Vulnerability Assessment Steps
As a managed service provider (MSP), you understand full well the element of risk faced by your clients. With the increasing number of servers, desktops, laptops and personal devices accessing customer networks and the explosive growth of software applications in the workplace, vulnerability assessments are essential the to the security posture of every organization.
For this reason, more and more companies are looking toward MSPs for vulnerability assessment steps and solutions that will protect their information systems and the valuable data on them.
The majority of successful breaches focus on vulnerabilities that are the easiest to exploit. Once hackers establish a presence inside the network, they branch out through the network, looking for valuable data they can steal without being discovered.
Risk Assessment Process Steps
One of the essential steps in a vulnerability assessment is the use of a risk assessment tool. Using a risk assessment tool, you can discover and patch point-in-time flaws in your clients’ information systems before potential hackers can take advantage of them.
For MSPs to make a compelling case for vulnerability solutions, they need to understand their customers’ processes and the underlying infrastructure that drive them.
The following vulnerability assessment steps cover key areas for MSPs to consider:
- Understand your customer’s business operations
Work with your client to obtain a complete picture of their business operations. Ask critical questions such as whether they handle sensitive customer data and are required to comply with regulatory standards.
- Identify the critical systems, applications and data that drive business operations
Knowing which physical and virtual servers, storage appliances, software programs and other network devices run mission-critical applications will allow you to determine which infrastructure vulnerabilities should be targeted first and most aggressively. Consider that a system or software application critical to one department (such as a CAD application for engineers) may have no importance whatsoever for other departments. You may also find that investigating one system or application can lead you to others.
- Evaluate mobile devices on your client networks
If your client allows the use of smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices in the workplace, determine if these devices contain sensitive data. Work with your client to identify who is using mobile devices and what resources they are accessing.
- Become familiar with your client’s security policies
Understand your client’s security policies and ask about their chief concerns. Research the security devices your client has put in place — such as firewalls, virtual private networks and intrusion detection systems — and the vulnerabilities they are designed to address.
After you perform these first four vulnerability assessment steps, you can use security tools to evaluate a client’s current and potential data risk. Extracting meaningful and actionable information about business risk from vulnerability data can be complex and difficult. As a result, choose a vulnerability tool that provides analytics for applying business and technology context to the results.
- How many assets are touched by the vulnerabilities and what is their importance to business operations?
- Can any of the vulnerabilities expose your client to attacks that can affect business operations and impair or crash critical systems?
- Are the identified vulnerabilities already being addressed by other security controls or multiple layers of protection?
- If the tool recommends changes to your client’s systems, understand how the client’s risk profile and security posture would change if those recommendations were applied.
Finding the Best Vulnerability Assessment Solution
When it comes to reducing risk, vulnerability assessments can be invaluable. By keeping business risk in mind when analyzing the results of a vulnerability assessment — and applying that knowledge to craft a meaningful security strategy — MSPs can help their clients make the most of their security budget and strengthen their overall security posture and standards compliance.
MSP Risk Intelligence from SolarWinds MSP (formerly LOGICnow) is a turn-key vulnerability assessment tool designed from the ground up to allay your clients’ cyber security fears. Unlike other solutions that offer rudimentary tools that are prone to false-positives and false-negatives, MAX Risk Intelligence delivers an accurate and holistic picture of a client’s network, devices and data so that you can make the most informed decisions.
A few of the key differentiators that separate MAX Risk Intelligence from other service platforms include:
- Unprotected data summary
MSP Risk Intelligence can expose all unprotected data on a network and determine the corresponding financial liability if that data was stolen, lost or became corrupt. A company that has 25 unprotected files on a system, for example, might incur a $25,000 loss if those files were compromised. By assigning an expected financial liability to vulnerabilities, you and your clients can see which flaws present the greatest financial risk and are therefore a priority for security action.
- Vulnerability summary
MSP Risk Intelligence can analyze network vulnerabilities according to vendor. This information allows clients either to request that vendors provide patches to their software or to decide to no longer use a vendor’s application and therefore diminish their exposure and risk.
- Unprotected data details
MSP Risk Intelligence pinpoints the exact location and details of files at risk. This can be a catalyst for clients adopting new security policies and procedures to improve its security posture. It can also be used to ensure compliance with industry-appropriate standardized procedures.
- Scan statistics
MSP Risk Intelligence shows the overall details of every vulnerability assessment scan. This granular information includes the number of volumes and files scanned, and the number of suspected instances and suspect data that were found.
- Network port details
MSP Risk Intelligence lists all ports in the network that are at risk of a breach by potential hackers.
The SolarWinds MSP Advantage
At SolarWinds MSP, we offer the industry’s most comprehensive solutions, products and services that empower MSPs to build powerful customer relationships that strengthen and grow their customer base.
As proof, we back every solution with 24/7/365 support and expertise that is unmatched in the industry. When you deploy a SolarWinds MSP product, our Professional Services team is deployed with it to guide you, instill confidence, answer your questions and resolve issues.
Find out how MSP Risk Intelligence can help you offer superior vulnerability assessment services to your customers by starting your free trial today.
About SolarWinds MSP
SolarWinds MSP delivers the only 100% SaaS, fully cloud-based IT service management (ITSM) platform, backed by collective intelligence and the highest levels of layered security. Our MAX products including Risk Intelligence, Remote Management, Backup & Disaster Recovery, Mail, and Service Desk – comprise the market’s most widely trusted integrated solution.
Deployed on millions of endpoints across hundreds of thousands of networks, the platform has the industry vision to define and deliver the future of the market. SolarWinds MSP provides the most comprehensive IT security available as well as LOGICcards, the first ever IT notification feature powered by prescriptive analytics and machine learning.
Our passion is helping IT professionals secure and manage their systems and data through actionable insights, rewriting the rules of IT.
For more information, contact us today.