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15 Sep 2021

Vulnerability scanning: What is it and why is it important?

Cyber attacks are increasing, and threats are evolving. In fact, a recent UK cyber security report found that 2 in 5 businesses have been attacked in the last year. This stat alone should be enough to prompt businesses to take critical actions to prevent cyber attacks and eliminate threats.

One such action is finding your businesses cyber security weaknesses with vulnerability scanning.


Vulnerability scanning – what is it?

In a nutshell, a vulnerability scan provides insight into your attack surface and will alert your business of any security weaknesses which can be exploited and expose your business to attacks. It’s essentially carried out with automated tools that scan your infrastructure for any gaps, flaws and misconfigurations. Without regular scanning, the likelihood of being exploited can be extremely high, and we all know what the repercussions of sensitive data being out in the open can lead to! That’s why it’s important to understand the risk beforehand and secure attack vectors, and yet almost 60% of cybersecurity professionals don’t have a set vulnerability scanning schedule.


What results will I get from vulnerability scanning?

Cyber criminals are always looking for new means to enter networks, and they commonly use automated tools to identify vulnerabilities and gain access to systems. Around 76% of applications have at least one vulnerability, and remember that it takes only one vulnerability for an attacker to cause disruption to your business.

Today’s modern attack surfaces encompass traditional IT, transitory, mobile, dynamic and operational technology. By not having full visibility into your attack surface, it may be difficult to find and remediate vulnerabilities sitting across your assets. So by taking the plunge and getting regular vulnerability scanning, you’ll be able to tell the severity levels of those vulnerabilities are and recommendations on how to remediate in order to improve your overall security posture.

With multiple workforces also working from home and using their own devices, think about the lack of control your business has over security. Those security features that are generally available in the office, like your firewall or encryption, might not be available at home. So conducting regular vulnerability scanning will also uncover any vulnerabilities with employees working remotely.

With vulnerability scanning, your business can expect to:

  • Uncover vulnerabilities before they become a threat
  • Generate areas of improvements
  • Have peace of mind of meeting data protection requirements


External vs Internal Vulnerability scans

External vulnerability scan

This type of scan will help your business uncover and remediate any security holes in your network’s firewall that an external source can use to enter your network. This way you can be one step ahead of hackers trying to exploit any vulnerabilities.

Internal vulnerability scan

An internal scan on the other hand takes a look into any internal components of a network which can be exploited. They detect scans such as insider threats and malware that’s already in your network.

If you’re looking for more information on vulnerability scanning, contact our cyber security experts today for a free consultation.

By OryxAlign