How to conduct a network vulnerability assessment?

In today’s business environment every company is at risk of a cyber-attack. No matter how small or large your business is, if there are cybersecurity vulnerabilities hackers can exploit, they most likely will target your company sooner or later. And being at the center of a cybersecurity breach is something that can easily ruin the reputation of any company. Thankfully, there are a few tools you can use to minimize cybersecurity risks for your business and a network vulnerability assessment is one of these tools.

What is a network vulnerability assessment?

A network vulnerability assessment is a process during which a team of cybersecurity experts examines systems and networks, detects and quantifies vulnerabilities in them and compiles a plan of actions to remediate those vulnerabilities.

How is a network vulnerability assessment conducted?

There are 8 general steps in which vulnerability assessments are conducted. During the first step, a list of all the company assets is compiled and these assets are analyzed for vulnerabilities and threats. The assets are then prioritized according to the level of risk associated with them. Next, policies and procedures for vulnerability scanning are developed, written down, reviewed and approved by management. The policy document should include the types of scans that will be performed and their frequency, procedures to perform them, a list of software that will be used, etc. Before beginning the assessment process, you also need to determine the types of vulnerability scans that will be conducted. The most common types of scans are network vulnerability scans, host, wireless and application-based scans.

During the next stage, the vulnerability scan is configured to achieve the objectives of the assessment and carried out by specialized software. Finally, the results of the scan are interpreted and a plan for eliminating vulnerabilities and improving the security of the network is created.

Frequently asked questions

How much does it cost to conduct a vulnerability assessment?

The price of vulnerability assessments depends on the size and complexity of the network that needs to be assessed and typically varies from $2,000 to $4,000.

How often do you need to conduct vulnerability assessments?

On average, it is advised to conduct vulnerability assessments at least once every quarter, although the exact frequency will differ for each business. You may need to conduct vulnerability assessments more frequently to meet compliance requirements, test the network after significant changes in infrastructure, etc.

What are the benefits of network vulnerability assessments?

Conducting regular network vulnerability assessments allows your company to stay compliant with state and national regulations in your field, close down all the security gaps that may be exploited by criminals and generally decrease the risk of cyber attacks on your business.

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    Vitaly is a principal consultant at Hackcontrol as wall as aa business and IT thought leader. He has over 15 years of experience in consulting, account management and is a specialist in cybersecurity.