Network Security VAPT

What is network vapt?

VAPT is an acronym for Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing. It's a service by which corporate IT networks are scanned and tested for the presence of security loop holes. Leaving such loopholes can result into exploitation and hacking of the data, which should ideally be protected by the IT networks.

A detailed explanation of VAPT can be found here.

Some Facts

Firewall Invasions - 66%
Patching Vulnerabilities - 80%
External Hacking - 55%
IT Network Penetration Testing Scanning  Services Provider Vendor, How frequently VAPT should be performed?

Types of network vapt

At a high level, a network vulnerability assessment and penetration testing can be categorize into 2 different types.

Internal VA - In this, only the internal network is in scope. Internal servers, firewalls and data components such as database servers or file servers are of key importance from vulnerability scanning perspective. Since the test is to be performed from within the network, only vulnerability assessment is performed, while penetration testing is not performed. Internal security assessment can be performed by physically being inside the network premises or by performing a remote session into the network.

External VAPT - In this type, the external perimeter is scanned over internet. Since the testing occurs from outside the premises, the vulnerability assessment is certainly followed by a detailed penetration testing. In the former, the security bugs or problems are found out by vulnerability scanning while in the later, those bugs are tried for exploitation. Please refer to Links page for more information.

Besides this, there are multiple other types of VAPT which mainly focus on the network components such as firewall VAPT, Servers VAPT etc.

Why Network VAPT Is Done?

Network security testing is important for any corporate to protect their intellectual property. Most of the attacks being internal, it is imperative to scan the networks periodically and fix the loopholes. This helps corporates achieve a better cyber security posture of their IT corporate network, by protecting their data from internal and external threats.

As an example, consider a famous bank in India, which got hacked by hackers who stole money via ATM skimming. In other cases, many manufacturing companies get targeted malware attacks or their internal employees steal data and sell it for profits. Below are few facts which become the key driver to perform a VAPT of IT systems.

As per Gartner, 78% of attacks happen from within the network

External attacks become easily possible due to availability of hacking tools

Firewall mis-configurations are one major cause of data leakage and hackings

Server patching contributes into network security vulnerabilities to a great extent

Companies who should get VAPT done

While there cannot really be an exception to the industry sectors needing cyber security, below examples can demonstrate the real need of vulnerability assessment services. It is highly advised to get a VAPT done from one of the top cyber security companies, or best network security company.

  • IT product companies to protect their code and data
  • IT services companies to prevent external attacks
  • Manufacturing companies to protect their designs, drawings and inventory data
  • Finance companies to protect their finance data, secure money transactions and records
  • Pharma companies having their own patents about drug formulas and intellectual properties
  • All firms and corporates who process or store their data as well as data belonging to their customers
IT Network Penetration Testing Scanning  Services Provider Vendor , Types of network vapt

How frequently VAPT should be performed?

IT Network Penetration Testing Scanning  Services Provider Vendor , Network Security VAPT

There is not definitive answer to this question. However a thumb rule says that more the sensitivity and criticality of the data, higher should be the frequency. Typically, organizations choose a 6 monthly cycle, while the finance sector chooses quarterly pentesting of their IT infrastructure. There had been cases whereby the data was so critical that the organizations chose to perform a weekly testing just to be very sure of their cyber security posture.

As another thumb rule, the frequency is directly proportional to the size of network, as well the hacking or data leakage incidents occurring within the organization. Any critical change in the network devices ideally calls for a VAPT of those components.

When to perform Network VAPT ?

Whenever there is a change in firewall configuration, server patching, application changes or addition/removal of IT infrastructure, a detailed vulnerability assessment is required to be performed. In many cases if the change is internal only, a vulnerability assessment is good enough.

For example - a change in entire firewall should call for a detailed VAPT to be performed internally and externally. Whereas a set of servers patched can call for an internal only vulnerability assessment. It is an art to decide when to perform vulnerability assessment only, and when to further go for a penetration testing.

Why network vapt is done, IT Network Penetration Testing Scanning  Services Provider Vendor

Valency Networks Network Pentesting Approach

IT Network Penetration Testing Scanning  Services Provider Vendor, Companies who should get VAPT done

We bring years of expertise and experience to the service offering. Valency Networks is a reputed top network pentesting company because we follow carefully designed approach which varies from customer to customer. Below are few differentiators which makes us best pentesting company in India and abroad.

  • Customized vulnerability scanning
  • Technical network security checklist
  • Industry standard tool
  • Non-destructive methodology of network scanning
  • Internal and external vulnerability assessment
  • Detailed penetration testing with proof of concept
  • Risk assessment based approach
  • Highly technical vulnerability assessment report with evidences

More details on the process of network VAPT could be found here

What are the 4 types of IT security ?

Every organization has some data to protect. The data, if stolen can cause huge damage to an organization both reputational and financial. Hence, it becomes vital to secure all the paths via which one can access data.

Here is when IT Security comes in play. It is nothing but deploying strategies that can guarantee end to end security to protect the Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability of data whether it is in transit or at rest.

  1. Application Security:
    With almost entire population being dependant on one or the other kind of application to get their job done, it has really become important to tighten the security around them. Applications can be of any kind such as Websites, Mobile apps, Cloud hosted apps so on and so forth.

    It is always better to introduce security way early into the development of application rather than doing it later. It is also important to do the timely evaluation of your application against vulnerabilities.

  2. Network Security:
    Once the attacker is in your network, there is no way to stop him from doing the damage. Hence, network security both internal and external becomes crucial to the well-being of an organization. It makes sure to restrict access to only those who are supposed to be accessing the network.

    A detail vulnerability scan of your network can help analyse the loose points one can exploit.

