Data breaches are an all-too-common occurrence. According to Security Magazine, there were 4,145 publicly disclosed breaches in 2021, exposing more than 22 billion records. The consequences of a breach range from financial losses and significant reputational damage to the loss of sensitive customer data, prolonged operational downtime, and even legal action against the organization.
Is your company prepared for a data breach or other potentially damaging cybersecurity issues? Vulnerability scanning is a crucial process for identifying threats and safeguarding information.
What Is the Purpose of a Vulnerability Scan?
A vulnerability scan is an automated computer network test designed to detect potential security flaws and weaknesses. It generates a report of any issues discovered during the process and provides references to research the vulnerabilities it uncovers. Depending on the scan type, the findings may also offer guidance or directions for fixing the problems.
A network vulnerability scan can be external, meaning it occurs outside the network to identify structural weaknesses. An internal scan takes place within the network to pinpoint potential vulnerabilities.
Network vulnerability scanning is valuable because it provides a fast, high-level review of network issues that may pose cybersecurity threats. It also offers a more cost-effective solution than many other threat detection methods. The automated methodology enables users to run the scan at the desired frequency (typically weekly, monthly, or quarterly), limiting the need for manual intervention.
Why Is Vulnerability Scanning Important for Small Businesses?
If you own a small business, you might believe your company is immune to cybersecurity threats and attacks. However, cybercriminals don’t limit their activities to Fortune 500 businesses and other massive organizations.
According to the 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report released by Verizon, approximately 43% of cyberattacks target smaller businesses, particularly in industries such as finance, insurance, healthcare, and legal.
Hackers target small businesses for several reasons. They recognize that many of these organizations don’t take cybersecurity seriously due to their perceived lack of vulnerability. Some criminals also view these companies as a gateway to the more prominent organizations they serve, potentially opening the door to more lucrative data breach opportunities.
Additionally, smaller companies often have limited options when responding to ransomware attacks. Ransomware is a form of malware that enables perpetrators to seize control of the network by encrypting data. Businesses must pay a specified sum to receive an encryption key to unlock the information. Cybercriminals understand that many small businesses don’t have the resources to offset the effects of a massive data loss and often have no choice but to pay the ransom.
Vulnerability Scan vs. Penetration Testing
Penetration testing offers another option for assessing a network’s vulnerability. While a vulnerability scan is an automated process, a penetration test requires a live human, typically an IT security expert, for its execution. In some cases, this individual is an experienced hacker possessing the skills to infiltrate computer networks.
The designated individual conducts the test by creating conditions that replicate a cyberattack while implementing controls to prevent it from actually occurring. The process can identify vulnerable areas and determine the most effective methods for addressing them.
A penetration test digs deeper into the network than a vulnerability scan, providing a more comprehensive approach to detecting threats and identifying their root cause. However, penetration testing is more expensive to implement due to the need to utilize human expertise.
For many small businesses, combining the two methods provides the most robust and effective cybersecurity solution.
How Can CORE Shield™ Protect Your Business?
CORE Shield from Core Business Solutions can safeguard your small-to-medium-sized business from multiple cybersecurity threats that increase your company’s data breach vulnerability. This managed solution provides access to our cyber experts, who serve as your virtual chief information security officer (CISO) and provide attentive, hands-on consulting support.
Besides providing the technical assistance you require to maintain maximum security, CORE Shield also assists with the human element. We’ll train your team on cybersecurity best practices to reduce the risk of human errors that often contribute to data breaches. We’ll reduce your vulnerability to email phishing scams and ransomware by helping you identify these and other threats and prevent them from penetrating your network.
Examples of the numerous CORE Shield solutions include:
● Patch management for desktops, laptops, and servers
● Mobile device management (MDM) services
● Internal and external vulnerability scanning
● Secure file sharing and storage
● Firewall auditing
● Managed phishing campaigns
Contact Us to Learn More
Contact Core Business Solutions today for more information about vulnerability scanning and how CORE Shield can reduce your cyberattack risk.