Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

3/23/2012
04:37 PM
Dark Reading
Dark Reading
Quick Hits
50%
50%

Choosing The Right Vulnerability Scanner For Your Organization

Vulnerability scanning plays a key role in both security administration and compliance. But which tools are right for you? Here are some tips on how to decide

[Excerpted from "Choosing The Right Vulnerability Scanner For Your Organization," a new report published this week on Dark Reading's Vulnerability Management Tech Center.]

Vulnerability scanners can be used to detect defects in an organization’s security program, such as the organization’s patch management process, hardening procedures, and software development life cycle. Indeed, without the use of network-based and Web application-specific vulnerability scanners, your organization may never know that various processes in the security program are severely flawed and the security posture critically weak until it’s too late.

With that said, a vulnerability scanner alone does nothing to improve the security posture of an organization; it is effective only if it’s part of a larger vulnerability management program, or VMP.

A solid VMP must include system discovery, asset classification, vulnerability scanning, vulnerability prioritization, vulnerability remediation, and root cause analysis. This list of tasks is by no means complete, but it should serve as a reminder that a vulnerability scanner should never be chosen outside the context of the overall VMP. Vulnerability scanners often come with tools that can assist with a variety of VMP tasks, and these capabilities should be considered when selecting a tool for the organization.

One of the most important pieces of a VMP is vulnerability prioritization. Many vulnerability scanners let users enter asset classification information for the assets in the organization’s environment. These scanners can then generate reports that correlate the asset classification information with the vulnerabilities that the scanner identifies. These reports can essentially be used as remediation road maps and eliminate the need to manually prioritize remediation efforts.

Another task involved in a VMP is remediation, and one of the most difficult elements of the remediation process is tracking. In fact, this process can often become chaotic, and the remediation of specific vulnerabilities can be overlooked.

Vulnerability scanners fall within two broad categories: network-based and Web application vulnerability scanners. Each of these scanners has a specific role in the identification of certain vulnerability types. Ideally, an organization should utilize both network-based and Web application vulnerability scanners. The ability for the vulnerability scanner to actually identify technical vulnerabilities in the organization’s network is the highest priority.

For a detailed discussion of the key differences among vulnerability scanners -- and for a full list of evaluation criteria that your organization can use -- download the free report on how to choose vulnerability scanners.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 6/4/2020
Data Loss Spikes Under COVID-19 Lockdowns
Seth Rosenblatt, Contributing Writer,  5/28/2020
Abandoned Apps May Pose Security Risk to Mobile Devices
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  5/29/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
How Cybersecurity Incident Response Programs Work (and Why Some Don't)
This Tech Digest takes a look at the vital role cybersecurity incident response (IR) plays in managing cyber-risk within organizations. Download the Tech Digest today to find out how well-planned IR programs can detect intrusions, contain breaches, and help an organization restore normal operations.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-13817
PUBLISHED: 2020-06-04
ntpd in ntp before 4.2.8p14 and 4.3.x before 4.3.100 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (daemon exit or system time change) by predicting transmit timestamps for use in spoofed packets. The victim must be relying on unauthenticated IPv4 time sources. There must be an off-path attac...
CVE-2020-13818
PUBLISHED: 2020-06-04
In Zoho ManageEngine OpManager before 125144, when <cachestart> is used, directory traversal validation can be bypassed.
CVE-2020-6640
PUBLISHED: 2020-06-04
An improper neutralization of input vulnerability in the Admin Profile of FortiAnalyzer may allow a remote authenticated attacker to perform a stored cross site scripting attack (XSS) via the Description Area.
CVE-2020-9292
PUBLISHED: 2020-06-04
An unquoted service path vulnerability in the FortiSIEM Windows Agent component may allow an attacker to gain elevated privileges via the AoWinAgt executable service path.
CVE-2019-16150
PUBLISHED: 2020-06-04
Use of a hard-coded cryptographic key to encrypt security sensitive data in local storage and configuration in FortiClient for Windows prior to 6.4.0 may allow an attacker with access to the local storage or the configuration backup file to decrypt the sensitive data via knowledge of the hard-coded ...