What is VAPT and Why is it Important for Your Business?
Since the inception of the internet, data has always been on the verge of getting exploited by hackers. More than ever now, companies are looking for every possible way to tighten their data security systems to secure their business data and information. But unfortunately, cybercriminals and hackers are forever on the prowl to find residing vulnerabilities in the system.
The best way to minimize such occurrences is by periodically checking the presence of potential vulnerabilities and loopholes within the IT infrastructure. But is it an easy task to perform? Of course, not unless you employ VAPT to ensure the utmost security of your company's data.
What is VAPT?
VAPT, or Vulnerability Assessment & Penetration Testing, refers to the procedure of identifying, classifying, defining, and prioritizing vulnerabilities within the computer systems, apps, networks, endpoint, and cloud infrastructures.
Such testing offers unique strengths and is often known for achieving a complete analysis thoroughly. The vulnerability assessments are responsible for scanning the digital assets while notifying the organization about the presence of pre-existing flaws. On the other hand, the penetration test exploits these identified vulnerabilities within the system while determining the security gaps.
The entire process of VAPT can be a time-consuming and complicated one. Sometimes selecting the best forms of cybersecurity for your company gets a tad tricky, given the amount of information available in the market. The same goes for the VAPT tools as well. Therefore, shortlist the best testing tools as early as possible, depending on your company's vulnerabilities and requirements.
Understanding the Core Concept of VAPT
By now, you are pretty sure that Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing is the right way to identify the potential threats in your IT systems. In layman’s terms, it is the one responsible for detecting if your business is vulnerable to potential hackers and cyber threats or not.
But how is it done? First, to understand the working principle of VAPT, you must understand the fundamental differences between Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing.
Vulnerability Testing is also popularly known as the Vulnerability Assessment or sometimes Analysis. It refers to the procedure used for detecting and classifying the security loopholes within the infrastructure. Vulnerability testing tools and vendors can also propose countermeasures that effectively eliminate the identified vulnerabilities. A validation test follows these processes to confirm that the security issues have been resolved.
The overall assessment can be done as a standalone activity. However, depending on the requirement, it can be part of a proper comprehensive risk management setup. The process includes target scanning followed by enumeration.
Once done, appropriate VAPT tools are engaged to determine the risk level of the identified vulnerabilities. The correct sequence of this information is then passed to the client, who can decide whether to remediate or accept the identified threat. So, with this assessment, the company can prepare a priority list of the security issues that need immediate attention.
How Do You Perform Vulnerable Testing?
The step-by-step Vulnerability Testing process occurs:
Goals and Objectives
Start with specifying the goals and objectives of the entire vulnerability testing assessment
It is mandatory to clearly state the scope of the Assessment and Test to get the desired results. It exists in three possible ways:
- Black Box Testing: Involves testing from an external network that has no previous knowledge of the internal network and systems.
- Grey Box Testing: Here, the testing is conducted either from external or internal networks with appropriate prior knowledge about the internal networking system. This one is the perfect mixture of White Box Testing and Black Box Testing.
- White Box Testing: It occurs within the internal network, which has only prior knowledge of the internal system and network.
Gathering Required Information
Vulnerable testing chiefly depends on the data and information collected from the operating system versions, IP addresses, network details, etc. The more you access the information about the specific IT environment, the better it gets to prepare a thorough list of the business’s IT assets. Such a list helps comprehend the level of risks that are often associated with each IT equipment. It applies to Grey Box Testing, Black Box Testing, and White Box Testing.
This one happens to be one of the crucial steps in Vulnerability Assessment. It is known for scanning all the potential threats residing within your IT environments and effectively classifying the risks as per the collected data.
Reporting, Information Analysis, and Planning
Once the key vulnerabilities are identified, they are documented and reported to get a deeper analysis report. Such analysis enables the experts to understand the underlying causes and the potential impact of these threats. Following this, these professionals determine the perfect set of solutions depending on the extent and severity of the probable damages.
The first priority is to list and segregate the vulnerabilities per their features and threats. Then, depending on the priority list, the tests help the enterprises understand security risks. As a result, the companies need to schedule these tests periodically to tighten your company’s security over time.
Penetration testing, also known as pen testing, refers to the authorized simulated attack required for the computer to evaluate the overall system's security status. So, this testing is one of the essential security assessment strategies that are important for validating the organization's security posture.
