Identifying vulnerabilities in networks and devices and scanning them all through their life cycle until they are remediated is paramount. Attackers have the same information on vulnerabilities as vendors, security, and IT admins.
End-users often confuse themselves with penetration testing and vulnerability scanning when they’re out considering ways to protect their organization’s digital ecosystem. At times, customers want vulnerability management to scan, assess, and remediate vulnerabilities, but they’d be knocking on the doors of penetration testing and vice-versa.
Vulnerability scanning is part of continuous vulnerability management programs to assess vulnerabilities, prioritize, and remediate them. This continuous process minimizes the window that an attacker seeks to launch a full-fledged attack on organizations. Vulnerability scanning and assessment play a crucial role to strengthen an organization’s network security.
On the other hand, Penetration Testing is about simulating methods that attackers might use to reach their objectives. Both methods are poles apart when it comes to protecting devices. Without cybersecurity measures in place, devices will be in jeopardy, and organizations could end up losing their resources, reputation, and customer base.
Some of the fundamental differences between penetration testing vs. vulnerability scanning are:
- Vulnerability scans make it easier to identify vulnerabilities in devices. Penetration testing is about making attempts in the IT ecosystem to see if a vulnerability is open for exploitation.
- An IT or security admin can either go for manual or automated scans, whereas penetration testing isn’t as seamless as the former. Moreover, penetration testing requires a person with unparalleled expertise to pinpoint vulnerabilities.
- Vulnerability management makes scanning, auditing, or generating reports comprehensive; and lists all vulnerabilities detected during the scan. You can’t expect the same from a pen test report. They are usually short but cover all the criteria to determine if there is a loophole or not.
- Pen testing is a little hefty on the pocket compared to vulnerability scans. Also, while choosing a tester for pen testing, an organization must assess the skill and knowledge of the professional. Further suggests that organizations need to know where they put in their resources.
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How are Vulnerability Scans different from Penetration Testing?
Vulnerability scanning is a necessary process that is powered by vulnerability management. It aids IT and security admins scan, discover, assess, prioritize, and remediate network vulnerabilities. Continuous vulnerability scanning significantly minimizes the window of unprecedented cyber-attacks. With vulnerability scanning, you can also remove the possibility of any lack of security controls while identifying common misconfigurations among the devices. Vulnerability scanning is an ideal choice to remediate vulnerabilities as a passive and non-aggressive process of detecting vulnerabilities.
Once the IT or security admin scans for vulnerabilities, the Vulnerability Management will notify them of vulnerabilities in the network.
Penetration Testing is entirely different from vulnerability scanning. Though both aim to get rid of vulnerabilities in an IT ecosystem, the processes are poles apart. Professional pen-testers are well-versed in finding the waypoint to handle this part of cyber protection. They curate the roadmap of how black hat hackers may leverage loopholes in devices.
Penetration testing isn’t a continuous practice like vulnerability scanning, but the third-party pen testers need to repeat the process regularly. Generally, IT and security teams aren’t profoundly educated about penetration testing. In addition to this, you’d require a wide array of tools to perform penetration testing. However, the effectiveness of any pen test depends on the skills and expertise. Also, the reports comprise how exploits and attacks will come into being. Additionally, the pen tester also recommends shaping an organization’s security posture.
Understanding Penetration Testing vs. Vulnerability Scanning
Not all organizations follow the same path or methods to safeguard their IT infrastructure. Understanding how vulnerability scanning is different from penetration testing will help you understand what you need to do to protect your devices. With vulnerability scanning, you can prevent attacks even before they take place. In penetration testing, the tester has to explore several ways by which he can find loopholes that would lead to exploiting vulnerabilities.
Both penetration testing and vulnerability scanning are important to protect devices, with vulnerability scanning being a more convenient option. Your in-house security or IT teams can easily make use of continuous vulnerability scanning to keep attackers away from the digital ecosystem.
The SanerNow Way of Preventing Cyberattacks
SecPod SanerNow comes with a continuous and automated vulnerability management platform that is solely developed to prevent cyber attacks before they take place. SecPod SanerNow Vulnerability Management scans vulnerabilities in a digital ecosystem. You can leverage the industry’s leading scanner, which offers fewer than 5 minutes of scan time. Vulnerability scans is powered by the world’s largest vulnerability database, the SCAP Repository, which features over 160,000+ security checks.
Assessing and prioritizing vulnerabilities can’t get more seamless than what SanerNow VM offers. With support to three major OSs, iMac, Windows, Linux, and 300+ third-party applications, expect an uninterrupted remediation process!