Vulnerability Scanning: An Overview

What is Vulnerability Scanning?

Vulnerability scanning is the process of scanning computer systems, networks, or applications for security vulnerabilities or weaknesses that could be exploited by attackers. It is an automated process that uses specialized software tools to identify potential security risks, including software bugs, misconfigurations, and other weaknesses in the system.

Vulnerability scanning is an important part of any organization’s security posture because it helps identify and prioritize security risks so that they can be addressed before they are exploited by attackers. By regularly performing vulnerability scans, organizations can stay ahead of the curve in terms of security and reduce the likelihood of a successful attack.

There are different types of vulnerability scans that can be performed, including network scans, web application scans, and database scans. Some vulnerability scanning tools are designed to simulate attacks to better identify potential vulnerabilities that could be exploited by attackers. Once vulnerabilities have been identified, organizations can take steps to remediate them, such as applying patches, reconfiguring systems, or implementing new security controls.

How does vulnerability scanning benefit SMBs in ‘high trust’ sectors?

Vulnerability scanning can provide several benefits for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in high trust sectors, such as Financial and Professional Services, Law Firms, and Nonprofits.

Improved Security: By regularly scanning their systems, SMBs can identify and address potential security vulnerabilities before they are exploited by attackers. This can help improve their overall security posture and reduce the likelihood of data breaches or other security incidents.

Compliance: Many high trust sectors have regulatory requirements that require organizations to maintain certain levels of security. Vulnerability scanning can help SMBs identify and address potential security risks to comply with these regulations.

Cost-Effective: Vulnerability scanning tools are generally affordable and easy to use, making them a cost-effective way for SMBs to improve their security posture.

Reputation: In high trust sectors, reputation is critical. A data breach or security incident can damage an SMB’s reputation and lead to loss of business. By proactively scanning for vulnerabilities and addressing them, SMBs can demonstrate their commitment to security and build trust with their customers.

What are some trends in Vulnerability Scanning?

Cloud-Based Scanning: With the increasing adoption of cloud infrastructure and services, vulnerability scanning tools are now available as cloud-based solutions. This allows for more flexibility and scalability, as well as the ability to scan cloud-based assets and environments.

Machine Learning: Machine learning is being integrated into vulnerability scanning tools to help identify and prioritize vulnerabilities more accurately and efficiently. Machine learning algorithms can analyze large amounts of data and identify patterns that may not be apparent to human analysts.

Integration with DevOps: Vulnerability scanning is being integrated into DevOps processes, allowing for more rapid identification and remediation of vulnerabilities. This helps organizations improve their security posture without slowing down development processes.

Mobile and IoT Scanning: As mobile and IoT devices become more prevalent, vulnerability scanning tools are being adapted to scan these devices and identify vulnerabilities in mobile applications and IoT devices.

Automation: Vulnerability scanning tools are becoming more automated, allowing for more efficient and comprehensive scanning. Automated scanning can also reduce the risk of human error and provide more consistent results.

What are some best practices in Vulnerability scanning?

Regular Scanning: Regularly scan all systems and applications to identify vulnerabilities, including any changes or updates made to the system.

Prioritization: Prioritize vulnerabilities based on their severity and potential impact to the organization. Address high-priority vulnerabilities first.

Accurate Scanning: Ensure that scanning is done accurately and completely, including all assets and applications in the organization’s network.

Collaboration: Collaborate with IT and security teams to identify vulnerabilities and prioritize remediation efforts.

Documentation: Document all vulnerabilities found, including their severity, location, and remediation plan.

Remediation: Remediate all identified vulnerabilities in a timely manner. If immediate remediation is not possible, implement temporary measures to mitigate risk until a permanent fix can be applied.

Retesting: Retest systems and applications after remediation to ensure that all vulnerabilities have been addressed.

Reporting: Generate vulnerability reports to provide a clear understanding of the organization’s security posture and to track progress over time.

Compliance: Ensure that vulnerability scanning is performed in compliance with regulatory requirements and industry standards.


Altourage is a client-obsessed managed service provider, offering IT and Cybersecurity services to clients in ‘high-trust’ sectors, including Financial Services, Professional Services and Nonprofit Organizations.  

We offer both fully managed and co-managed services – customizing our services or integrating with our clients’ existing teams to build successful long-term partnerships.