A vulnerability scanner is a software tool that discovers and inventories all networked systems, including servers, PCs, laptops, virtual machines, containers, firewalls, switches, and printers. It attempts to identify the operating system and software installed on each device it detects, as well as other characteristics such as open ports and user accounts.
In order to generate a more thorough image of the system, most vulnerability scanners will attempt to log in to computers using default or other credentials.
Following the creation of an inventory, the vulnerability scanner compares each item in the inventory to one or more databases of known vulnerabilities to see if any of the objects are vulnerable.
A vulnerability scan produces a list of all the systems discovered and identified on the network, highlighting any that have known vulnerabilities that need to be addressed.
What Are the Different Vulnerability Scanning Types
1:- Port Scanner
By issuing connection requests to your network hosts, port scanners may check for open ports. The status of the request responses is checked to see if they are active or not.
In order to send malware and ransomware, cyber attackers may employ port scanners to identify open ports on your network servers.If your scans uncover open port vulnerabilities, malicious individuals can likely detect them too. As a result, this is one of the essential elements for vulnerability assessment.
2:- Web Application Vulnerability Scanner
To avoid cyberattacks, web applications meant for public use should be examined for vulnerabilities on a regular basis. These cyberattacks use cross-site scripting to insert malicious data into apps, causing users to unintentionally execute the attacker’s script, causing the data to be altered.
These scanners should be used to ensure that input validation is part of a larger web application security strategy. Furthermore, security teams should continue to check for secure sockets layer (SSL) settings and use the results to maintain them up to date.
3:- Network Vulnerability Scanner
One of the most important scans for your company is network vulnerability scanning. For starters, port scanning can help prevent illegal network access. The following should be included in your network scanning and vulnerability assessments:
A:- Brute Force Scan – This scan checks for weak passwords from a default list, dictionary list, or custom list created by system administrators with common, unsecure passwords that employees often use (e.g., birthdays, street or pet names, “password1”).
B:- Credentialed Scan – This scan relies on authorized accounts to conduct penetration testing and evaluations. An approved user can check for vulnerabilities without impacting network activity or business operations. This scan aims to discover and identify vulnerabilities, not exploit or disrupt the network.
C:- Exploit Scan – This scan, as the name suggests, looks for vulnerabilities and exploits them to the extent of causing network interruption. This is done without the need of passwords and closely resembles the method of attack used by cyber threat actors. As a result, exploit scans should only be carried out when their level of business impact will not jeopardise ongoing operations.
4:- Host-based Vulnerability Scanner
Host-based vulnerability scanners assess the configurations and operating systems of local machines, servers, and other network hosts to identify any vulnerabilities. Host-based vulnerability scanning generally falls into one of three categories:
A:- Agent-Server – A piece of software (agent) is installed on an endpoint. The vulnerability scan is performed by the agent, who then sends the results to a central server for analysis and mitigation. Agents often collect data in real-time and send it to a central management system. The fact that the agents are attached to operating systems is one of the challenges of agent-server scanning.
B:- Agentless – This method requires administrator-credentialed access to centrally initiate vulnerability scans or configure an automated schedule.The operating system requirements for agentless scanning are not the same as for agents. This allows for more network-connected systems and resources to be examined, but the assessments must be consistent and may not be as thorough as with agents.
C:- Standalone – This scan has no network connections and is the most labor-intense of the host-based vulnerability scans. It requires scanner installation on every host you intend to check. Most enterprises that manage hundreds, if not thousands, of endpoints will find that standalone methods are ineffective.
5:- Database Scanner
Databases hold the data that your company saves, processes, and communicates in order to deliver services and achieve its objectives. Scan for database flaws that could allow an attacker to gain access to your data:
A:- Access and change sensitive data
B:- Remove sensitive data
C:- Control data servers
D:- Pivot from data servers to other areas of the network
Depending on your industry, risk and vulnerability assessment may be required by regulations. The HIPAA Security Rule, for example, mandates healthcare companies and their business affiliates to do risk assessments on a regular basis.
6:- Source Code Vulnerability Scanner
The building elements of your apps and operating systems are source codes. The insecure design was ranked fourth on the Open Web Application Security Project’s (OWASP) Top 10 list of important threats and vulnerabilities for 2021.
Use a program that compares your code to the NIST National Vulnerability Database, which contains a list of publicly known common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVE) in open source code.
7:- Cloud Vulnerability Scanner
Cloud computing offers numerous benefits to enterprises of all sizes. Infrastructure scalability is a benefit of employing SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS implementations. Your cloud architecture, like the access control device on your server room door for physical security, requires the same access control in a virtual scenario.
The US National Security Agency (NSA) has identified four categories of cloud vulnerabilities:
A:- Misconfiguration – Mistakes in technical controls and cloud service settings
B:- Poor access control – Insufficient authentication processes and policies
C:- Shared tenancy – Failure of cloud service providers to properly segment multiple organizations’ resources and data
D:- Supply chain – Malicious activity that compromises hardware or software before a cloud service provider acquires it
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