Vulnerability testing is a proactive move against cybercrime by getting your strategy together for future resilience and security.

What’s vulnerability testing and why is it important?

Finding your weaknesses

Along with penetration testing, vulnerability testing is about finding those weaknesses in your setup that hackers and cybercriminals exploit to obtain your personal data and hijack your systems.

While finance and healthcare are widely regarded as the most targeted sectors for cybercrime, due to the large amount of personal and financial data contained within them, retail, food and beverage are also coming under increasing attack due to the growing number of businesses moving online and taking payments over the internet.

But just because you’re not in any of these industries, doesn’t mean to say you’re not vulnerable. If there is any financial or personal data in your business, or any data at all that’s crucial to the continuity of your business, you need to safeguard that data, and the systems that hold it, as robustly as you can.

What happens in a vulnerability test?

Planning

Firstly, a plan is compiled, which enables the testing to have some protocols. Your data and its sources are identified, as well as the goals of your business and what’s crucial to your day-to-day running as well as your resilience in the long term.

Gathering info

Info about web and mobile applications is gathered, age of hardware, disk drives, antivirus, etc. All this is required for the actual testing.

Testing

Through a mix of manual and automated processes your entire system/s are checked for potential vulnerabilities, with a RAG (red/amber/green) rating generated.

Reporting

A report is generated from the testing procedure, to not only tell you where the vulnerabilities are, i.e., the amber and red areas, but tell you what would happen if one of these elements were to fail.

Don’t stop there!

There is little to no point having a vulnerability test if you do not take the report you are given and follow through on the actions it recommends.

Any sort of system audit is not complete in itself, it’s only a basis for your future plan of getting your systems in order. What a vulnerability audit does is make it easy for you to plan and prioritise safeguarding your systems.

If there’s a software issue, it can be fixed. If it’s patch statuses, these can be rectified. But if you don’t know exactly where you are vulnerable, you are effectively blind to cybercrime.

Regular testing

Regular testing, system audits and penetration testing, where a program is run to simulate a hack on your systems, are all vital to the ongoing security and compliance of your systems, and the security of your clients’ and customers’ data.

If you’re testing, your proactive

Testing your systems is the opposite of being passive about cybercrime. It means you’re actively getting the information you need to do something about your weaknesses and potential weaknesses. Your improved security is guaranteed once you start acting on the results of a vulnerability report, and so is your peace of mind.