While you might keep regular office hours, hackers are at work 24 hours a day. And since your network is always connected to the outside world via the internet, you must ensure its protection on a constant basis.
One way to keep your business safe at all hours is to conduct continuous network scanning. According to the 2018 Cost of Data Breach study from the Ponemon Institute, it takes companies 196 days on average to discover a data breach. Security teams can use a continuous approach to find and patch vulnerabilities in a fraction of that time—before, not after, a breach takes place. Compared to point-in-time vulnerability scans done yearly or quarterly, continuous scans and 24/7 monitoring reduce the window of exposure organizations face.
There are four types of scans an organization should use as part of a holistic continuous network scanning strategy:
- External Vulnerability Scans: This type of scan looks at your network from the hacker’s perspective. It scans external IP addresses and domains, probing for vulnerabilities in internet-facing infrastructure to determine which can be exploited.
- Internal Vulnerability Scans: This scan looks for vulnerabilities within the organization. It discovers and catalogs your core IP-connected endpoints, such as laptops, servers, peripherals, IoT-enabled machines, and mobile devices. It then scans those endpoints for vulnerabilities due to misconfigurations or unpatched software, helping you prioritize the devices that require more immediate attention to secure the network.
- Host-Based Agents: A host-based agent lives on the device itself and tracks active processes, applications, Wi-Fi networks, or USB devices that don’t conform to company policies. It can then flag the user or IT to fix the issue, or in some cases close the vulnerability by blocking the malicious action.
- Penetration Testing Tools: IT teams can go beyond passive scanning with penetration testing tools that actively simulate real-world attacks on the network. These attacks help verify the effectiveness of your cybersecurity efforts, identify any potential weak spots, and test the human response capabilities of your security team and IT partners.
Learn how to gain visibility into your cyber risk posture by downloading our white paper, Reduce Your Attack Surface with Continuous Risk Assessment.