Things to Consider While Choosing The Right Vulnerability Assessment Tool

Security vulnerabilities exist even in the seemingly secure and impenetrable applications and platforms. While the most obvious ones are fixed immediately, there are often several security flaws that are buried deep within. These require extensive research and adoption of advanced security assessment techniques like VAPT (Vulnerability Assessment And Penetration Testing) to discover and patch. The best of the Vulnerability Assessment Tools is often meticulous and thorough instead of being sophisticated and complex.

Companies often have a very hard time recognizing, categorizing, and characterizing the security loopholes inside their own digital infrastructure. However, that doesn’t mean the network infrastructure, computers, hardware system, and software don’t have several security vulnerabilities hiding and simply waiting to be discovered and exploited. With the ongoing health crisis showing no signs of receding, there’s a serious need to conduct a vulnerability assessment of each and every digital product and platform.

Vulnerability Assessment Significance and Importance:

Vulnerability Assessment and Management tools help organizations stay a step ahead of the onslaught of security issues, loopholes, and undiscovered flaws. The tools used to assess the integrity and safeguards of any digital infrastructure help the IT staff quickly target, identify, and even classify security threats well before they are discovered by a third party or an external agency.

It is important to know beforehand which vulnerability assessment platforms and tools are relevant and needed. The requirement is often judged based on the type of industry. Companies designing, maintaining, and utilizing Vulnerability Assessment Tools usually have an extensive and continually updated database containing information on almost every security vulnerability discovered and addressed by the security research team.

Related Topic- What to Look for in a Mobile Security Assessment Report

Vulnerability Assessment Tools and their analysis is critical because it helps companies conduct a thorough security audit, and prioritize the results based upon severity, exposure, compliance status, and data classification. This allows the IT team to direct attention to security threats that can have the greatest impact.

How vulnerability assessment tools work?

The vulnerability assessment process consists of the below steps:

1. Vulnerability Testing: The first step for vulnerability testing is to draft a comprehensive list of all application’s vulnerabilities. Security analysts continuously test their security infrastructure of servers, applications, or other systems leveraging automated tools, or manual testing and evaluation. Analysts rely on vendor vulnerability announcements, vulnerability databases, asset management systems and diverse threat intelligence requirements to identify all underlying security weaknesses.

2. Vulnerability Analysis: This focuses on identifying the source and consequent root cause of all identified vulnerabilities in one step. This involves scanning all system components which result in vulnerability creation. Such a root-cause analysis offers a clear path for effective remediation.

3. Risk Assessment: This step prioritizes on all looming system security vulnerabilities. It includes security analysts assigning a severity score to all risks, based on-
  • The affected system
  • The data at risk
  • The business functions at risk
  • Ease of the attack 
  • The severity of the attack
Potential damage caused by the vulnerability

4. Remediation: This step is focused on bridging all potential security gaps. Joint efforts by operation, development, and security teams help determine the effective path for mitigation or remediation of all vulnerabilities. Updating operational and configuration changes is essential to develop and implement all vulnerability patches.

Vulnerability assessment is no way a one-off activity. So, to be effective, firms must operationalize all the security processes and repeat them regularly. It is also compulsory to foster cooperation between operation, security, and development teams through DevSecOps functionalities.


Choosing The Right Vulnerability Assessment Tool:

There are several Vulnerability Assessment Tools and suites. However, it is important for companies to take into consideration several finer aspects while making the decision. Moreover, companies must first decide who will be using the tools. Companies might plan to extend access beyond the core information security team to systems engineers who may not be well versed in the use of security products. A complex platform that is difficult to understand and navigate will make matters even more difficult.

Once the company decides who will use the platform, then comes the feature list. There are tons of features and claimed support. However, it is critical for companies to get a clear idea about the organization that is offering a Vulnerability Assessment Tool. In addition to the feature-list, the credibility, and reputation of the security and penetration testing platform provider matters.

Some of the most important and critical features that companies must expect within a vulnerability assessment tool are as follows:

1. Quality and Speed:

One way to facilitate the assessment process is to select a high-profile vulnerability and analyze the gap and vulnerability management time.

2. User Experience:

The product should be seamless to navigate with easy interpretation capabilities. 

3. Compatibility:

The product’s signature database need to cover all of the major operating systems, applications, and infrastructure components to integrate simply with the existing systems.

Good Read: Best Penetration Testing Tools for Security Assessment

4. Support:

The product should detect issues real-time with possible configurations to all tools used for IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. 

5. Compliance:

The product should support all relevant compliance programs that apply to the specific business environment. It should effectively perform required scans and robust self-assessment.

6. Prioritization:

The product should include a mix of manual configuration and automated prioritization that efficiently meets all business goals.

Related Topic- What is the Vulnerability Testing Process that Companies Should Follow

7. Remediation Guidance:

The product should provide advanced remediation guidance to identify vulnerabilities. 

8. Vendor Support:

The tool should offer robust support as a part of the contract to deliver the vendor’s promised response time.

Hackers and malicious code writers are increasingly attempting to dig up new vulnerabilities and scanning for old but still active or unpatched loopholes they can exploit. Needless to add, it is critical for companies to have a dependable Vulnerability Assessment Tool beating the hackers in their own game.

 

Published on Jun 9, 2020
Chaitanya GVS
Written by Chaitanya GVS
Chaitanya Heads growth and full-funnel user acquisition at Appknox.

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