The ABCs of Annual Vulnerability Testing

The ABCs of Annual Vulnerability Testing on cyberguard360.comIs your organization utilizing annual vulnerability testing to protect against cyber attacks?

With the new year upon us, it’s a great time to take an inventory of all aspects of your business, including cybersecurity. Sure, you may have done a sufficient job in 2017 of protecting critical data from cybercriminals, but each day brings new challenges in the realm of IT security. For this reason, it’s best to perform annual vulnerability testing to ensure your network infrastructure can handle any potential attacks.

What is annual vulnerability testing?

Annual vulnerability tests are checks to ensure your network infrastructure is protected against a variety of potential cyber attacks. These vulnerability tests are constantly evolving based on new threats and technologies. After these tests have been completed, you’ll be able to determine what vulnerabilities exist within your network architecture and how to go about resolving any that seem to pose a risk.

How does the CyberGuard360 team handles vulnerability testing?

At CyberGuard360, we take a multi-pronged approach when it comes to vulnerability testing. Below are a few of the tests we complete to ensure our customers’ networks and hardware are as secure as possible.

  • Analyze user rights – Many times companies will give users access to confidential data without knowing it. This can create a scenario where this level of access given to the wrong individual causes major problems for a business. We audit each user account to ensure that access is only given to the files and locations necessary to perform a specific job – and nothing more.
  • Restrict access to certain geographical areas – Certain common problems stem from geographical areas that are known to be havens for hackers. It’s incredibly important that your managed IT provider sets up your firewall in such a way to restrict access to these areas unless access is absolutely necessary for business purposes.
  • The presence and/or strength of your firewall – Not all firewalls are created equal, and furthermore, not all businesses even have one. There is a major difference between a basic firewall that’s built into your operating system or even your entry-level router and an enterprise-level firewall with extensive features and controls. Most businesses need to, in fact, should invest in an enterprise-level firewall and have it installed by a reputable IT or cybersecurity company. But simply installing a firewall doesn’t protect you; firewalls are useless unless they’re set up to protect a company’s network infrastructure while still allowing employees to get work done. Make sure to purchase the subscription for the protection services that run on the firewall and make it a true UTM (unified threat management) that will protect you from the Wild Wild Web.
  • Vulnerability testing – At CyberGuard360, part of our vulnerability testing involves sending rogue packets to a client’s network to see if they’re blocked or allowed, as well as attempting to access websites that we know have malicious content. These tests help us to ensure your network infrastructure is able to stand up to a series of known online threats.
  • Ensure operating system and application updates have been installed – Another big vulnerability that we find in many organizations is the failure to install critical updates for both operating systems and applications. Without these updates, you’re opening yourself up to hackers who exploit these weaknesses. These updates often protect your employees and systems from viruses that have caused massive damage to organizations around the world, such as the WannaCry virus or Spectre/Meltdown. It’s critical that updates are always applied as soon as they’re released.

Vulnerability testing should be ongoing, not just once a year

You’ll often hear the phrase “annual vulnerability testing,” but the reality is that similar testing should be performed on a regular basis. For our full-service managed IT clients, we run these types of tests anytime anything changes in their environment, whether it’s new personnel or hardware. This means our clients always stay protected in a security landscape that is changing by the minute.

If your organization is not currently implementing vulnerability testing on a regular basis, it’s time to make a change. At CyberGuard360, we’ll be glad to perform a network assessment to spot any vulnerabilities and provide you with a plan on how to shore up the security of your organization. Feel free to give us a call today at 844-315-9882 or contact us through our online form.