External Vulnerability Assessments are intended to evaluate the overall security posture of the enterprise from the perspective of an anonymous source on the Internet as it relates to services the enterprise makes available through their perimeter across the Internet. Our methodology starts with a process called “Fingerprinting,” during which time we do reconnaissance on the target organization by reviewing public sources of information (such as the network registrars, DNS servers, email servers, routing tables, public special interest groups, etc.) to evaluate the potential information that is available for an anonymous attacker to gather as base information to start an attack or even feed into a parallel route that might exploit non-technical weaknesses (Social Engineering).
Once fingerprinting is complete we perform technical testing with the QualysGuard Vulnerability Manager platform using a scanning profile that is mutually selected for the assets in scope of the review. The vulnerability assessment process gathers data on open ports and vulnerabilities for each asset exposed to the Internet (and within scope). The output from the vulnerability assessment is a summary report of findings and recommendations. The report of findings includes root cause analysis of the data collected during the engagement and offers the management team a project-based, prioritized view of remediation steps.
Internal Vulnerability Assessments differ from external assessments in that their goal is to evaluate the overall security posture of the enterprise against potential attacks from “insiders,” other trusted parties or an attacker who has already successfully penetrated the perimeter of the organization. In conjunction with the Enterprise Architecture Assessment as a first step, we perform technical testing with the QualysGuard Vulnerability Manager platform using a scanning profile that is mutually selected for the assets in scope of the review. With the data we collect during the technical testing phase and in conjunction with information gathered during the Architecture Assessment, we then perform extensive root cause analysis prior to compiling a summary report of findings.
The summary report of findings and recommendations are presented along with the detailed raw reporting from the vulnerability assessment. The reports provide comprehensive recommendations for addressing all issues discovered, while the summary report of findings identifies gaps in program components that, when viewed as remediation projects, address whole groups of vulnerabilities at a time by virtue of process improvements rather than one-off remediation activities.