In the ninth article in our 10-article series for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we explain one of our favorite places to start: the vulnerability assessment…and why it’s important.
What Is a Vulnerability Assessment?
A proper vulnerability assessment looks at the system architecture, data flows and IT processes for an organization. You need to understand security controls around the network, ensure security devices are properly configured, ensure best practices for secure configurations are in place, and much more.
There are a lot of benefits to getting a thorough vulnerability assessment done, including:
- Comprehension of What’s Actually on your Network — You will learn whether firewall and content filters are properly configured; which vulnerabilities exist on your systems; whether your user directory is properly secured and configured; whether there are unexpected devices on your network; the security status of your application configurations; and beyond. It’s important to note that this is WAY MORE than just a “vulnerability scan” which only reports on one of these items.
- Guidance to Address your Risks — Not all findings are created equal. A thorough vulnerability assessment will give you an empirical ranking and scoring of the findings, so you can make decisions on planning remediations. The deep comprehension of your risks is something that can make your IT department much more efficient and proactive.
- Visibility to Management — Once you identify all of your risks and have them planned, you’re speaking in a language that management can comprehend. By expressing your security stance in these terms, you can start the budgetary conversation for additional resources with the clear expectation that if you don’t fix things, the risk is X. That should never be an IT or Security conversation — it’s a business decision!
Your first step to better cybersecurity starts with an in-depth assessment, which will give you the awareness, expertise and confidence to start executing the right tasks.
Have you had a vulnerability assessment performed?