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What are the Basic Steps of Vulnerability Analysis?

What is Vulnerability Analysis?

Vulnerability Analysis is the process of evaluating security vulnerabilities in a computing network. The primary objective of vulnerability analysis is to identify unknown security vulnerabilities that cybercriminals can exploit, and procure solutions to eliminate them. Vulnerability analysis is generally carried out by cybersecurity experts specializing in tackling novel cyberattacks.

Vulnerability analysis can be performed through manual as well as automated scanners. These scanners help identify vulnerabilities such as weak passwords, unpatched software, misconfigured network settings, and other potential vulnerabilities that could be gateways for fringe elements to gain illicit access to the computing network.

A detailed log of the analysis prepared throughout the process helps keep track of existing and novel vulnerabilities. The documented record also helps determine the severity of the vulnerabilities, enabling a prioritized remedial procedure. The remedial recommendations suggested in the detailed vulnerability analysis report allow professionals to tweak the overall cybersecurity of the network and keep track of the emerging trends in cybercrime.

Steps for Conducting Vulnerability Analysis

Vulnerability analysis involves several procedures for identifying and assessing potential security weaknesses in an IT ecosystem. The basic steps of conducting a comprehensive vulnerability analysis are as follows:

1. Discovery

The first step for conducting a vulnerability analysis is to identify the scope of analysis, meaning defining the assets, hardware, software, and services that are part of the computing network being assessed. This process is called ‘discovery,’ which can be done through automated as well as manual scanners. Discovery helps determine the further course of action and prepare an estimated time and resources required to carry out the vulnerability analysis of the concerned computing network.

2. Enumeration

The second step is called ‘enumeration,’ which involves identifying and cataloging the vulnerabilities that exist in the system or network. At this step, cybersecurity experts deploy vulnerability scanners and automated tools and conduct manual inspections. Enumeration helps determine potential vulnerabilities within the entire IT ecosystem, including electronic, digital, and physical attack vectors. The process involves thoroughly scanning every machine, user profile, network resource, and interaction with external sources.

3. Prioritization

After identifying and cataloging all the existing and novel vulnerabilities within the entire IT ecosystem, they need to be prioritized. Prioritization is based on severity and the risk an attack vector poses to the computing network. Analysts assign a risk score and categorize the vulnerabilities as high, medium, or low-risk vectors. Prioritization helps in identifying the vulnerabilities that demand urgent attention, and those that require complex procedures to address. Depending on the urgency and time required, resolving procedures are executed.

4. Exploitation

While the first three steps are for the identification and categorization of the attack vectors, the next step is more towards testing the vulnerabilities (VAPT Testing). Exploitation in vulnerability analysis is the process where cybersecurity experts and ethical hackers try to exploit the identified attack vectors within the computing network. The process is carried out through various manual testing techniques and automated tools and discovers multiple ways in which a particular vulnerability or a combination of vulnerabilities can be exploited.

5. Reporting

Once the vulnerabilities have been identified, cataloged, prioritized, and tested, a detailed report should be generated. The report logs all the vulnerabilities, their severity, and recommendations for remediation. The report also includes potential risks associated with the vulnerabilities, the possible roadmaps cybercriminals could use to exploit the attack vectors, and remedial suggestions to eliminate those vectors.

6. Remediation

The detailed report prepared after identifying, prioritizing, and testing the vulnerabilities paves the way for addressing the attack vectors and taking necessary measures to eliminate them. Remediation is done through patching, configuration changes, or other means of mitigating the vulnerabilities, either by an internal cybersecurity team or hiring field experts

The last step in vulnerability analysis is the verification after eliminating or addressing all the discovered vulnerabilities. The entire IT ecosystem is retested to verify that the attack vectors have been adequately addressed. Verification includes testing the computing network, other physical and digital resources, and external interactions, with an emphasis to find the discovered and remedied vulnerabilities.

Why Mechsoft Technologies can be the perfect choice

As discussed above, vulnerability analysis is a sophisticated cybersecurity process that has several procedures. Each of these procedures needs expert handling, as even minor errors could lead to chronic vulnerabilities going unnoticed. Moreover, every vulnerability may require distinct techniques and tools to resolve, making it a cumbersome process for inexperienced professionals.

Mechsoft Technologies offer cyber security service in Dubai, UAE specializing in identifying and tackling vulnerabilities in IT ecosystems. The tools and techniques Mechsoft houses are customized with input from years of serving some of the most complex computing networks. Get in touch with our vulnerability analysis experts today to enhance your network prowess and protect your IT ecosystem from unknown threats.