Identifying Your Security Weakness Before It Receives a Mascot

How Vulnerability Assessments, Security Audits, and Penetration Tests Can Help Prevent Exploitation

What Is a Vulnerability?

To begin our discussion on the importance of developing a vulnerability management program, it’s helpful to start with understanding what a vulnerability is.

A “vulnerability” may seem like an ambiguous term, but it means something specific in the security industry. Vulnerabilities are defined as a known or unknown weakness that can be exploited by an attacker. The “known” ones typically receive a CVE identifier from Mitre, which look like this:

CVE-2017-5753 or CVE-[YEAR]-[COUNT]

Some of the most well-known vulnerabilities also receive mascots and logos:

poodle vulnerability

Poodle: CVE-2014-3566

heartbleed vulnerability

Heartbleed: CVE-2014-0160

The important thing to note here is this: if these vulnerabilities are disclosed and publicized, doesn’t that mean that your attackers are already aware of them? Are you aware of and tracking the latest vulnerabilities?

The solution, and what’s widely accepted as a best practice, is to implement a vulnerability management program.

If vulnerabilities are disclosed and publicized, doesn’t that mean that your attackers are already aware of them?

How Do I Identify Vulnerabilities?

The common solution in the industry is to use an automated tool to identify these weaknesses before they’re exploited. The tools are often called Vulnerability Scanners. The solutions work a lot like conventional antivirus software.

  • A signature is developed to identify the configuration and software version which present the vulnerability.
  • A network scan is performed to find matches for these signatures.
  • If detected, the signature is reported along with the IP, criteria for detection, and a CVSS score.

A CVSS score is important. It gives the admin an opportunity to asses just how great the risk is. Does this vulnerability disclose information, or does it provide immediate root access and privilege escalation to the system? In turn, scores rank from 0 to 10 with 10, being critical.


Candoris Security Offerings

Candoris has various security offerings. We have a team of security-focused engineers who can perform a Vulnerability Assessment, or a single scan and report on the findings and required remediation. Also, we can help you to implement a Vulnerability Management program to perform scans on a recurring basis. Either scenario is a step toward identifying an attack vector before it is exploited.

Candoris offers a range of assessments including Security Audits for compliance with industry frameworks, and Penetration Tests to see which kinds of attacks may be effective against your organization. Often an annual Penetration Test is also needed for compliance with regulation and best practices.

How can our team of experts help you prevent exploitation? We’d love to discuss that with you!

About the author

Director of Engineering

Nick is a Certified Ethical Hacker and director of the data center engineering team at Candoris. His extensive knowledge and experience with infrastructure systems design has made him an invaluable asset to the data center engineering team. Nick holds an impressive amount of professional and expert level certifications with network, security, virtualization and storage vendors. He seeks to understand emerging technologies and solutions, and how they might be leveraged to advance business goals.