Best Ways of Identifying System Vulnerabilities

Discussion Post

Vulnerabilities can be the consequence of improper systems’ configurations or programming errors. Without appropriate and prompt address, vulnerabilities can create weaknesses that cybercriminals can exploit to gain unauthorized access to organization’s data. Therefore, it is important to identify the vulnerabilities in advance to enable necessary courses of action to protect an organization’s network. Hackers continuously look for system vulnerabilities to enable them to access computer networks and can cause considerable damage to organizations. This can best be achieved through conducting periodic audits and penetration tests.

Organizations can hire auditing team to assess the vulnerability of their systems. Auditing vulnerabilities within an organization’s information technology network is a highly skilled and specialized area that requires a combination of IT skills and expertise among the audit team and external consultants. The auditing teams can thus analyze and present a detailed report on all possible security issues within a company. Security auditors offer a bird’s eye view of the security status of an organization (Cisco, 2018). They survey a company’s data and examine its users and how it is used. They rely on how information flows in an organization to determine potential vulnerabilities. As such, it is essential for organizations to conduct regular audits to check the health of their IT infrastructure.

The penetration test is where an organization hires an expert to crack into their network. After breaking in, they reveal their tricks to the system owners instead of causing damage. These tests illustrate how real hacks can take place (Irwin, 2017). Research shows that one of the significant sources of system vulnerabilities is insider error; where members of staff are not aware of their security obligations. The second source is insider wrongdoing, which is quite challenging to mitigate considering that its perpetrators have legitimate access to an organization’s data. Conducting regular penetration testing can be critical in addressing both of these issues as the tests examine system misconfiguration that might enable staff to access an inadvertently leak a company’s data online.  Besides, penetration tests can as well determine assets or areas of information that can be obtained by unauthorized users with network-level access to the IT infrastructure of an organization.

System security audits are the basis of a continuous process of defining and maintaining secure systems. The auditors conduct their work through vulnerability scans, personalized interviews, examining the settings of operating systems, analyzing of historical data and network shares. Their primary concern is on determining how their client uses security policies because this forms the foundation of an effective security strategy in any organization (Irwin, 2017). On the other hand, the penetration testers often focus on identifying security holes in particular critical resources such as Web servers and firewalls (Cisco, 2018). They operate from without the firewall, having minimum inside information which enables them more realistically to simulate ways through which hackers can use to attack the system.

References

Cisco. (2018). Risk Triage for Security Vulnerability Announcements. Retrieved from Cisco: https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/about/security-center/vulnerability-risk-triage.html#

Irwin, L. (2017, October 20). How penetration testing can prevent insider threats. Retrieved from IT Governance : https://www.itgovernance.co.uk/blog/how-penetration-testing-can-prevent-insider-threats/

 

Responding to Anthony Easterwood

Despite the good results realizable through audits and penetration hacks, software keep changing and so are new vulnerabilities. Besides, conducting regular IT audits and pen-tests can provide valuable information regarding potential easy targets that hackers can exploit to access the system. However. Software systems are continually changing, and cybercriminals keep becoming more sophisticated in their trade (Cisco, 2018). Therefore, it is necessary for organizations to undertake continuous security monitoring to prevent unauthorized access to their systems. This is possible through adopting software solutions to provide turnaround intelligence essential for alerting an organization in case of vulnerabilities.

 

References

Cisco. (2018). Risk Triage for Security Vulnerability Announcements. Retrieved from Cisco: https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/about/security-center/vulnerability-risk-triage.html#

 

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