Some methods of testing a network or system for vulnerabilities include pentesting and intrusion testing, file system scans, server scans, compatibility checks for software running on the system and the latest security services, and much more.
Pentesting and intrusion testing utilize software platforms that are built to scan and identify network issues. These issues could be anything from open ports which would allow a hacker access to the system, backdoors that have been left behind by previous visits from a hacker or a piece of malware, weak passwords that can be easily hacked via brute force, and errors that could potentially leave a system at risk.
Another aspect of vulnerability assessment is checking the file systems on a network. There are file systems on the local hard drives of the machines as well as on the servers themselves. If the file system is disorganized and has a lot of errors within it, there is a very good chance that if the system became compromised, and the administrator of that system would not be able to catch the problem before real damage or theft occurs.
The apps on the server, on the machines connected to the network, and the web apps which are accessed by those machines also need to be checked by the person or company carrying out the vulnerability assessment. In a similar fashion to the file system, if apps become too old they lose their compatibility with security tools and can become infected by all kinds of threats. The vulnerability test should point out which programs need to be updated to include the latest virus and malicious software definitions. This step may seem like common sense, but one aspect of the app world that many people do not take into consideration is that for each app, an entirely new set of rules and permissions are granted to the creators of those programs. For that reason, it is very important to keep a close eye on what is going on with each and every tool that is being used on the system.
Vulnerability tests usually work by running an IP or website address through a database and the testing software will cross reference that information with databases of known threats. While there are free and open-source solutions for vulnerability testing, such as Subgraph Vega, we find that companies who are experts in the field do a better job with the actual assessment. Here at Holm Security we take care of all the tedious and time-consuming work involved.
The most effective method of keeping your system safe is to run a vulnerability test regularly, and to keep a close watch on any irregularities that come up. By doing this simple step, it is relatively simple to keep your system safe and secure.