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How To Perform Online Vulnerability Assessment Of Your Website? Why Is It Important?

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Updated on29 November 2021

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Approx. read time : 7 min

Over time, the level of security of the network is continuously changing, and at the same time, the threat of cyber-attacks is becoming has been bothering the companies and website owners. To get rid of this situation, a routine-based vulnerability assessment can help you know some of the potential issues within your department, and this will help you to safeguard your assets.

You will find many flaws and defects in the IT system of an organization. VA (Vulnerability Assessment) helps to spot and categorize the security glitches and provides effective measures to resolve them. Generally, most of the vulnerabilities are found in third-party applications. Therefore, there is a need for an online vulnerability assessment of your website, which helps you to know about potential security risks. Knowing the loopholes in the security system helps to protect your data from unethical hackers. This article will help to unlock the benefits of the online vulnerability assessment of your website. 

If you are aware of the fact that your system is being attacked, then you can find ways of preventing it. The vulnerability assessment of the website tells you about the potential security risk and helps to provide a detailed report. The report can act as a tool to address immediate problems and helps you avoid future security issues. 

Nowadays, most companies rely on advanced technology to perform their required tasks, but cyber attacks can instantly affect your online visibility. This is why there is a growing demand for cyber security. 

This article provides you an insight on conducting an online vulnerability assessment of your website.

Vulnerability Assessment Tools

Vulnerability assessment of websites is done automatically with the help of scanners. The scanners are operated mainly by IT experts. Vulnerability scanners are found in different forms; some scanners excel at web applications while others work well at network scanning. In small enterprises, a single scanner is mainly used, but a big company has a wide range of intricate networks that require multiple scanners to enhance security. Besides, there is a certain way of choosing an ideal scanner for your business. 

‘Intruder’ is an assessment tool crafted for regulating your department and can identify a lot of issues. It is a fully automated tool which means that you will save much time while monitoring network changes, executing security scans, and maintaining the cloud system. The tool helps to define all the potential issues and provides effective remediation and recommendations. Thus, you can locate and resolve the vulnerabilities before unethical hackers get to know about them. 

Steps For Vulnerability Assessment

Asset Finding

At first, you need to identify what exactly you need to scan. It may look like a simple task but it is not as simple as it sounds. There is a lack of transparency in the digital infrastructure and its associated devices. This has become an important cyber security issue that many companies are facing. 

Every employee prefers to work in an organized company, but most of the companies are messy. There will be different teams in a company, and it isn’t easy to track what they are doing online. Therefore, a lack of visibility occurs, and it becomes problematic to protect what you can’t see. Fortunately, asset discovery can be conducted automatically where you do not have to track the activities of different teams. 

Vulnerability Scanning

Vulnerability scanners are meant for identifying the potential security flaws and offering guidance to resolve them. Vulnerabilities are documented publicly, so there is a lot of information that can be found about vulnerable software. Scanning devices make use of this information to spot vulnerable software and devices of a particular company. The scanner sends signals to the system to find configuration settings, software updates, and open ports. Based on the digital infrastructure, this can take about a few minutes to an hour. 

Give Precedence 

After knowing the main problem, the next thing that you need to decide is whether you can run a vulnerability test. It is important to conduct this test regularly on the system. The rate per asset may vary from one vendor to another. For instance, some vendors charge for each asset, so in this case, you need to determine your budget well and see where your budget is unable to cover it. Some of the assets where you should perform vulnerability assessment tests are Internet-centric servers, Customer-centric applications, and a database with important information.

Security Position

The level of website security can be understood through an online vulnerability assessment. It helps you to know how website security is presented. If you can know how cyber attackers view your web application security, you will then be able to plan your next step to enhance your security. There are a few steps that you can adopt to check and resolve your web application security. Generally, most cyber-attacks occur when basic security vulnerabilities are not uncovered. You should note that strange vulnerabilities can affect weak and even strong networks. You should notice basic security vulnerabilities when assessing your web application. Some things to look for are enumerated below:

  • Web-based email service
  • Weak passwords 
  • Good security policies 
  • Lack of knowledge 

Based on the level of importance and sensitivity of data, you can rank and spot a business. After finishing this step, you can identify web applications and data. This step can be made simpler with the combined assistance of the IT department and other business members. 

Related: Cybersecurity Checklist For New Business Owners

Remediation Suggestion 

After the scanning process is finished, you will receive a detailed assessment report. Based on the result of the analysis stage, you can start solving the most difficult issues. You can take the assistance of various vulnerability assessment tools or you can optimize the software or implement new security tools to fix your network defects. But, if the vulnerabilities don’t pose a huge problem to the company, it may not be worth investing your efforts to resolve them. When you are creating effective measures depending on this report, you should consider the following aspects:

Severity

A vulnerability scanner should recognize a potential threat based on the level of severity. You should pay attention to the most severe vulnerabilities when planning for remediation, but at the same time, you should try to ignore other things. Hackers can create several vulnerabilities and cause trouble. However, a high-quality scanner will help recommend some time slots that tell you when to fix every problem. 

Vulnerability Identification

Prioritization tells you that every vulnerability is included within a public-centric system. Any anonymous hacker can exploit internet-centric systems, thus making internet-facing systems a higher priority. After that, you need to pay attention to your employee devices that have vulnerable software in them. Besides, any system which contains confidential data could affect your business and should be given prime importance.

After the issue is resolved, it is always better to scan the system again. In this way, you will ensure that the solution you have applied is correct. 

Assessment tools help to find the possible threat within your web application. Besides, vulnerability identification helps to expose the impact to the infrastructure, application, and operational levels. 

Find Unknown Data Sources

When looking for web applications and data sources, it is advisable to consider mobile devices and desktop PCs. This is because all these devices contain the most confidential and processed information of a company. There is a method through which the data travels between the device and storage application. Check out how your business employees are delivering reports that may contain confidential documents.

Routine-based vulnerability assessment is important for a strong security system. The complexity of the business network and the number of vulnerabilities generally refer to a guaranteed vulnerability at risk. Discovering these vulnerabilities way before an unethical hacker misuses the data is important.

One of the best parts of vulnerability assessment is that you can even make payments online. When you have the right tools and want to conduct a routine-based vulnerability scan, you can enhance your cyber security risk with the help of a web application tool.

Conclusion 

A comprehensive vulnerability assessment report gives you profound knowledge regarding your common risk, safety flaws, and digital assets. If you can explore why vulnerability assessment is crucial, it will help you to protect your organization’s assets.  

The digital world has become a place where cyber attackers try their luck. For this reason, businesses consider appointing security officers and other IT-based companies to fight against this emerging issue. In order words, it helps to gauge the level of weakness in the system and provides remedial suggestions. 

Cyber-attacks are getting more and more complex, and it is crucial to have effective protection against them and prevent them from accessing an organization’s sensitive data, this marks the importance of website vulnerability assessment.

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