Cybersecurity has become the most crucial concern for any technology head or enterprise today. Hackers are finding new vulnerabilities to hack into enterprise systems. They scan the enterprise systems for all the known vulnerabilities. If your enterprise has any vulnerability, then they will easily get access to your network. Thus, it has become very important to guard your business against these cyber attacks. Almost every business has a website nowadays. However, websites are at a higher risk of getting hacked. It has become important to have a strong cybersecurity strategy.
What is VAPT or Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing?
VAPT or Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing is a testing process which is used to detect various kind of security flaws in a network or a program. Penetration Testing and Vulnerability Assessment is both different types of vulnerability Testing.
- Vulnerability Assessment: Vulnerability Assessment is the process of finding flaws in software or a network.
- Penetration Testing: This is conducted after the first process. In this security professionals check if the identified vulnerability exists by exploiting the application.
VA tools only discover vulnerabilities that are present in your system. They don’t differentiate between bugs that can cause damage and those that can’t cause damage to your system. There are various vulnerability scanners available in the market which you can use to find vulnerabilities. These scanners will alert the enterprise if any vulnerability exists in their application. Vulnerability Assessment can also be done manually. After scanning your network you will get to know about potential vulnerabilities in your system. This report will be used when you are doing Penetration Testing. VA is a simple process that can be easily carried out.
Penetration Testing (PT):
Penetration testing is used to test the vulnerabilities which are found by scanners. It is used to measure the degree of these vulnerabilities. This process helps in confirming if the vulnerability exists in your program. The Penetration Testing process is complicated when compared to the Vulnerability Assessment. It can cause actual damage to your systems. Thus, you need to take a lot of precautions before performing Penetration Testing. It will also help you in understanding the depth of the exploit.
Both of these steps are implemented together to understand which defects exist in your system or network. A typical VAPT process contains the following steps:
- Scan your application or network with vulnerability scanners
- Search for vulnerabilities in your system
- Try to exploit the vulnerabilities
- Prepare a final report by combining both step data
Difference between Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing
Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing are two very different processes. The VA process will give you a simple map of your system security. You will get to know about all the potential vulnerabilities that could exist in your system. But, the PT process will help you in diving deep into those vulnerabilities.
The VA process will only tell you about different vulnerabilities in your system. But, the PT will tell you how bad these vulnerabilities are for your system. There is also one more difference between these two processes. You can carry the VA process by using automated tools. There are various vulnerability scanners available in the market. But, Penetration Testing is mostly a manual process. You need security professionals who can efficiently perform this step. Penetration Testing is just a simulation of what a real hacker can do to your application or network.
There are various tools available in the market. But, we have listed only the best tools in this article. Most of these tools are used to scan your network only. You still need a professional ethical hacker for the penetration testing step. There are still some tools that will be used for Penetration testing. But, you need highly trained professionals who can efficiently use PT tools. Some of the most powerful VAPT tools are:
- Nmap (VA)
- Nexpose (VA)
- Nessus (VA)
- Acunetix Scanner (VA)
- Metasploit (PT)
- Burpsuite (PT)
Role of VAPT in Data and Cyber Security:
The adoption of technology is increasing every day due to growth in IoT devices. These devices have made your networks more vulnerable. VAPT is important to check the security level of your network. It helps enterprises in recognizing various vulnerabilities that exist in your applications or network. Almost every other sector spends a major amount of money in improving their security systems. VAPT services are very important to guard your network against hackers and cybercriminals.
Benefit and Features of VAPT
VAPT offers various benefits to the enterprise when it comes to system security like:
- It will give you a comprehensive evaluation of your application.
- It will help you in understanding loopholes or errors that can lead to major cyber attacks.
- VAPT gives a more detailed view of the threats that your network or application is facing.
- It helps enterprises to protect their data and systems from malicious attacks.
- VAPT is important to accomplish compliance standards.
- Protects your business from data loss and unauthorized access.
- It will help you in protecting your data from outside and insider threats.
VAPT has become very important for all enterprises. IT heads should include VAPT in their budgets. VAPT should be periodically done to make sure that your data is protected from hackers. The frequency of VAPT will depend upon various factors like risk impact and data confidentiality. You can use various tools to perform the vulnerability assessment process. But, you need to hire good ethical hackers for the penetration testing process.