Cyber Security Va

Vulnerability assessments: a must have for your cyber security

21 August 2023 Time to read:  minutes

Author: Martin Austin, Trustmarque cyber threat specialist.

In an ever-increasing digital landscape, where technology is infused with almost every aspect of our daily lives, IoT fridges, GPS tags, smart light bulbs, smart watches, smart TVs, smart everything, the need for strong cyber security controls has never been more crucial for consumers and businesses. The use and availability of artificial intelligence (AI) means that cyber-attacks are becoming ever more sophisticated. These developments are why you must stay one step ahead in securing access to your sensitive information.

In the blog post Vulnerability assessments versus penetration testing, we explored the place of penetration testing. Here we will look at the place vulnerability assessment has as part of an overall cyber security strategy.

What is a vulnerability assessment?

A regular schedule of vulnerability assessments is a vital tool for any cyber security defence. You will find any hidden weaknesses within your internal or external digital infrastructure. By conducting regular assessments, you identify potential entry points that attackers could use to gain a foothold within a network. These assessments look for network security issues, broken access controls, software vulnerabilities and more. By proactively scanning and remediating weaknesses it allows you to significantly reduce the attack surface a would-be attacker could leverage.

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Long term benefits of performing vulnerability assessments

Vulnerability assessments are used by organisations to become compliant with industry standards and data protection regulations like payment card industry data security standard (PCI DSS) and general data protection regulation (GDPR). Regular vulnerability assessments assist in meeting these compliance requirements and identifying potential gaps in security controls. By staying compliant, you mitigate legal risks, provide reputational protection, and maintain trust with your customers, partners, and stakeholders.

Performing regular assessments may be an additional expense, however, the long-term benefits of identifying and mitigating potential risks far outweigh the costs. By detecting vulnerabilities early on, you can address them before they are exploited and reduce the likelihood of expensive data breaches or system compromises.

Get ahead and stay ahead

As technology continues to advance, so do the threats that lurk in the digital realm. Regular vulnerability assessments act as a crucial line of defence. By staying proactive, you can strengthen your defences, stay compliant, protect sensitive data, and mitigate the risks posed by evolving cyber threats. Performing frequent assessments is an investment to safeguard your data and preserve its integrity in an interconnected world.

Recovering from a cyber attack is costly and typically significantly higher than the expenses incurred through proactive vulnerability assessments. If you have limited staff numbers, a skills gap, or fixed budgets, you may find that having a managed service provider, like Trustmarque, to perform your vulnerability assessments giving you more time to concentrate on vulnerability remediation and the reduction of your digital attack surface.

Now read: Vulnerability assessments versus penetration testing

About the author: Martin Austin is a seasoned cyber threat specialist at Trustmarque. Adept in managed vulnerability assessments, his expertise enhances digital security, ensuring businesses are resilient against evolving threats.

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