One way to secure your organization is by vulnerability scanning your systems regularly. But what is vulnerability scanning? How is it different from pentesting? Is vulnerability scanning better than penetration testing? We will answer all of your concerns, as well as many more, in this blog article! We’ll also discuss the importance of vulnerability scanning and walk you through the process of conducting a website vulnerability test.
What Is Vulnerability Scanning?
Vulnerability scanning is the practice of detecting security flaws in a system. This may be handled manually or using automated applications. Vulnerability scanners will look for known weaknesses in systems, such as outdated software or unpatched vulnerabilities.
What Is the Importance of Vulnerability Scanning?
Vulnerability scanning is crucial because it allows organizations to detect possible security concerns before they are exposed. By conducting regular vulnerability scans, businesses can make sure that their systems are up-to-date and secure.
How Does It Differ From Penetration Testing?
Penetration testing (pentesting) is a more comprehensive form of testing that attempts to exploit vulnerabilities to gain access to systems. Pentesting is often used to test the security of systems before they go live. Vulnerability scanning can be used as part of a pentesting engagement, but it can also be conducted on its own.
Is Vulnerability Scanning Better Than Penetration Testing?
There is no easy answer to this question. There are several differences between vulnerability scanning and penetration testing. Vulnerability scanning is typically less expensive and can be conducted more quickly than pentesting. However, pentesting provides a more comprehensive view of security vulnerabilities.
How Is a Vulnerability Scan Conducted?
Vulnerability scanning is divided into two categories: black box and white box. Black box scans are conducted from the perspective of an attacker with no knowledge of the system being scanned. White box scans are conducted with full knowledge of the system being scanned.
There are also two main types of vulnerability scanning tools: agent-based and agentless. A software agent must be installed on systems being examined by an agent-based scanner. Agentless scanners do not require agents to be installed, but they can only scan systems that are accessible from the scanner’s host machine.
What Is The Vulnerability Scanning Process?
The vulnerability scanning process includes the below-mentioned steps:
Identify the systems that need to be scanned-
Systems that need to be scanned can include servers, desktops, laptops, network devices, and mobile devices. It is important to note that not all systems need to be scanned every time a vulnerability scan is conducted. For example, if you only have a few servers and you know that they are up-to-date with the latest patches, then you may choose not to scan them during your next vulnerability scan.
Choose a vulnerability scanning tool-
When choosing a vulnerability scanning tool, it is important to consider the type of scans that the tool can perform (black box or white box), the operating systems that it supports, and the size of its plugin library.
Configure the scanning tool-
The configuration of a scanning tool will vary depending on the tool you choose. However, most scanning tools will require you to specify the IP addresses or ranges of IP addresses to be scanned, as well as the types of vulnerabilities that you want to scan for.
Scan the systems-
Once the scanning tool is configured, it can be used to scan systems by entering the IP addresses into the scanner and clicking on the Scan button. The scanner will then attempt to find vulnerabilities in the systems that match the criteria you have specified.
â€¢ Review and analyze the scan results-
After the scan is completed, you’ll be given a list of problems that were discovered. It is important to review these results and determine which of these vulnerabilities are false positives and which represent actual security risks. False positives can be caused by incorrect configurations or false-positive plugins.
Once you have reviewed and analyzed the scan results, you can take steps to mitigate any vulnerabilities that pose a risk to your systems. This may involve patching systems, implementing workarounds, or changing configurations. It’s critical to conduct regular vulnerability scanning so your systems are kept safe. By conducting regular scans, you can discover and repair flaws before they are utilized.
Popular Vulnerability Scanning Tools
There are numerous different vulnerability scanning tools available, both commercial and open source. Some of the more popular commercial scanning tools include:
Astra’s Pentest – An automated pen-testing tool provided by Astra Security with built-in exploit detection.
Nessus – Popular vulnerability scanner with a large plugin library.
Burp Suite Pro – Comprehensive web application security testing toolkit.
Retina CS – Commercial vulnerability scanning tool for Windows environments.
Vulnerability scanners can be used to find vulnerabilities, as well as provide information on how to mitigate them. A variety of vulnerability scanning tools are available and have been mentioned. By conducting regular scans, you can keep your systems secure and prevent vulnerabilities from being exploited. I hope this article has helped you to understand what vulnerability scanning is and why it is important. Thank you for reading!