Vulnerability scanning is a fundamental security routine to detect and mitigate vulnerabilities in corporate networks. Apart from being a security routine, vulnerability management is also a security compliance requirement. Compliance standards like PCI, HIPAA, etc. require organizations to conduct periodic vulnerability scans as frequently as one week up to a quarter based on the standard.
Organizations invest time and resources to periodically scan their endpoints for potential vulnerabilities that could be exploited by hackers. They use vulnerability scanning tools to run periodic scans and detect vulnerabilities in their IT assets. However, are periodic scans enough? According to , 31% of vulnerability exploits took one week or less to execute, with the minimum being one day. Even though the one week period recommended by security standards seems like enough, it still proves less than ideal when considering all cases in the real world. Also, dedicating time and resources to configure and run detailed vulnerability scans every day is overkill for most organizations.
What is automated vulnerability scanning?
An automated vulnerability scan is when the scanning tool is configured to carry out scans at set intervals automatically. They can be configured to run daily, weekly, or monthly. A few well-designed scanners also make it possible to perform continuous scans that run all time all day without consuming excessive network bandwidth. Automated vulnerability scans are an ideal way to make sure organizations keep an eye out for vulnerabilities all the time.
How automated vulnerability scans transform your endpoint security
Automated vulnerability scans are the best way to ensure all IT assets are kept under constant scrutiny for vulnerabilities. They provide these five biggest benefits to your business:
1. Accurate picture of the attack surface at all times
Periodic scans do not give a close-to-accurate picture of the security posture at all times. By the time you perform the next scan after 2-3 weeks, numerous risks would’ve surfaced in the form of critical software vulnerabilities, rogue processes, misconfigured firewalls, and much more. Automated scans let you keep track of vulnerabilities almost at all times without you spending time babysitting the scans.
2. Faster detection and mitigation cycles
The first step to faster mitigation cycles is to detect the vulnerability as soon as possible. Nowadays, a critical vulnerability is disclosed in a commonly used software tool at least once a week. Typically, a programmed scan takes anywhere between 1-5 hours based on the number of devices and other factors. When such a scan is performed only once a week or month, the speed of detection reduces considerably, slowing down your mitigation cycles. With automated scans, you can start the and roll out the mitigation steps almost immediately after you discover the flaws.
3. Lowered time and resources for configuring scans
Vulnerability scans are usually configured to run periodically. They typically require trained personnel to dedicate a few hours for every scanning cycle to set up the target devices, types of configurations to check, and many other parameters for the scan. With automated scans, you only need to set up the scan once. The scanner returns the results automatically without you prompting the scanning tool. Based on your needs, you can even set up separate scans for different devices under different conditions and times.
4. Continuous compliance with security standards
Detecting and mitigating vulnerabilities is a compliance mandate for security standards such as ISO, HIPAA, PCI, etc. Some standards require organizations to run weekly or bi-weekly vulnerability scans for all their assets. Automated scans save a lot of time and effort by implementing , where the assets are under continuous monitoring. You can immediately detect risks that point out a non-compliant environment.
5. Reduced team fatigue and improved productivity
In an enterprise security team, vulnerability and compliance teams occupy an important spot in the whole IT strategy. The teams can spend their time analyzing how processes can be improved instead of grunting over manual work while setting up scans each time. Smaller and mid-size organizations can tackle bigger compliance and vulnerability management challenges easily with timely help from smart tools like automated vulnerability scans and assessments.
Detect your vulnerabilities before someone else does
Vulnerability scanning and management is a ball of confusion in most organizations. Many organizations limit their scan frequency because they consume a lot of time for setup and assessment. Keep aside all the difficulties and look at the goal of a vulnerability scan. Scans serve to detect a risk in your environment before someone else does. And that deserves a lot of attention in endpoint security.
is a cloud-based tool to automate vulnerability scanning and all tasks that follow in the process. You can perform the fastest vulnerability scans in under 5 minutes. The tool also leverages the world’s largest vulnerability database with 100,000+ security checks. All OSs such as Windows, Mac, Linux are supported in SanerNow. Once you detect a vulnerability, you can see it through to the mitigation stage with integrated patching capabilities. Sign up for a of SanerNow. We will show and not just tell.