vulnerability scanners

Vulnerability scanners are one of the most important tools in our arsenal for protecting your business from cyber threats. As a managed IT firm, The ITeam has always believed that being proactive – taking action before damage is done – is the best way to protect your data, network, and Calgary business. Additional layers of security, such as vulnerability scanning and cyber insurance, are indispensable for security teams when it comes to developing a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy, especially as the vulnerability landscape continues to shift.

“In 2024, ransomware threat actors will continue adopting a more opportunistic mindset, rapidly weaponizing newly discovered vulnerabilities within 24 hours.” – Bitdefender

What Are Vulnerability Scanners and How Do They Work?

Vulnerability scanners are tools we can use to detect and identify weaknesses in your network before anyone else does. Network vulnerability scanners scour your system for risks, such as weak passwords, unpatched software, and outdated licenses. Vulnerability management tools also compare your system to a database of known threats and common misconfigurations. Upon the completion of the scan, you will be given a report with the detected potential vulnerabilities and recommended remediations.

Vulnerability Management Process

There are two types of vulnerability scans: external and internal. Both can be valuable layers of cybersecurity protection for your Calgary business. External vulnerability scanning detects risks that come from outside your network: brute force attacks, vulnerabilities in your firewall, and unprotected databases. Internal vulnerability scanning helps protect you from risks within your network, whether from a third-party vendor or an employee.

As part of our ongoing managed services, we scan our clients’ firewalls and networks from the outside on a quarterly basis. This allows us to address any vulnerabilities at the perimeter of our clients’ networks, which acts as their first line of protection. This is done via a tool called Tenable Nessus®.

Additionally, we have capabilities that allow us to complete internal vulnerability management, helping organizations stay on top of vendor vulnerabilities and address those as required. This is a supplementary service but one that is highly recommended for certain Calgary businesses.

“Nearly every application has at least one vulnerability or misconfiguration that affects security and a quarter of application tests found a highly or critically severe vulnerability, a new study shows.” – Dark Reading

Benefits of Vulnerability Scanning

Threats to Canadian organizations continue to grow more complex. Using vulnerability management tools such as vulnerability scanning is one of the numerous ways we help keep Calgary organizations cyber secure. There are many benefits to the vulnerability management process:

Improved Hardening of Security

Network vulnerability scanners help your organization stay a step ahead of cyber criminals by finding and remediating vulnerabilities before they are exploited. This is one of many protocols used to harden the security of your network, in order to make it more difficult for cyber criminals to breach your systems.

Regulatory Compliance

If you work in an industry that requires you to meet certain regulatory requirements, such as medical, legal, or financial sectors, then implementing a process for identifying, assessing, and remediating vulnerabilities may be required. While penetration testing can often be used for this, pen testing is far more costly than vulnerability scanning. Network vulnerability scanners are often sufficient for the high-level assessment required of your IT environment for compliance.

Early Threat Detection

Comprehensive vulnerability scanning helps your Calgary business quickly identify and act to correct any potential vulnerability, prioritizing action based on the severity of the threat. Early detection through the use of vulnerability management tools is essential in preventing malicious actors from successfully attacking your organization, providing you with better security control.

Proactive Cybersecurity

Being proactive about cybersecurity allows your organization to manage security risk more effectively. Instead of waiting for a cybercriminal to identify and then exploit your IT weaknesses, vulnerability management tools will help you shore up your defenses.

Cost Savings

As with your other cybersecurity investments, prevention is much more cost effective when you consider the cumulative expense of a data breach, which can include fines, lawsuits, and loss of business. In addition, a vulnerability assessment can help you prioritize your cybersecurity investments, thereby optimizing operational efficiency and security.

Build Trust

When your customers know that you are taking every measure possible to keep their data safe, it will engender loyalty and trust that results in repeat business and better customer retention. This directly translates into increased revenues.

According to Accenture, “organizations that closely align their cybersecurity programs to business objectives are 18% more likely to increase their ability to drive revenue growth, increase market share and improve customer satisfaction, trust and employee productivity.”


vulnerability scanning FAQs

What Is the Difference Between Authenticated and Unauthenticated Vulnerability Scans?

Unauthenticated vulnerability scans are conducted without credentials, so only a certain amount of information about the vulnerabilities within your network are discoverable. Authenticated vulnerability scans use credentials that allow the scan to penetrate more deeply and provide more detail about risks your organization might face.

Do Cybercriminals Use Vulnerability Scanning Too?

Cybercriminals are also using scanning tools to find common vulnerabilities in the organizations they target. It is literally a race to find critical vulnerabilities before they do, and vulnerability scanning software is a powerful tool for staying a step ahead of the security threat.

How Does Vulnerability Scanning Protect My Organization with Remote Workers?

vulnerability scanners help protect your network

Since the pandemic, approximately 30% of employees have continued working from home, at least part of the time, often from a mobile device. Offering flexible working conditions is an excellent way to attract and retain talent, but it does introduce new risks. A vulnerability management solution can help your organization identify and mitigate security vulnerabilities that might be further exploited when a remote worker connects to your network through an unprotected home network, their own personal devices, or without connecting to a VPN.

Can Vulnerability Scanning Help Find Vulnerabilities on Our Company Website?

Because the vulnerability scan scours your system, it can help you address vulnerabilities on your website. For example, if you are running on a server that has not been updated or requires a patch, the vulnerability scan will detect that risk and recommend the appropriate remediation. Risk-based vulnerability management can even help you detect fields within your website that may allow malicious data to be entered. While achieving website security sometimes requires more than vulnerability management software (such as ethical hackers and penetration testing), this valuable tool will help identify undetected risks, such as malicious software, malicious files, and ransomware.

As cyberattacks such as phishing attacks and malware continue to pose a significant threat to Calgary businesses, vulnerability scanning is an essential tool for protecting against financial and reputational damage. By proactively detecting threats and taking the necessary steps to strengthen your cybersecurity defenses, you can safeguard your business and stay one step ahead of cybercriminals. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

There are many aspects of a well-rounded approach to IT service management, and The ITeam strives to meet every need of their clients through proactive planning and execution, including our vulnerability management program. Comprehensive services range from remote maintenance to fully managed cloud hosting, with limitless benefits for your business. Get in touch today to learn more.