Generally, the security experts are responsible for conducting these tests and are often called penetration testers. These professionals are certified in identifying the security vulnerabilities within the company’s IT environment.
Penetration testing is ideal for discovering the security holes in areas including:
- Access controls
- Intrusion detection systems
- Web application security
- Cloud Security
- Patch management
So, this test evaluates the company's ability to secure its applications, endpoints, networks, and users from internal as well as external attempts to dodge its security controls while gaining privileged authorization to protected assets.
What Are The Stages Of Pen Testing?
The stages of identifying the most exploitable security weaknesses within the IT infrastructure are:
Planning And Preparation
Before conducting the pen test, the experts and the clients need to be appropriately aligned with the specific goals of the test. It helps in defining the overall scope of the test while executing it properly. Be aware of the test procedures, how it will run, the data and information needed during the test, and the specific access to the testers to initiate the test.
The first step is about performing various types of reconnaissance on the identified target. Of course, technical information like IP addresses can help determine the specific data about the connectivity and firewalls. However, personal information like job titles, names, and email addresses can also be vital in this regard.
Penetration Attempt And Exploitation
Once the pen tests gather appropriate information about the target, they begin their penetration attempt, which can infiltrate the identified environment. It helps exploit security weaknesses by demonstrating their capabilities to reach the specific depth of the network.
Analysis and Reporting
The testers need to be well-aware of creating the report containing vital details of each step of the process. Highlighting the specific points in the reports helps in proper documentation, which helps in creating a helpful data pool. Include information like strategies that infiltrated the system, security weaknesses and features, any pertinent data recovered, remediation recommendations, and more.
Clean Up and Remediation
Cleaning up is an essential step in penetration testing. The experts shall never leave any trace and must eliminate any artifacts used during the procedure. In case one misses, he needs to go back to the system to remove the traces, which can eventually help the hacker attack the system. Hence, it is one of the steps used by organizations to identify and fix the security holes within their IT habitat.
Finally, the best way to ensure your business's overall security is through retests. It helps determine the level and presence of security risks missed during the process. Also, conducting retests highlights the leftovers and enables the user to discover the new weakness pretty early.
Why do Businesses Need VAPT?
As already highlighted, VAPT is the assessment process of finding the threats and security risks that are residing in your company's IT infrastructure. These vulnerabilities enable hackers to access your business's IT applications and software systems, leading to cyber threats and data breaches. No wonder companies are now looking for the best VAPT service providers to improve their systems' security.
Such VAPT assessments are necessary for every organization that stores sensitive business data and information or has network infrastructure that fails to check the presence of vulnerabilities in their systems. As these setups fail to identify the potential threats, these companies are forever on the verge of falling prey to cyber-attacks. Hence, these organizations need to measure and identify the presence of these vulnerabilities in their network devices, Web App, IoT devices, and Android applications.
But what about the companies that lack a dedicated and effective cybersecurity team to take care of such vulnerabilities? For that, DC Gears got the perfect solution for you. We partner with world’s best cybersecurity vendors, offering multiple services at incredible prices. If you need more than mere security services, our specialists will be happy to help you. We provide on-site services in more than 40+ global locations within strict deadlines.
Role of VAPT in Cybersecurity
The world of technology is progressing steadily and continually updating due to the steady growth in IoT devices. No wonder these devices are always on the vulnerable list. VAPT is the ideal method to check the security level of the company's network. Moreover, it helps recognize the vulnerabilities that can lead to data breaches, thereby saving a lot of business resources.
Some additional benefits of VAPT for your business:
- VAPT offers a comprehensive evaluation of the company's application while understanding and identifying the potential errors or loopholes that lead to more significant threats
- These tests help the company to get a detailed view of the potential cyber threats that can do excessive damage to the application or your company’s network
- VAPT is known for enhancing the overall protection of business data and systems from any malicious attacks
- These tests can help in eliminating periods of data loss and any unauthorized access
- VAPT is also popular among companies for helping them to accomplish the specific compliance standards
Does Your Company Need VAPT?
Yes, if you are concerned about securing your company data and information from both internal and external attacks, all you need is a good VAPT service provider. Every enterprise needs to deal with sensitive information. But to get the best VAPT services, it is necessary to define your budget first.
Depending on your company’s requirements, data confidentiality, and risk impact, select the VAPT tools ideal for performing the vulnerability assessment and getting accurate results. Got questions about finding the best vendor for VAPT? Contact us today!