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Vulnerability Assessments or Penetration Testing – Choose Wisely!

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The terms “Vulnerability Assessment” and “Penetration Testing” are often confused. But is this confusion correct and justified? We should note that although these security methods sometimes duplicate but they differ from each other in terms of different goals.

Both Vulnerability Assessments and Penetration Tests seek to detect vulnerabilities that allow a hacker to exploit processes on a remote machine and disrupt functionality.

Vulnerability analysis attempts to detect hidden vulnerabilities in an environment or development system. On the other hand, penetration tests deliberately focus on identifying hidden holes in a protected system. In short, penetration verification is not designed to identify any security vulnerabilities in the system, but merely to identify vulnerabilities that could compromise the security of the system.

VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENTS VS. PENETRATION TESTING

Vulnerability Assessment

Any organization that wants to integrate models of trusted development must begin with vulnerability analysis. This assessment is conducted in a specific system environment and therefore seeks to detect security and privacy vulnerabilities.

Different levels of vulnerability analysis can be automated with a variety of software tools developed for specific internet-accessible areas such as Acunetix, Netsparker, OpenVAS, Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer, and Nexpose etc.

Penetration Test

A penetration test, also known as a “Pen Test”, helps identify key loopholes that can lead to the compromise of the entire security system. This is far more important than evaluating vulnerabilities because all the holes under the hood are detected in a product or environment.

The main purpose of testing a Pen is to break a secure system and detect weak points.

Pen testers are mostly ethical hackers who do not work to identify and document vulnerabilities, but instead find ways to penetrate the system and surprise those involved with their incredibly vulnerable security model.

WHERE DOES THE DIFFERENCE LIE?

Pen tester’s focus on a deep penetration into the environment, and this is literally a much broader practice than evaluating vulnerability.

Software Tools:

Vulnerability assessment may depend on many automation tools, but Pen testing goes well beyond the scope of the software. Occasionally, Pen testers can use the same tools that are used by vulnerability assessors, but the main goal is to identify easily accessible security environment entries.

Inside and outside personnel:

In a small-level organization, vulnerability assessments are typically performed by internal employees. However, large companies and companies with more internal environments need a more comprehensive assessment of security and external security support.

Experience and Human Error:

The performance test for the Pen is often intense and, unlike most vulnerability assessments, requires years of experience and skills. Pen testers are skeptical of the environment and recognize the most artificial shortcomings. Experienced manual testers know that a carefree or unfocused user can be the simplest source for accessing hackers to systems.

End Report:

The “Vulnerability Assessment” report is detailed document about the vulnerabilities found, while the “Test Analysis” report contains all the tactics and methods by which the intrusion attacks took effect. The report on Pen tests also indicates why some attacks cannot be successful and how they can be avoided in the future. Handles overview allows interested parties to prevent intrusion of hackers into the system using the same tactics as Pen testers (ethical hackers).

Number of attempts:

Pen tests are usually performed less frequently than vulnerability tests because they are very large compared to vulnerability testing. Organizations usually conduct annual Pen tests.

SO, WHAT SHOULD YOU CHOOSE?

Both vulnerability assessments and Pen tests have their own metrics and identify important goals for the organization. There may be many factors that determine which one to use, but the seriousness of the IT organization’s security and privacy policy helps it better in this decision-making process.

If you are a startup and you host some security models, vulnerability analysis will be a good choice. On the other hand, if you are a well-established company, you must quickly set up penetration tests for your systems.

If your organization becomes a very experienced IT suite, you should use both vulnerability assessments and Pen verification.

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