Vulnerability Scanning

A vulnerability scan assesses of possible security vulnerabilities in computers, internal and external networks, and communications equipment that cyber criminals can exploit. It is an automated activity that scans infrastructure targets such as IP addresses for known vulnerabilities and misconfigurations.

The resulting vulnerability assessment report will help you promptly identify security weaknesses that need to be resolved.

What is vulnerability scanning used for?

Vulnerability testing is an essential part of mitigating your organisation’s security risks. By using a vulnerability scanner to identify the points of weakness in your systems, you can reduce the attack surface that criminals might exploit, focusing your security efforts on the areas that are most likely to be targeted.

Vulnerability scans can also help to routinely audit IP address ranges to see if unauthorised services are being exposed or whether redundant IP addresses are being used.

How does vulnerability testing work?

There are two main types of vulnerability scan:

Whichever type you choose, vulnerability scanning tools will use reference databases of known flaws, coding bugs, anomalies, configuration errors and potential routes into corporate networks that attackers can exploit. These databases are updated continually.

How often should you conduct a vulnerability scan?

Vulnerability scans need to be conducted regularly to ensure that new vulnerabilities are identified as soon as they become common knowledge and that the appropriate remedial actions are taken, such as applying the necessary patches to fix software vulnerabilities.

Frequent security scanning can show where exposed services are unpatched and vulnerable to exploitation, allowing IT to take swift remedial action.

You should have a vulnerability management programme. This should include scanning (at least monthly) and annual penetration testing, as well as when you make changes to your systems.

This will help identify your security weaknesses and the extent to which you are open to attack.

Skip to content