How to Scan Your Network for Vulnerabilities: The Ultimate Guide

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Scan Your Network for Vulnerabilities

Do you believe your network is secure? Hackers are always looking for new ways to exploit vulnerabilities, and if you’re not prepared, they could easily gain access to your confidential data. We’ll discuss the process of network vulnerability scanning, and we’ll also recommend some of the best tools for the job.

What is network vulnerability scanning?

In simple terms, it’s the process of identifying and assessing the security risks associated with a computer network. This includes identifying potential vulnerabilities that could be exploited by hackers, and it also helps you to develop a plan of action for mitigating any potential threats.

Why is it important?

Network vulnerability scanning is the first step towards fixing security flaws in a network. If you don’t know what the vulnerabilities are, you can’t fix them. And if hackers find these vulnerabilities before you do, they could cause a lot of damage.

How does network vulnerability scanning work?

In general, network vulnerability scanning works by sending packets of data to all devices on a network. These packets contain special instructions that cause devices to respond with information about their configuration and security status. This information is then analysed by the scanner to identify any potential vulnerabilities

Steps to perform network vulnerability scanning:

Now that we’ve tackled the basics, it’s time to take a look at how it’s done. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Discovery: The first step is to identify all devices and systems that are connected to your network. If you possess the expertise, you may do this yourself, or you can use a tool like Nmap to automate the process.
  2. Scanning: Once all devices have been identified, the next step is to scan each one for vulnerabilities. This can be done using a vulnerability scanner like Astra Website Protection for web apps or Nessus for other devices.
  3. Analysis: After the scan is completed, the results must be examined to identify any potential security flaws. This procedure might take some time, but getting it right is critical.
  4. Mitigation: Here take action and fix the vulnerabilities discovered. It might be necessary to install security updates, change default passwords, or take other security measures.

Tools for network vulnerability scanning:

There are many different tools that can be used for network vulnerability scanning, and the right tool depends on your specific needs. Our top picks are:

Astra Pentest:

This penetration testing tool by Astra Security scans against 3000+ threats and even provides tips to fix them. It is regularly updated and their experts are available online 24/7 to help you with any problem. It includes automatic reporting capabilities. You don’t need to worry about having extensive technical knowledge when using this tool. Its interface is extremely user-friendly and displays real-time threat updates.

Nmap:

This is a network exploration tool and security scanner. It can identify hosts and services on a network. Nmap is open-source and can be used on all major operating systems.

Nessus:

It can be used to scan networks of all sizes, and it includes a variety of features such as vulnerability detection, configuration auditing, and penetration testing. Nessus is available in both free and paid versions, and its extensive library of plugins makes it one of the most versatile options available.

Nikto:

It may be used to scan for flaws in web servers, as well as to find misconfigurations and insecure files. Nikto is available for all major operating systems, and it includes extensive documentation to help users get started.

How do I choose the right network vulnerability scanner?

Consider these factors:

  • Ease of use: The scanner should be simple to use even for those with no technical skills.
  • Supported platforms: The scanner should support all relevant platforms, including Windows, macOS, and Linux. 
  • Pricing: The scanner should be affordable, especially for small businesses.
  • Features: The scanner should have all the features you need, such as scheduled scanning and reporting.

Conclusion

Network vulnerability scanning is an important step towards securing your computer network. By identifying and assessing the security risks associated with your network, you can develop a plan of action for mitigating these risks. There are many different tools that can be used for network vulnerability scanning, and the right tool depends on your specific needs.

Ankit Pahuja is the Marketing Lead & Evangelist at Astra Security. Ever since his adulthood (literally, he was 20 years old), he began finding vulnerabilities in websites & network infrastructures. Starting his professional career as a software engineer at one of the unicorns enables him in bringing “engineering in marketing” to reality. Working actively in the cybersecurity space for more than 2 years makes him the perfect T-shaped marketing professional. Ankit is an avid speaker in the security space and has delivered various talks in top companies, early-age startups, and online events.

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