Sometimes, you will never know your real strength until you discover your weaknesses. While this quote is mostly used as a motivation for personal development, this statement is loosely related to your own organisation’s cybersecurity posture. Some organisations may see themselves as established and confident of their cybersecurity approaches, using assumptions that could have been outdated by years or even decades. Meanwhile, the type of cybersecurity threats continues to evolve in complexity by the minute, going undetected under these basic cybersecurity assumptions. This is why it is always a good idea to conduct regular checks to discover any vulnerabilities in your digital infrastructure.
One way is to schedule a regular Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT) with your own Information Security team or partner up with a trusted security vendor. VAPT defines a broad variety of vulnerability monitoring systems intended to detect and effectively fix information security exposures. Vulnerability tests generally require the use of advanced monitoring devices, including site and network protection detectors, the outcomes of which are customarily analysed, then applied to technology then operating teams.
One of the well-known frameworks used in Vulnerability Assessments is MITRE ATT&CKTM. Known as Adversarial Tactics, Techniques, and Common Knowledge (ATT&CK), it is a systematic matrix of strategies and methods used in the assessment of assaults and in assessing threats towards an organisation, including danger hunters, red teams, and defenders. The system is used to define and prioritise protection holes based on vulnerability by organisations. ATT&CK guides Incident Response (IR) teams. The nature of the risks you face and strategies for mitigating the threat can be determined by your IR team using ATT&CK. Your IR team can use ATT&CK as a benchmark and plan to address new cybersecurity threats.
Meanwhile, penetration testing is generally a goal-oriented activity. These penetration tests have little to do with the detection of weaknesses. Therefore, it is more oriented to detect any potential threats, create a live-exercise of existing protection measures, and map out possible routes that a specific intruder might follow to accomplish a target. A typical penetration test consists of planning & preparation, information gathering & analysis, vulnerability detection, penetration attempt, and reporting & clean up.
Following a penetration test, a full report will be delivered to the organisation requesting the penetration test. The report starts typically with a summary of findings from the test and recommendations relevant to the results. The report will generally continue into more detailed findings, usually in the order of risk rating. It contains technical details, reproduction steps, and recommendations. A good post penetration test report would also reveal the methodology used in the testing and references, and appendices. The report’s purpose will enable your team to learn from all the penetration test findings and help you shape your company’s future strategy.
Considering the current regulatory environment around the world that places more importance on data protection, companies that store customer data cannot afford to be complacent. They regularly schedule a vulnerability assessment and penetration tests to ensure that any vulnerabilities within their system can be detected before an actual breach. At the same time, this will be an excellent time to review whether your cybersecurity strategy is efficient enough to deal with potential threats or need more improvement.
If you are looking for a Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing provider, visit Quantum, and find out how our expertise can help you identify your organisation’s cybersecurity vulnerabilities.