Identifying Security Vulnerabilities & Cyber Risk in Your Organization
Aug 23, 2019
Security vulnerabilities or flaws in your organization’s network security architecture can pose a great threat to your business assets and operations. Vulnerabilities are security weaknesses found in computers, networks, servers, and even procedures in which bad actors exploit to capture information and attack an organization. Examples of well-known software or web application vulnerabilities include:
- Web application vulnerabilities;
- Weak passwords;
- Excessive privileges;
- System configuration weaknesses;
- Injected malware in code; or
- Missing data encryption.
The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) also released its top 10 security vulnerabilities and security risks report, in which we highlighted in a previous article, the top three web application vulnerabilities: cross-site scripting, information disclosure, and code injection. Exposure to such vulnerabilities can lead to threats such as malware, spyware, phishing, and more gaining access to confidential company and client information, as well as intellectual property.
It’s important that an organizations’ IT teams understand where the gaps in their security environment lie and test their infrastructure regularly for security vulnerabilities that might pose a threat in the future. So, how do they do this?
How to Identify Security Vulnerabilities and Cyber Risk
There are several different strategies business owners and leaders use to identify security vulnerabilities and cyber risk in their organizations. This can range from purchasing a cybersecurity software to conducting cyber risk testing in-house. Some companies even outsource their cyber risk management to a managed security service provider (MSSP) like Secuvant. However, no matter what strategy a business owner chooses, there are some cyber risk assessments that can help effectively point out any security vulnerabilities in an organization’s systems.
Two assessments we recommend all businesses continually perform are vulnerability scanning and penetration testing. Here at Secuvant, we also offer and recommend our Cyber7™ Risk Management Program. This program aligns and tailors a cyber risk management program with a business’s specific goals and needs, mitigating cyber risk while also providing value.
1. Vulnerability Scanning to Quantify Risk
Conducting a vulnerability scan on your information systems, allows you to gain greater visibility of where and how many security weaknesses there are in your system. Advantages of vulnerability scanning can include:
- Solving compliance and regulatory requirement needs for highly regulated industries such as healthcare;
- Identifying areas of weakness and threats for remediation;
- Assessing the risk level of each vulnerability to prioritize for patch management;
- Remaining competitive in your market by communicating your proactiveness in putting cybersecurity first; and
- Being prepared to mitigate and segregate a potential zero-day vulnerability prior to a release of a patch.
Secuvant’s vulnerability scanning, configuration scanning, and data discovery scans assess the technical aspects of your environment and can be performed remotely, across multiple platforms and multiple locations. These scans can identify risks on a granular level including vulnerabilities, misconfiguration of servers, and vulnerable sensitive data you may not even know existed, allowing us to quantify the risk level in which your organization is at to develop a cybersecurity strategy that minimizes this risk.
2. Penetration Testing Determines Your Security Posture
To bolster an organization’s cybersecurity defense, we supplement vulnerability scanning with penetration testing. Penetration testing differs from vulnerability scanning in that it acts more like a bad actor or hacker by penetrating your systems from different endpoints to find those weak spots in your system to attempt to break in. Vulnerability scanning is an automated process, whereas pen testing includes many forms of expertise to effectively exploit unknown vulnerabilities. Pen testing is a form of ethical hacking that tests your systems to find exploits that hackers could use against your business, and it can be used to test the compliance of policies and procedures from your employees.
An example of a pen test can include, conducting a social engineering campaign in which you send a phishing email to your employees to attempt to receive their credentials to access your organization’s system. The goal of this campaign would help you to understand how ready your employees are when it comes to identifying and responding to a potential, but very common threat.
It’s recommended that organizations conduct vulnerability scanning on a more frequent basis as opposed to penetration testing, which can be conducted once or twice a year.
3. Cyber7™ Risk Management Program
Managing cyber risk with Secuvant’s Cyber7™ program allows you to place your business priorities first, guiding security professionals to solve the technical issues that will benefit your business for the long-term. Secuvant’s cyber security risk management program establishes and guides business executives through this process, understanding business needs including compliance and regulatory requirements. We work by identifying, managing, and mitigating the risks found in your business by creating a strategy that adds value to the gap and risk assessments conducted.
Cyber Risk Management with Secuvant
As organizations remain reliant on external software and applications and welcome more of a remote workforce, encouraging a cybersecurity culture within your organization will be important to prevent threats from occurring. Enhancing security awareness amongst your employees, conducting vulnerability scanning and penetration testing, and having a cybersecurity strategy and incident response plan in place in the event of a security incident, will help protect your organization’s assets from internal and external threats.
Secuvant is here to assist you in all of these areas. Whether you want to completely outsource your cyber risk management or work hand in hand with our security experts, we can help you. To learn more about Secuvant’s Cybersecurity Risk Management Program, reach out to our professionals at email@example.com or 855-732-8826.