnick Security on a yearly contract basis to help keep up with the complexity of a constantly changing and evolving cybersecurity environment. A typical cybersecurity assessment contract with Mitnick Security follows these steps:
1. The Conversation
You’ll talk with a Mitnick Security professional to determine what your objectives and security goals are for your organization. At this time, you would provide any relevant information, such as the date of your last assessment, any penetration testing results history, or any previous data breaches. If you have already had services provided by Mitnick Security in the recent past, chances are that we’ll have this information already and can use it to help determine your current cybersecurity needs.
2. The Vulnerability Assessment
The professional will go through the vulnerability scan results manually and pinpoint potential false positives, flag urgent finds, and identify potential vulnerabilities not reported in the scan. If you have a report from a previous assessment, they will also check to see if all flagged risks have been mitigated. Your assessor will rate found vulnerabilities according to risk to your company:
Critical Risk: These are vulnerabilities that could easily be exploited by a threat actor to compromise sensitive data, systems, or networks within your organization. These items should be addressed immediately.
High Risk: A threat actor could use this vulnerability and one other weak point to compromise your organization. These items should be prioritized after critical risk threats have been addressed.
Medium Risk: Although these vulnerabilities are not as easily accessible by a threat actor, they are still a concern as they could have a serious impact if not mitigated.
Low Risk: Although these vulnerabilities can be exploited by a threat actor, they are typically either difficult to exploit or pose minimal risk to your company should a threat actor take advantage of these minor vulnerabilities.
Informational: There is no direct risk to your organization, but items in these categories are to gain your attention to prevent potential future threats.
Since vulnerabilities come and go depending on numerous factors — including system updates, additional new software used by your organization, and more — the vulnerability assessment will be tailored to your organization’s needs that were discussed prior to the assessment stage.
3. The Recommendation
You’ll receive a full vulnerability assessment (VA) report that shows you exactly what was found including the category of risk for each vulnerability, and a professional opinion on what a threat actor could do given your current security posture. The VA report will also include recommendations for threat mitigation and suggestions for your next steps.
Fortify Your Defense With a Mitnick Security Vulnerability Assessment
Working with Mitnick Security can help you repel threat actors with a proactive approach to your organization’s cybersecurity. Kevin Mitnick and his team of professionals are ready to show you how you can harden your security posture and shore up vulnerabilities one vulnerability assessment at a time. For more information, contact us.