Working of Vulnerability Scanning?

Working of Vulnerability Scanning? – Any organization needs to handle and process large volumes of data in order to carry out business. These large volumes of data contain the information of that particular organization for which access is denied to the unauthorized users.

Attackers try to find certain vulnerabilities that they can exploit and use those to gain access to the critical data for illegal purposes. Vulnerability analysis performs a study on the risk-prone area of the organizational network. This analysis is done various tools. the vulnerabilitiy analysis reports on the vulnerabilities present in the network. Vulnerability scannine solutions perform vulnerability penetration tests on the oraganizational network in three steps:

Working of Vulnerability Scanning?

  • Locating nodes – The first step in vulnerability scanning is to locate live hosts in the target network using various scanning techniques.
  • Performing service discovery on them – After detecting live hosts in the target network, the next step is to enumerate open ports and services on the target systems.
  • Testing those services for known vulnerability – Finally, after identifying open services, these services are tested for known vulnerabilities.

Types of Vulnerability Assessment Tools

There are six types of vulnerability assessment tools:

Host-Based Vulnerability Assessment Tools

The host-based scanning tools are apt for servers that run various appllication such as the web, critical files, databases, directories, and remote accesses. These host-based scanners are able to detect high levels of vulnerabilities and provide the required information of the fixes (patches). A host-based vulnerability assessment tools finds and identifies the OS running on a particular host computer and test it for known deficiencies. It also searches for common applications and services.

Depth Assessment Tools

Depth assessment tools are used to find and identify previsouly unknown vulnerabilities in a system. generally, these tools are used to identify vulnerabilities to an unstable degree of depth. Such types of tools include fuzzers that give arbitrary input to a system’s interface. Many of these tools use a set of vulnerability signatures for testing that the product is resistant to a known vulnerability or not.

Application-Layer Vulnerability Assessment Tools

Application-layer vulnerability assessment tools are designed to serve the needs of all kinds of operating system types and applications. Various resource pose a variety of security threats and are identified by the tools designed for that purpose. Observing system vulnerabilities through the Internet using an external router, firewall, and web server, is called external vulnerability assessment. These Vulnerabilities could be external DoS/DDoS threats, network data interception, etc.

The assessment for vulnerabilities is performed and the resources that are vulnerable are noted. The network vulneability information is updated regularly into the tools. Application-layer vulnerability assessment tools are directed towards web servers or databases.

Scope Assessment Tools

Scope assessment tools provides assessment of the security by testing vulneabilities in the applications and operating system. these tools provide a standard control and a reporting interface that allows the user to select a suitable scan. these tools generate a standard report of the information found. Some assessment tools are designed to test a specific application or its type for vulnerability.

Active/Pasive Tools

Active scanners perform vulnerability checks on the network that consume resources on the network. The main advantage of the active scanner is that the system administrator or IT manager has good control of the timing and the degree of vulnerability scans. This scanner cannot be used for critical operating systems because it uses system resourses that affect the processing of other tasks.

Pasive scanners are those that do not affect system resources considerably, as they only observe system data and perform data processing on a separate analysis machine. A passive scanner first recieves system data that provides complete information on processes that are running and then assesses that data against the set of rules.

Working of Vulnerability Scanning?

Location/Data Examined Tools

Listed below are some of the location/data examined tools:

  • Network-Based Scanner: Network-based scanners are those that interact only with the real machine where they reside and give the report to the same machine after scanning.
  • Agent-Based Scanner – Agent-based scanners reside on a single machine but have the ability to scan a number of machines on the same network.
  • Proxy Scanner – Proxy scanners are the network-based scanners that have the ability to scan networks from any machine in the network.
  • Cluster scanner : Cluster scanners are similar to proxy scanners but have the ability to perform two or more scans on different machines simultaneously in the network.

Working of Vulnerability Scanning?

Choosing a Vulnerability Assessment Tools

Vendor-designed vulnerability assessment tools can be used to test a host or application for vulnerbilities. There are several vulnerability assessment tools available that include port scanners, vulnerability scanners, and OS vulnerability assessment scanners. Organizations have to choose the right tools based on their test requirements.

Choose the tools that right tools based on their test requirements:

  • Tools must be capable of testing dozens to 30000 different vulnerabilities, depending on the product.
  • The selected tool should have a sound database of vulnerabilities and attack signatures that are updated frequently.
  • Pick a tool that matches your enviorment and expertise.
  • Verify that the vulnerability assessment tools you choose has accurate network mapping, application mapping, and penetration tests. Not all the tools can find the protocols running and analyzes the network’s performance.
  • Ensure that the tool has a number of refularly updated vulnerability scripts for the platforms you are scanning.
  • Make sure that patches are applied, failing which might lead to false positives.
  • Find out how many reports you get, what infromation they contain, and whether you can export the reports.
  • Check whether the tool has different level of penetration to stop lockups.
  • Maintenance cost of the tools can be utilized by effectively using the tools.

Criteria for Choosing a Vulnerability Assessment Tool

the Criteria to be followed at the time of choosing of purchasing any vulnerability assessment tools are as follows:

  • Types of vulnerabilities being assessed : The most important information at the time of evaluating any tool is to find out how many types of vulnerabilities it will discover.
  • Testing capability of scanning : The Vulnerability assessment tool must have the capacity to execute the entire selected test and must scan all the systems selected for scanning.
  • Ability to provide accurate reports : Ability to prepare an accurate report is essential vulnerability reports should be short, clear, and should provide an easy method to mitigate discoverd vulnerability.
  • Efficient and accurate scanning : There are two aspects of performance. The first one is how much time it takes for a single host and what resources they require. The second one is the loss of services at the time of scanning. It is important to ensure how accurate they are and what accurate results they give.
  • Capability to perform smart search : How clever they are at the time of scanning is also a key factor in judging any vulnerability assessment tool.
  • Functionality for writing own tests : When a signature is not present for a recently found vulnerability, it is helpful if the vulnerability scanning tool allows user-developed tests to be used.
  • Test run scheduling : it is important to be able to do test run scheduling as it allows users to perform scanning when traffic on the network is light.

Best Practices for Selecting Vulnerability Assessment Tools

Some of the best practices that can be adopted for selecting vulnerability assessment tools are as follows:

  • Vulnerability assessment tools are used to secure and protect the organizatio’s system or network. Ensure that they do not damage your network or system while running.
  • Before using any vulnerability assessment tools, it is important to understand their function and to decide what information you want to collect before starting
  • Security mechanisms are some what diffrent for accessing from within the network and form outside the network; so first decide the source of location for the scan based on what information you want to collect.
  • At the time of scanning, enable the loggings every time you scan on every computer and ensure that all outcomes and methodologies are annotated.
  • Users should scan their system frequently for vulnerabilities and regularly monitor them for vulnerabilities and exploits.

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