What is Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT)?

Jun 16, 2021 5:53:17 PM


Technology is spreading its wings to provide a profusion of opportunities. We have millions of smart, interconnected devices and complex systems that are enabling us to do much more than human potentiality. But the hard fact is, these systems are not foolproof and highly vulnerable to cyber-attacks. 

At an enterprise level, security breaches are unacceptable. That is why Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT) is the watchword amongst enterprises to create a shield of safety around their network of devices, servers, and systems. 

What exactly is Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT)? How does it enable enterprises to identify and address cybersecurity vulnerabilities? Why does an enterprise need to conduct (and even automate) vulnerability assessment and penetration testing of their internal & external network? The upcoming segment of the article answers all these queries regarding VAPT. 

What is a Vulnerability Assessment?

A Vulnerability Assessment is a rapid evaluation of network devices, servers, and systems to identify the key susceptibility and configuration issues that an attacker may take advantage of. This assessment is conducted within a network on internal devices and is performed as often as every day. 

Vulnerability Assessment answers: What are the issues within a network? 

What is Penetration Testing? 

A Penetration Test identifies possible routes that an attacker could break to enter into the network. In addition to this, it identifies the potential damage that an attacker can do once he is able to pass the network perimeter. 

Penetration Testing answers: What can an attacker do on a network?

Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT): What’s the Need?

  • By performing Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing regularly, enterprises can gain actionable insights about security threats in the system and address them.

  • VAPT is extremely important for enterprises that aim to achieve compliance with standards such as PCI DSS, GDPR, ISO 27001, etc.

  • Customers usually request security certifications from their partners and vendors. VAPT proves to be quite helpful in that case.

  • VAPT protects data and information against unauthorized use, malicious attacks, or loss which could have a drastic impact on a business.

Defining Scope of VAPT 

The scope of a VAPT test depends upon the size of a company, industry, regulations & compliances it follows, etc. However, there are some general guidelines that can be followed to perform the VAPT test within an enterprise:

a) Any device (hardware or software) with an IP address can be considered to perform a Vulnerability Assessment. This can be a PDA, personal computer, desktop, IoT or network device, cloud infrastructure, etc. When vulnerability assessment is done, system or device security is evaluated against a defined set of vulnerabilities for which fixes are already available. Vulnerability assessment focuses on internal parameters of an enterprise such as databases, servers, routers, desktops, laptops, firewalls, switches, wireless controllers, etc. 

b) Penetration testing focuses on the external parameters of an organization. It checks for the loopholes that could aid a security breach, enabling attackers to enter the perimeter of the network. This may include a web-facing application server with a demilitarized zone, perimeter firewall, or connections with third-party. 

Deliverables of a VAPT Test

If VPAT activities are a part of an enterprise, then the following deliverables keep the IT team informed about possible cybersecurity risks:

Executive Report: This report gives a high-level summary of the activities performed, issues identified, risk ratings, and action items to fix the problem. 

Technical Report: This is a detailed report which explains the identified issue, the proof of concept for each issue, code and configuration examples to work around the problem. Moreover, there are reference links with more details to fix the issue. 

Real-Time Dashboard: This dashboard gives details for the audit progress so that the stakeholders can take immediate actions, track fixes, closure status, and more. 

How to Perform Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing? 

At both hardware and software levels, VAPT has numerous use cases. It can be used for malware detection, access privilege check, cloud-focused threats, detect the compromise of trusted hosts, phishing or insider attacks, zero-day attacks, etc. But, what’s the right way to perform VAPT to ensure that security is never compromised at the enterprise level?

At Daffodil, we have a VAPT team that has mastered this practice. They know the ins and outs of the practice and have worked with several enterprises to maintain their security at the place. We, as a VAPT provider, focus on mitigating critical vulnerabilities that could affect data and information within an enterprise. 

Another way to perform VAPT is through third-party tools. These tools work on various aspects of security to ensure that attackers never have unauthorized access to the network. However, to automate security testing with these tools, it is important to have an IT team that continuously analyzes the issues and fixes them. To understand more about Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing practice for your enterprise, set a consultation session with our VAPT security experts. 

Archna Oberoi

Written by Archna Oberoi

Content strategist by profession and blogger by passion, Archna is avid about updating herself with the freshest dose of technology and sharing them with the readers. Stay tuned here as she brings some trending stories from the tech-territory of mobile and web.