What is vulnerability analysis? How to perform a proper vulnerability assessment effectively? Cybersecurity strategy as the key element of a company’s strategy.
One of the most effective ways for discovering potential security gaps in your organization’s cybersecurity design is vulnerability assessment.
Failure to complete frequent vulnerability assessments can result in the loss of crucial and sensitive information to hackers, who have been targeting charitable organizations in growing numbers since the epidemic began. This, in turn, can have disastrous consequences, such as a loss of donor confidence and unfavorable brand exposure. Unfortunately, most nonprofit organizations have never conducted even one vulnerability assessment to identify and mitigate their potential risk exposure.This is one of the reasons why nonprofit websites are such a popular target for hackers. In this post, we’ll explain what a vulnerability assessment is and how to do one properly.
What exactly is a vulnerability analysis?
A vulnerability assessment (also known as vulnerability testing) is the methodical evaluation of possible and current risks and defects in your organization’s systems, networks, applications, hardware, and other IT ecosystem components. A complete vulnerability test discovers, prioritizes, and assigns severity levels to detected flaws before recommending prevention or solution. The majority of vulnerability evaluations are standard in IT systems and are not sector specific.They can be carried out in areas such as energy supply, water supply, transportation, and communication networks, among others.
There are several tools available for doing vulnerability assessments.Dynamic application security testing (DAST) solutions, for example, will evaluate your apps while they are operating to identify vulnerabilities that might be exploited. Static application security testing (SAST) is another method that analyzes the source code of software and apps to find security issues.
How to Perform a Proper Vulnerability Assessment
1. Defining and planning the testing scope
Before you can begin doing a vulnerability assessment, you must first develop a methodology:
- Determine the location of your most critical data.
- Discover hidden data sources.
- Determine which servers are responsible for mission-critical applications.
- Determine which systems and networks to connect to.
- Examine all ports and processes for misconfigurations.
- Create a diagram of the whole IT infrastructure, digital assets, and any devices that will be used.
The goal here is to simplify the entire procedure.
2. Identification of Vulnerabilities
Perform a vulnerability scan on your IT infrastructure and create a comprehensive report of the underlying security concerns. This process requires both an automated vulnerability scan and a manual penetration test to confirm discoveries and prevent false positives.
A scanning tool will generate a complete report with various risk ratings and vulnerability scores. Most tools assign a number score using a CVSS (common vulnerability scoring system). A close examination of these scores will reveal which weaknesses must be addressed first.
You can order them in order of severity, urgency, possible damage, and danger.
4. Addressing Vulnerabilities
Once the vulnerabilities have been found and examined, the next stage is to decide how to address them. There are two options: remediation and mediation.
5. Remediation is completely repairing a vulnerability to prevent further exploitation.
It can be accomplished by the installation of new security tools, a product update, or something more complicated. The vulnerability repair process is guided by the priorities established during the analysis phase and involves all stakeholders.
When there is no adequate remedy or patch for a discovered vulnerability, mitigation might assist lessen the likelihood of an attack. The option is used to purchase time until a solution can be found. Additional technologies to assist mitigate cybersecurity risks should be deployed as part of the mitigation process. Antivirus software, for example, may be used to detect and eliminate malware and other dangers from your network. Reputable solutions may achieve this using a variety of methods, such as real-time antivirus scanners, remote firewalls, and predictive artificial intelligence threat detection.
In an era when practically every firm is bringing its most vital services online, a good cybersecurity strategy is critical. As part of this strategy, your nonprofit organization should conduct regular vulnerability assessments to ensure that any external risks are discovered and addressed as soon as possible.