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Penetration Testing vs Vulnerability Assessment

By January 30, 2020 No Comments
Penetration Testing vs Vulnerability Assessment

Data security is very important in the digital age. You can’t take security for granted. Companies are gathering more data from their customers. They are using this data for making better business decisions. However, it is important to protect your data from attackers. Hackers are always trying to steal the company’s data. Data breaches can negatively affect the reputation of your company. You will lose the trust of your existing customers. Due to this, most companies never recover from a data breach.

Security professionals are working on different scanning and testing practices. You can use these tools for scanning your network for vulnerabilities. These tools will help you in finding potential security gaps in your network. However, there are various tools available in the market. Thus, it is difficult to find a perfect tool for your organization. Most companies don’t even know the difference between VA and PT. You can use both approaches for dealing with security gaps in your network. But, still, there are some key differences between both practices.

Definition of Penetration Testing (PT):

You can automatically perform vulnerability scans in your network. But, PT is mostly done manually. The main aim of this test is to determine how someone can exploit known security gaps. These tests are mostly done by third-party vendors. PT will help you in understanding the weakness in your network. It is pretty much like a cyberattack. But, these attacks are only for testing purposes. The tester will try to exploit known gaps in your network. They can use unencrypted passwords for gaining access to your network.

The vulnerability scan mainly focuses on what can happen to your network. Its main aim is to determine the vulnerabilities that hackers can use. However, it can’t predict the severity of cyberattacks. PT will help you in understanding the severity of cyberattacks. It will help you in understanding how the actual attack will happen. The third-party vendor will submit a final report to you. This report will contain all the specific methods that someone can use for exploiting security gaps. They will also provide a list of data and systems that were compromised. Sometimes it will also contain recommendations. You can use these recommendations for fixing security gaps in your network.

These tests are mostly conducted manually. Thus, only highly skilled security professionals can conduct this test. PT is an expensive approach when compared to VA. Also, it is more time-consuming. However, you should conduct it two-time at least per year. The testing process mainly starts with already known vulnerabilities. But, they can also use unknown vulnerabilities for hacking into your network.

Definition of Vulnerability Assessment (VA):

It is also known as “vulnerability assessment” or “vulnerability scan”. You can use it for scanning your entire network for vulnerabilities. This test will help you in finding potential security gaps in your network. Attackers can use these security gaps for hacking into your network. Thus, it is important to fix these security vulnerabilities.

VA is mostly an automatic process. There are various vulnerability scanners available in the market. You can use these scanners for scanning your network. These tools will also allow your schedule your vulnerability tests. Thus, you can easily conduct vulnerability tests in a regular interval. VA will help you in maintaining data security. It will provide a security report of your important systems. You should conduct these tests after making any changes in your network.

These tests will help you in finding issues like missing patches and outdated certifications. It will also report to you about any unauthorized change in your network. These tests will also tell you if your system is compromised. Thus, it is an important tool for maintaining a good security level.

You should perform these tests on a regular basis. Most of the scanners are automatic. Thus, it is less time-consuming when compared to PT. All your IT department needs to do is install these scanners. Each vulnerability scan will produce a report. These vulnerability reports will help you in identifying security gaps in your network. Some of the scanners can also categorize these gaps according to their threat level. Thus, you can focus on important vulnerabilities first.

PT vs VA: Which is perfect for your organization?

If you want to enhance your security strategy, then you should opt for both approaches. These approaches will help you in establishing an effective security approach. This will ensure that your data and applications are protected. Regular vulnerability scans will help you in finding security gaps in your network. PT can work on exploiting these vulnerabilities. This will help you in understanding weaknesses in your network. You can use both approaches for securing your network from hackers. Some of the advantages of using these approaches are:

  1. Better network security

These approaches will ensure that you have already dealt with known security gaps. Thus, your network is secure from most of the cyberattacks.

  1. Reputation management

Data breaches can affect the reputation of your company. It is difficult to recover from a data breach. These approaches will reduce the probability of cyber-attacks.

  1. Data security

These approaches will help you in securing your applications. This will help you in increasing data security.

  1. Improved regulations and compliance

These approaches will also ensure that your application is compliant with industry regulations. Thus, you don’t need to worry about security compliances.

Conclusion

PT and VA are the two most important security approaches. VA is an automatic approach. But, Penetration testing is a manual approach. You can combine both approaches for increasing the security level of your network. These approaches will help you in protecting your data from hackers. Most small and medium-sized companies never recover from a data breach. Thus, it is important to secure your network from attackers. These approaches will help you in protecting your network from hackers. If you want more security tips, then you contact Bleuwire.

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