Network Vulnerability Baseline: What it is and Why You Need One

Even the most well-managed networks can develop security vulnerabilities through which hackers can enter to steal or ransom sensitive data or cripple your IT infrastructure.

When cybersecurity professionals refer to vulnerabilities, we’re referring to the myriad devices that regularly (and intermittently) reside on your network, providing access that allows authorized users to do their jobs, and store or retrieve information.

Where Enterprises Can Be Vulnerable

Examples of such devices can include everything from network routers, switches and servers to multi-function printers, IP cameras and remote-user laptops and mobile devices. All of these devices have data ports that are “activated” or open to allow access by authorized users. When poorly managed, other network-attached assets, such as operating systems, web applications and databases can also open the door to criminal intruders.

Potentially devastating vulnerabilities arise when assets are activated but not properly secured, such as right after installation. Not faithfully updating or patching device software as it’s released is another security misstep that puts your enterprise at risk. Of course, the biggest problem with risky networks is how they unnecessarily expose your network and prevent you from passing your IT compliance audit.  Fortunately, Singular Security has an answer for both.

Creating Your Network Vulnerability Baseline

To identify which devices, programs and assets are putting you at risk right now, Singular Security will check your entire networked environment using an automated test called a vulnerability scan. A scan enables us to gather a wide range of “digital evidence” to determine if and where devices or assets can be threatened and/or exploited.  From this evidence, we establish your unique Network Vulnerability Baseline--a snapshot of where you are most at risk today.

Visibility Exposes Vulnerability

The visibility and understanding gained by establishing a baseline of evidence enhances your ability to manage risk and prevent breaches.  A baseline also provides more insight into which regulatory mandates apply to your particular computing environment, enabling your IT team or managed services provider to create controls and develop as security framework that facilitates compliance with enforced IT and information-security regulations.

Scorecarding Your Risk

Findings from your network vulnerability scan go into a detailed report, which is used--either by us, by your internal IT team or both--to update, upgrade or replace offending devices or assets. IT professionals in some organizations use their results as a kind of scorecard to quantify a simple, relative level of risk and/or progress toward specific compliance goals.

What Scorecarding Reveals

This scorecarding, for example, might reveal that the threat levels are high and compliance readiness is low--or the other way around.  Knowing and understanding where you are can save significant time, money and effort when customizing controls, where efficiency and cost consolidation often go by the wayside; it can also help you avoid slipping into a reactive “band-aid” mode when deciding how and when to remediate all of your vulnerabilities.