Vulnerability Scanning vs Penetration Testing: Which to Choose

People usually confuse vulnerability assessments with the penetration tests. Although these two terms are often used mutually, but these terms are exactly different from each other. To reinforce the security policy of the organization, it is not only important to check the vulnerabilities, but also essential to know whether the organization has some risk due to those vulnerabilities or not. To enhance the security policy of organization against cyber attacks, it has become important to understand the connection among penetration test, vulnerability assessment, and cyber risk analysis. It is important to analyze whether an organization requires vulnerability scan to be done or penetration test to be done. Therefore, this blog explains how penetration testing is different from the vulnerability scanning.

Vulnerability Scanning vs Penetration Testing

Penetration Testing Vs Vulnerability Scanning:

1. Penetration testing: Penetration testing is a process to examine the security of IT organization’s infrastructure by exploiting the vulnerabilities safely. These tests are either automated with the software or they are carried out manually. The main goal to perform a penetration test is to examine the weaknesses of security. It is also beneficial to perform the test on the security policy compliance of an organization, security awareness of employees, and also to analyze the ability of the organization to take action to security incidents.

2. Vulnerability scan: Vulnerability scan is a technique that is used for determining the security weaknesses in IT infrastructure of an organization. It is either performed by network administrators via vulnerability scanners to examine the weaknesses or by hackers who get benefited from the security weaknesses found in the computer system.

When should you choose Vulnerability scanning and penetration testing?

· A vulnerability scan is conducted to look for the vulnerabilities present in the computer system and to list the potential vulnerabilities in the system, whereas penetration testing is done to exploit the security weaknesses existing in the system.

· Vulnerability scanning should be conducted on the regular basis to maintaining the security of confidential information of an organization, while penetration tests should only be conducted once in a year or necessarily when some changes have been introduced in the system.

· Since penetration testing is an attempt to exploit recognized vulnerabilities, so an organization could analyze how an attacker could be benefited if vulnerabilities would have really exploited, whereas vulnerability scan classifies the risk into further categories like low, medium or high and remediation actions are prioritized according to the risk factor of the vulnerabilities. For example, vulnerabilities of high risk are re mediated first.

In order to keep the security of an organization, there is a need to perform a broad risk analysis that considers all the important security contributing factors such as vulnerabilities, exploit-ability, external threats, asset criticality, and many more factors. It is recommended to perform the vulnerability scan and penetration test in conjunction with each other so that both could contribute mutually to reduce security risks to an organization. Therefore, an organization requires a potential vulnerability scanner that should be efficient enough to carry out vulnerability scan on the regular basis. So, get an effective scanner for vulnerability check at Promisec that is known for providing the best vulnerability scanning tools.

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