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Data breaches happen and when they do, businesses begin to wonder if they are doing everything possible to guard against them. Hackers do not take time off; threats are constant, and your security scans and threat detection should be as well.

Being connected to the outside world is necessary, because of this it is necessary to set up protections that work 24/7 to avoid a damaging cyberattack. The best way to do this is by conducting continuous network scanning. The days of running quarterly vulnerability scanning are over. It is now vital to the security of your network to be proactive, running a continuous defense against hackers.

What is Continuous Network Scanning?

Continuous network scanning includes ongoing monitoring to prevent breaches of your proprietary data. With CNS, automatic alerts and reports reveal the defensive stance of your network. It also an indication of weak security chain links in your staff.

According to IBM’s 2020 Cost of a Data Breach Report, it takes companies 280 days to identify and contain a data breach. That is an entire 40 weeks for hackers to interfere in your company’s systems. With a continuous approach, you can proactively find and patch vulnerabilities before a breach can occur.

Here we share four kinds of security scans and threat detection that should be part of your continuous network scanning strategy:

Internal Vulnerability Scans

Internal vulnerability scans are more complex than external scans. This is because there is more vulnerability within the organization. This type of scan is conducted from a location with access to your internal network. It can uncover and catalog your core IP-connected endpoints. This includes things like peripherals, mobile devices, laptops, servers, and more.

Misconfigurations or unpatched software are identified with these scanners allowing you to prioritize devices that require instant action to secure the network. Internal scans are most helpful for patch verification, giving a detailed report of network vulnerabilities. Executing regular internal scans is an extremely effective method for protecting against network vulnerabilities and for collecting insight into your patch management process.

External Vulnerability Scans

While internal vulnerability scans focus within, this method looks out and is looking for potential threats from the outside. This security tool examines your systems for flaws and weaknesses. By scanning external IP addresses and domains and probing for internet-facing infrastructure vulnerabilities, exploitable ones are identified.

These scans are perfect for verifying the strength of your externally-facing services. It can recognize weaknesses in perimeter defenses and the open and exposed ports. By viewing your network from the hacker’s point of view, you can determine the most urgent issues within the network and create the best defense against external vulnerabilities. Armed with this information you can remediate the vulnerabilities, working according to their risk level.

Host-Based Agents

Host-Based instruction detectors work from a device and look for malicious traffic. The agent tracks active processes, Wi-Fi networks, applications, and other devices that are now complying with company policies. It can then flag the user or the IT team if a problem is detected. 

A host-based agent will look for suspicious behavior inkling failed login attempts, backdoor installations, or changes to the registry. As visibility is limited to the single host and attacks are not identified until they have arrived at the host point, a host-based agent is not a comprehensive solution. They are best used with another one of the security scans to get the most protection for your network.

Penetration Testing Tools

Penetration testing involves ethical hackers, or security experts, simulating the attempts malicious hackers make to subvert your network. With these simulations, you can test the effectiveness of your security efforts, detect weak spots, and test your IT partner’s and security team’s responses.

There are several penetration tests available, including: 

  • Blind Tests
  • Double-Blind Tests
  • Clear Box, or White Box, Tests
  • Internal Tests
  • External Tests

Implementing Continuous Network Scanning can help you to greatly reduce the risks to your organization’s data. RACK59 proudly offers CNS services as part of our Managed IT product offering. With real-time threat assessment and mitigation, we can help you manage your risk for data breaches. Learn more about how RACK59 can help you today.

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