9 Vulnerability Scanning Best Practices to Keep Your Website Safe

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(Newswire.net — March 15, 2022) — Every firm should make securing their website a top priority. Unfortunately, many businesses don’t take the necessary precautions to protect their site. In this blog post, we will discuss 9 best practices for vulnerability scanning that will help keep your website safe from attack. Implementing these practices will help you protect your data, and ensure that your customers trust you with their information.

What is vulnerability scanning?

It is the process of discovering and assessing the security of your website, computer systems, or networks. Identifying them early on lets you fix them before hackers get a chance to discover them. Vulnerability scanners use a variety of techniques to identify potential vulnerabilities, including port scanning, network mapping, and looking for known exploits.

Once these vulnerabilities are identified, they are then ranked in order of severity. This helps you to prioritize which vulnerabilities need to be fixed first.

Why is it important?

By detecting and eliminating vulnerabilities, you can lower the danger that your website will be attacked. Hackers often exploit known vulnerabilities in websites, so by testing these website vulnerabilities, you are making it harder for them to succeed.

Furthermore, vulnerability scanning can help you protect your customers’ data. If your website is hacked, your customers’ personal information could be compromised. This could lead to them losing trust in your business, and taking their business elsewhere.

Finally, vulnerability scanning can help you comply with regulations such as PCI DSS, NIST, etc. This standard requires businesses that process credit card payments to perform regular vulnerability scans.

Vulnerability scanning best practices:

1. Use a reputable scanner:

When choosing a vulnerability scanner consider the reputation of the company. Make sure you choose a scanner from a company that you can trust, and that has a good track record for finding vulnerabilities.

There are many reputable scanners on the market, such as Astra Website Protection, Burp Suite Professional, Nessus, etc.

2. Scan your entire network:

Many businesses make the mistake of only scanning their websites and not their entire network. This is a big mistake, as hackers can easily find vulnerabilities in other parts of your network that they can exploit.

Make sure you scan all devices on your network, including workstations, servers, routers, etc.

3. Perform regular scans:

Another common mistake businesses make is only scanning their website once. Websites are always evolving and new security flaws are discovered on a regular basis. Hence, make it a point to scan your website regularly especially after updates or changes were made to it or affecting it.

Ideally, you should scan your website daily or once a week with a thorough audit done annually. However, if you have a more complex website, or if you are dealing with sensitive data, then you may need to scan more often.

4. Use a variety of scanners:

Each scanner would be different. Research and compare them before settling for one or a few. Using multiple scanners with different features can help cover more grounds in terms of security by finding vulnerabilities that other scanners may not have found.

Using both commercial and open-source scanners is a good idea. Commercial scanners typically have more features than open-source scanners, but they can also be more expensive. However, open-source scanners are often the first to get important updates on the latest threats.

5. Keep your scanners up to date:

Another important thing to consider is whether or not your scanners are up to date. New vulnerabilities are being discovered all the time, so your scanner must be updated as soon as possible to be able to identify the latest threat that’s been discovered.

6. Be aware of false positives:

This is when a scanner identifies a vulnerability that doesn’t actually exist. This could stem from misconfigured scans, old versions of software, etc.

To avoid false positives, make sure you keep your scanner up to date and properly configured.

7. Scan third-party applications:

Many businesses also forget to scan the third-party applications that they use. These applications can be a major security risk, as they often contain vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit.

Make sure you can all of the third-party applications that your business uses, including accounting software, content management systems, etc.

8. Consider the impact of vulnerabilities:

Each vulnerability poses a different risk to your business. So, it’s important to consider the impact of each vulnerability before deciding how and when to fix it.

This includes evaluating how serious of a risk it poses and how likely it is to be exploited. You can also use a risk assessment matrix to help you prioritize vulnerabilities.

9. Don’t forget about social engineering:

Vulnerability scanners are a great way to find technical vulnerabilities. However, if you’re not aware of social engineering attacks, they’ll be ineffective.

Social engineering is when hackers trick people into giving them sensitive information or access to systems. This can be done over the phone, through email, or in person.

To protect against social engineering attacks, make sure your employees are aware of the dangers and know what to look out for.

Conclusion

Vulnerability scanning if done right can be a  powerful way to keep your website safe. However, keep in mind the best practices and follow them diligently to guarantee that your scans are effective. By following the best practices described above, you can reduce room for blunders and make sure your website is as safe as possible.