Why your organization needs more than just a scanner to stay secure?

Vulnerability scanners are one of the most widely used tools to detect and assess an organization’s vulnerabilities. They are, usually automated tools that scan for known vulnerabilities in networks, web applications, infrastructure components, and more. However, vulnerability scanners are not a cure-all and have certain limitations that make them less effective in providing a comprehensive security solution for an organization. Instead, they should be used as a piece of a larger vulnerability management program. 

In this post, we’ll discuss the limitations of vulnerability scanners and how mature vulnerability management platforms are better suited to helping organizations stay secure.

What is a vulnerability scanner?

A vulnerability scanner is a tool used to scan a system for known vulnerabilities and potential threats. They use a variety of techniques such as comparing the system to a database of known vulnerabilities, running preconfigured security tests, and analyzing code for potential weaknesses. Ultimately, vulnerability scanners are used to assess the security of a system and help determine the best course of action to mitigate risks

vulnerability scanners

Types of vulnerability scanners

There are several different types of vulnerability scanners available, each with its own unique capabilities and features. 

Network vulnerability scanners are one of the most common types and are used to detect network-based vulnerabilities such as missing patches, weak passwords, and insecure protocols. Web vulnerability scanners are used to detect web application-based vulnerabilities such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting, and remote file inclusion. Configuration vulnerability scanners are used to detect configuration-based vulnerabilities such as misconfigured services, open ports, and weak authentication protocols.

Limitations of vulnerability scanners

While vulnerability scanners are effective at identifying vulnerabilities, they have certain limitations that make them less effective when used as a comprehensive security solution which happens far too often at far too many organizations. Vulnerability scanners are limited in their ability to detect unknown vulnerabilities, as they rely on databases of known vulnerabilities to identify potential threats. This means that any new threats, such as zero-days, or vulnerabilities that have not been cataloged in the database, which can sometimes take days, will not be detected.

Another limitation of vulnerability scanners is they are only able to detect the vulnerabilities that are present on the system at the time of the scan. If a vulnerability is introduced after the scan has been completed, the scanner, obviously, won’t detect it. This means that organizations must regularly scan their systems to stay up to date on the latest threats, which can be cost prohibitive especially during financially difficult times. 

Finally, vulnerability scanners can require a significant amount of time and resources to use effectively. The scans must be run regularly to detect new vulnerabilities, and the results must be carefully analyzed to identify potential threats and categorize them within the greater context of the business and its goals. This can be a time-consuming and resource-intensive process, and organizations may not have the resources to perform these activities effectively.

Vulnerability management platforms and their benefits

To address the limitations of vulnerability scanners, organizations should consider using a vulnerability management platform that offers a comprehensive solution combining vulnerability scanning and vulnerability assessment tools with additional features.

Vulnerability Management Lifecycle

Vulnerability management platforms, such as Strobes VM365, are designed to provide organizations with a comprehensive view of their security posture. By centralizing the functionality of various vulnerability management tools, including detailed reporting, automated workflows, and real-time notifications, into one, holistic location, these platforms provide organizations with an enhanced ability to monitor their security posture and protect their assets. 

Strobes VM365 includes patch management tools that help prioritize and apply patches quickly and easily, ensuring newly identified vulnerabilities are quickly remediated and the system is more protected against future threats. It’s reporting features allow organizations to easily track and report on their security posture which can be invaluable for CXOs attempting to understand the complicated cybersecurity landscape. 

Conclusion

Vulnerability scanners are an important tool for organizations to stay secure, but they have certain limitations that make them less effective as a comprehensive security solution. Vulnerability management platforms offer a more robust, comprehensive view of an organization’s security posture and the ability to identify potential threats and take action in context to remediate them. They also provide organizations with the ability to quickly apply patches and easily report to the Board or Executive Suite.

Staying ahead of threats is essential for the security of your organization. Strobes VM365 is a vulnerability management platform that helps organizations stay informed about the latest threats and take proactive steps to mitigate the risk of them. With Strobes, organizations can easily correlate data between vulnerability scans and vulnerability intelligence, making sure to keep them updated whenever there’s a zero-day in the wild.

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