  3. Cloud Security:
    Cloud came as a blessing to many organizations who were investing in a great deal of resources just to maintain servers. It helped a lot organizations strengthen their Business Continuity Plans. With organizations moving their entire data to the cloud, it has become a favourite target of attackers.

    It is vital to configure cloud securely and in the best interest of the business. There have been recent cases where in AWS S3 buckets were leaked and lot of data was gone due to making them accessible to public. A cloud access security broker can be used tighten the cloud security.

  4. Internet Security:
    It involves protecting the data that is coming in and going out of your device, browser etc. It makes sure that the data is not altered or spoofed and thus maintains the integrity. This can be achieved by encrypting the data in transit out of many solutions. Firewalls can be used and deployed on the device to filter out the traffic that could pose a harm to the security of the data.

What are cyber security risks?

Cyber security risk is a risk that could potentially harm the confidentiality, integrity and availability of the data through an attack either on asset, network or an application.

Most common cyber security risks are as below

  • Ransomware: The ransomware attack has been active for a while. It has a potential to do great volumes of damage to an organization. A lot of organizations have gone bankrupt and had to shut down their businesses.
    The attack involves encrypting data on the machine. The data is held hostage until some price demanded by an attacker is paid.
  • Phishing: It is a kind of a social engineering attack which involves persuading someone to click on a malicious link to steal credentials and data. This attacks are very well crafted and can be spread through email attachments, links.
    Awareness plays an important role here. It is important to verify the source of a message, email before downloading or clicking on anything.
  • Man in the middle attack: The attacks involves hijacking an active communication between two systems or two entities. Once hijacked, an attacker can either steal the information that is being shared or he can modify or alter the content affecting its integrity.
    Some of the ways to prevent would be to encrypt the data in transit by using stronger encryption algorithm, enforce https and making sure that only private network is used for communication and exchange of data.
  • SQL injection: Since database has its own language, this attacks makes use of carefully crafted SQL queries to interact with backend database and fetch data from it. It is crucial to filter the data that is being injected into input fields so as to make it avoid interact with the database.
  • DDOS attack: This attack attempts to overwhelm the target with constant flow of requests either from one or different sources. The end goal is to make target slow and unavailable to people using it.

What is network VAPT scan ?

Network scanning is one of the critical steps in vulnerability assessment and penetration testing. The sole purpose of scanning is to list out IP addresses, hosts, the operating systems and the ports that are open. Network scanning process is usually very detailed and time consuming and incorporates TCP scanning and UDP scanning. The outcome of scanning is used for the next step of finding or mapping vulnerabilities. As an example, the scanning will find that port 25 is open for a particular host. Whereas the next step finds that port 25 (SMTP) is vulnerable to SMTP service related attacks. The penetration testing phase actually exploits the SMTP vulnerabilities and proves the findings of scanning and vulnerability assessment phase. Network VAPT scan needs to be highly accurate in order not to miss any open ports or mappings of services and operating systems. This makes the network scanning an important phase. Typically a network scanning is performed using tools. Please refer to this page for a detailed comparison of network VAPT tools.

What is network VAPT audit?

Network audit is a different approach to vulnerability assessment. While most of the steps in network audit are same as for VAPT, there is a subtle difference. Network VAPT audit takes into consideration the network diagram from security architecture perspective. While performing a network VAPT, only the technical tools come into the play. Whereas in case of network audit, it goes beyond just the tools and gets into the design aspect. Network audit also includes a verbal enquiry session that percolates into how the network is built, how it grew and what are its security challenges. This information is then used while performing the network vulnerability assessment and penetration testing process.

What is network VAPT?

  • Network VAPT is a type of security testing that can be done either manually or by using tools to ensure that the network is not exhibiting any means of evasion.
  • Vulnerability Assessment involves finding security holes i.e. vulnerabilities by scanning the entire network.
  • Penetration Testing involves exploiting the found vulnerabilities to gain unauthorized access to the network.
More info can be found here: Network Security VAPT

How do you perform a network VAPT test ?

Network VAPT can be done in two ways, manual and automatic by using tools. To ensure the security of a network, it should be scanned thoroughly both internally and externally.

Network includes of all the network devices such as firewalls, switches, routers and all the devices that are connected within a network or outside.

A detailed assessment can shed light on the unwanted ports that are open, unsupported firmware, unpatched systems, poorly configured firewall rules, outdated software version, weak password policy so on and so forth.

Once the vulnerabilities are found, they can be further exploited to see the extent of damage they can do to the organization. This step is to be done very carefully since wrongfully executed test can do more harm than good to the network.

More info can be found here: Network Security VAPT

Does VAPT increases ROI on IT security?

It is said that the value of an asset is determined by the value of data being hosted by it. More critical the data, more critical the asset.

To ensure safety of the data, it is important to secure the asset first. This can be done by calculating the risks and its impact if they were exploited. Vulnerability Assessment does just the same. It analyses the asset be it a network asset such as firewall or a simple asset such as desktop for underlying risks and fixes it before an attacker can reach to them.

Timely assessment of vulnerabilities can help an organization decide which vulnerabilities to prioritize first based on the harm they can cause to a system. A good amount of investment in quality tools and skilled manpower now can tremendously benefit an organization in a long run.

This can also benefit an organization in gaining new customers and clients. VAPT builds a certain level of confidence among the organization due to a good sense and understanding of how far an organization is when it comes to security.

What is a network vulnerability assessment tool ?

Network VA tool automatically scans a network for underlying threats and vulnerabilities such as outdated software version, unsupported firmware, open ports, service discovery, unpatched systems, protocols vulnerabilities etc.

Following are the list of industry recognised tools one can use to perform VAPT.

  • Nmap
  • Nexpose
  • Metasploit
  • Nessus etc.
More info can be found here: Network Security VAPT

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