Attackers usually exploit network vulnerabilities to reach their targets. These are people looking for loopholes to bypass without much effort. For you, including other users to protect yourself, there is a need for effective mechanisms to ensure your gadget remains protected. Vulnerability scanning is the activity of checking and finding system weak spots so that they can be patched to deter attackers. It is an important aspect of network scanning that should be done more regularly. Countering vulnerabilities means that you would have to think like an attacker for you to constantly test for weaknesses within the system. Network scanners are special tools to help users monitor the network to try to find potential weaknesses.
Common types of network vulnerabilities
· Weak or default passwords: Several web applications, database servers, and even management systems are still being configured with default and weak passwords. This is a dangerous move giving attackers easy access to the network. The best solution to weak passwords is constantly changing them, and it helps to lock out intruders after a set number of failed login attempts.
· Missing patches: This is the easiest way for criminals to breach servers. It allows unauthenticated access into un-patched systems so businesses must update software to the latest edition to prevent unwanted access.
· USB Drives: Portable storage poses a great risk to networks because it is so easy for malicious programs to be transferred from one device to another. Companies need clear rules about the use of USB devices to avert the dangers that abound.
Benefits of vulnerability scanning
External vulnerability tests help the administrator to see what an outsider would see. This is an advantage since it reveals cross-site scripting risks as well as unpatched servers.
Internal scans are important as they show what an attacker would experience once they have penetrated external protective measures.
Network vulnerability scans also identify criminals who may be working from within an organization. Information gained from any network vulnerability scan is priceless, but you have to act on it to appreciate the value of network vulnerability scanning.
Types of Vulnerability Scanners
Businesses can utilize one or more scanners to check for loopholes including:
· Web Application security scanner: This allows for continuous risk assessment of web applications.
· Port Scanners: Scans a network for open ports that might provide leeway to attackers.
· Network scanner: A tool that searches the entire network for loopholes.
Qualities of a good scanner
There are several qualities; all with unique characteristics, but generally they should be:
· Accurate: Mistakes can be costly so a good scanner must always deliver accurate results. This is especially important when the scan is run in an authenticated mode’.
· Non-disruptive: The scan shouldn’t cause unnecessary interruptions to normal operations.
· Convenient: Users should be able to schedule automatic network scans.
· Timesaving: For this to happen, network scanning should provide direct documentation and feedback with the report.
Information security experts emphasize the need for regular scans on a daily or at least weekly basis. Attackers keep changing their tactics to exploit new loopholes identified, and administrators must try to stay ahead through regular network vulnerability scanning.