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Vulnerability Assessment Methodology

| Blog, Managed Security, Vulnerabilities and Threats


Criminals prowl on the perimeter of your network, seeking weaknesses in your systems and networks that will make illegal entry monitoring and data theft possible. Just as homeowners install alarm systems to protect their belongings, you and your business need to regularly conduct a network vulnerability assessment.

What is a Network Vulnerability Assessment?

Your cyber environment is a complex entity with many moving parts, all of which are subject to attack or human error. It is absolutely necessary to carry out vulnerability assessments on computer systems, web and mobile applications, and network infrastructures on a regular basis to avoid this mishap. The goal of this set of procedures is as follows: 

  • Identify, quantify and rank the severity of vulnerabilities throughout the complete cyber environment;
  • Explain the consequences should criminals exploit one or more of these deficits;
  • Come up with a plan to address the vulnerabilities;
  • Provide long-term recommendations that a company can use to improve its overall digital security posture.

Because cyber security and data protection are indispensable parts of any company’s infrastructure, it is crucial to enact a vulnerability assessment methodology that thoroughly considers all network safety facts and risk mitigation.

Vulnerability Assessment Methodology Types

Your network security specialists can employ three different types of methodologies when conducting an assessment. They include the following:

  • Black box network vulnerability testing. In this method, your security team attempts to infiltrate your cyber defenses from the outside just as a hacker might. Without having any administrative privileges or account passwords, the team attempts to exploit public IP addresses, firewalls, and anything located in your demilitarized zone (DMZ) with that goal in mind.
  • White box vulnerability testing. On the opposite side of the coin, white box testing involves your team being given all of the privileges that authorized users have to conduct a thorough analysis of the entire network, including file servers and databases. Their job is to scan the whole internal environment for vulnerabilities and use tools to assess the security of the stored information and machine configuration.
  • Gray box vulnerability assessments: Incorporating some of both white and black-box methods. When specialists from the security team have particular information about a network, such as a user’s login credentials, but are unable to access the entire system, they do this kind of investigation.

Which network vulnerability tests and methodologies you choose depends on your business’s objectives, financial resources, and level of threat risk.

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Network Vulnerability Assessment Tools

How does a security services team go about assessing a business’s susceptibility to a data breach or other cyber threats? There are two kinds of automated scanning tools that help identify threats and their prioritization according to severity.

Both open-source and commercial vulnerability assessment tools use checklists of control parameters to test for compliance and identify vulnerabilities. However, they differ in several ways:


Open-source tools do not require licensing. In contrast, the license fees for commercial products might go into the hundreds of dollars.

The Network Vulnerability Assessment Report Quality

Commercial tools are significantly more expensive, but their listings of vulnerabilities are generally more thorough and contain fewer false positives than their open-source counterparts.


Since commercial tools are generally bolstered by more financial support, they tend to be backed up more regularly. As a result, they are more likely to be equipped with detection and protection tools based on the most recently known malware and security breach strategies.

Although many organizations do not have the funds to invest in commercial scanning technology, the good news is that open-source tools can be very effective in testing, assessing, and ultimately helping to protect network systems.

The Steps Involved in Network Vulnerability Tests

Researching a company’s vulnerability to threats involves several steps that include the following:

  1. Define and plan the scope of testing. Establish the goals of the organization and confirm that it can achieve them with the resources at hand. Utilizing automated tools, look at the network architecture, open ports, driver settings, physical and virtual servers, firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and other security measures.
  2. Conduct scans based on company targets using automatic vulnerability assessment tools. Verify findings using manual tests to reduce the number of false positives.
  3. Submit a report to company stakeholders that details and prioritizes the severity of vulnerabilities and recommends methodologies for remediation.
  4. Following the implementation of enhancements, project managers ought to go deeper into and research subjects like penetration testing. In order to determine if remedial actions are effective or require further attention, these evaluations entail gaining access to the network after they have been implemented.
  5. The last phase involves receiving a report whose purpose is to analyze the final results of all vulnerability assessments and penetration testing.

Strengthen Your Defenses with TrustNet

Complexity is the word of the day for maintaining web and corporate security. Thankfully, vulnerability testing allows businesses of today to identify, assess, rank, and address vulnerabilities before threat actors do.

Don’t wait for a breach to highlight gaps in your defenses—start your vulnerability assessment today with TrustNet and fortify your network against emerging threats.

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