Vulnerability Assessments and Penetration Testing

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What is a Network Security Assessment?

A network security assessment is an audit that is designed to find vulnerabilities in your network. An improperly secured network can be compromised, resulting in harm to business operations and leaks of sensitive data. Vulnerabilities can come in various forms and are constantly changing with new technology, viruses, and applications. Network security should be a top priority for all organizations and encompass internal, external, and social vulnerabilities.

 

Goals of a Network Security Assessment:

  1. Determine viability of a specific set of attack vectors
  2. Identify if a combination of lower-risk vulnerabilities could be exploited in a particular sequence to create a high-risk weakness
  3. Identify weaknesses that are difficult or impossible to detect with an application vulnerability scanning software
  4. Audit and measure the size of potential impacts of successful attacks from both inside and outside of the company
  5. Test the viability of network defenders to detect and respond to attacks
  6. Provide evidence to support increased investments IT or network security
 

There are two major types of Network Security Assessments:

1. Vulnerability Assessment

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1. (Vulnerability Assessment) = External Security Audit

The purpose of this audit is to look at the security of your network from both the outside and inside of the network. It then will produce reports based on the weaknesses of parts of the network, and the network as a whole. This assessment will highlight areas of risk and will advise which changes will need to be made.

2. (Pen Test) = Penetration Testing

2. (Pen Test) = Penetration Testing

This audit includes the vulnerability assessment mentioned previously, but where a Pen Test is different is when vulnerabilities are found, software is ran and a payload is actively delivered.  This will exploit weak links in the chain and will work to try to install code that would otherwise be harmful if coming from an external source. If a hacker can deploy a payload with harmful code, they could take control of segments and possibly expose the entire network. A Pen Test is performed in order to prevent this from happening by finding these vulnerabilities first and actively exploiting them. This is more time consuming compared to the basic vulnerability assessment, but it will test the true strength of your network security and may uncover weaknesses that were not previously visible.

The Vulnerability Assessment is a great way to find weaknesses and areas of risk within your network but a Pen Test will test the true strength of your network security.
— Abtech Technologies

Why do you need it?

A Network Security Assessment is a necessity for businesses for several different reasons. For Example, any business that must be in compliance with HIPAA must be able to prove that their network is secure. Most public organizations will also need to prove they have a secure network. Other businesses see network security as a top priority and will do what it takes to have a secure network.

What else should you know?

Most companies want a vulnerability assessment to show them where their basic weaknesses are. Pen tests are more in depth and time consuming. A vulnerability assessment may be sufficient to identify weaknesses and implement solutions to reinforce the security of the network. In some cases, a full penetration test needs to be performed in order to prove the true security of the network.

Although penetration testing software attempts to penetrate your network, it is not running active code that could be harmful. Implementing a pen test is secure as long as the vulnerability is kept within the company and not in a place where hackers can access it. It is important that you use an IT professional who is very experienced in penetration testing and security audits. 

Using an end-to-end IT solutions provider like Abtech Technologies is the right choice. We can provide the appropriate network security assessment, identify vulnerabilities in your network and implement any changes needed to correct them. Abtech Technologies can provide this service for any type of organization and can also ensure that your network meets specifications needed to be in compliance with HIPAA, PCI, SSAE16 and others.

Abtech Technologies is a market leading, end-to-end IT solutions provider with over 29 years of IT experience. We manage thousands of servers and provide solutions and service to Fortune 500 companies. Abtech Technologies sets itself apart by having a highly experienced staff that can meet the IT needs of businesses of all types and in any stage of growth. Connect with us today!

 

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