Vulnerability Assessments

Identify Security Issues and Prioritize Patches
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Discover Vulnerabilities and Potential Risks

Vulnerability assessments and network scans are designed to identify and rank security gaps in information systems and technology. These system and design flaws can span business systems, web servers, and critical web applications across your network. With the wide-spread adoption of web applications, mobile applications, and cloud-based environments, the network perimeter as we once knew it has changed. All it takes is one software defect or misconfiguration for cyber criminals to get a foothold in your environment and steal or compromise valuable information and assets.

What’s the Difference Between Vulnerability Assessments and Penetration Testing?

Vulnerability assessments look for known weaknesses and security flaws in a variety of systems. This includes servers and workstations, desktops, laptops, mobile devices, firewalls, routers, and cloud-based environments. Since a vulnerability scan may produce thousands of results, third-party security experts can help you prioritize what to patch first. They can also help you identify where you need to upgrade, update, or install new hardware, software, or other solutions.

Penetration testing, by contrast, is designed to exploit the entire ecosystem of people, processes, and technology. Pen testers can see how attackers actually use these vulnerabilities to get into your network, how far they can move within the network once they’re in, and what they can find and exfiltrate.

While penetration tests should be conducted annually, vulnerability scans and assessments should be conducted at least monthly. This schedule can depend on many factors, such as your industry, the type of data you handle, your risk tolerance, business needs, and compliance requirements like HIPAA, GLBA, and PCI. In both cases, independent and objective experts like those at Delta Risk can help you get the most from these assessments.

Our Vulnerability Management and Assessment Processes

Delta Risk can scan your internal and external-facing networks and review your active directory group and security architecture. We can also review device and operating system configurations, and coordinate testing across your infrastructure. We can also help you track your progress and the performance of your vulnerability management and patch management efforts over time.

Our vulnerability assessments can include:

  • Inventorying hardware and software assets in your organization
  • Ranking assets based on how critical they are
  • Identifying known security vulnerabilities for each asset or system
  • Providing a risk score for each vulnerability
  • Mitigating vulnerabilities based on risk and asset value
  • Recommending future investments and upgrades

Why Choose Delta Risk?

We have access to a variety of best-in-class vulnerability scanning tools. However, the real success in our process is our expert analysis and reporting. Our team knows that no single automated tool can accurately and reliably cover the landscape of technical threats. That’s why expert interpretation of scanning results and further analysis of the telltale indicators of exploitable conditions are so important. At Delta Risk, we categorize, prioritize, isolate, and act upon vulnerability scanning findings. We can help you fix any issues we find.

When it comes to configuration and architecture reviews, there is no substitute for experience. Our team of experts leverages years of experience in IT security, network administration, and engineering. We understand when and why certain recommended remediation steps may not be appropriate for your environment, and have the skills and experience to help you identify alternate solutions.

Delta Risk has conducted hundreds of cyber security assessments, including penetration testing, for a wide range of commercial and public sector clients. Many of these organizations share similar weaknesses in their people, processes, and technology. Each assessment also presents new technical challenges for us to solve.

What are the Benefits of Vulnerability Assessments?

The primary goal of conducting regular vulnerability assessments is to find known security issues before attackers do, and to plan accordingly. However, they can also benefit your organization in other ways. For example, they can help you develop a comprehensive inventory of all the devices on your network, along with vulnerabilities associated with each device. This inventory can help you better plan your budget for new and upgraded equipment, devices, and security solutions. In addition, they can help you establish a baseline for your organization to measure progress over time and optimize your existing security benefits based on your risk levels. Conducting self-assessments can provide a more complete picture of how security is managed and improved over time.

What are the Most Common Vulnerabilities?

One of the most common vulnerabilities is unpatched systems. In fact, according to a study conducted by Spiceworks, many businesses are still running Windows 7 or Windows 8. This is despite the fact that these systems are susceptible to penetration rates of 87 percent and 38 percent, respectively.

In addition to lack of patching, SQL injections are a dangerous web application security vulnerability that enables attackers to use application code to access or corrupt database content. Attackers that conduct SQL injections can add, delete, or read content in a database, read source code from files in a database server, and write files to the database server.

Overall, web application security vulnerabilities are largely due to coding and configuration errors. Development teams can often identify vulnerabilities in the development phase by conducting code audits from start to finish, but this step is often overlooked, and vulnerabilities can be hard to spot.

Other common vulnerabilities include:

  • Cross-site Scripting – Cross-Site Scripting is a malicious attack that tricks a web browser into performing undesired actions that appear as though an authorized user is doing them.
  • Buffer Overflow – Buffer Overflows occur when there is more data in a buffer than it can handle, causing data to overflow into adjacent storage.
  • Cross-site Request ForgeryCross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) is another malicious attack that tricks web browsers into doing things that appear as if an authorized user is performing those actions.
  • CRLF Injection CRLF Injection attacks refer to the special character elements "Carriage Return" and "Line Feed." Exploits occur when an attacker can inject a CRLF sequence into an HTTP stream.

Data Breaches and Security Incidents Caused by Vulnerabilities

Vulnerabilities have been the root cause for some of the most notorious breaches, including the Equifax breach and Wannacry ransomware attack. According to Krebs on Security, Equifax disclosed that its failure to patch one of its Internet servers against a critical vulnerability led to the exposure of 147 million personal records, one of the biggest breaches to date. A Spiceworks study of 3,000 companies found that 50 percent suffered a breach in the last two years, and 60 percent were due to an unpatched vulnerability. Moreover, of those that suffered a breach, 34 percent of these companies knew they had vulnerabilities but did nothing to correct the issue.