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EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL: THE SECURITY SCANNERS WE USE TODAY

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Internal and external vulnerability scans are two important tools that security professionals use to assess the security of their systems. While they both have their benefits, it’s important to understand the key differences between the two to choose the right one for your needs.

A key security buffer in any organization is its system’s vulnerabilities or potential for exploitation. When assessing for these vulnerabilities, there are two main options: external, or internal. The choice may seem as simple as what is the most convenient route. But, understanding the benefits and drawbacks of each option can help you make a better decision.

What are Internal Vulnerability Scans?

An internal vulnerability scan is a type of security scan that is conducted within an organization’s network. Internal vulnerability scans are used to identify vulnerabilities in systems and applications that are accessible from within the organization’s network. These scans are typically conducted by security staff or by third-party security firms.

Internal vulnerability scans can be very effective at identifying vulnerabilities that may not be detectable from the outside because they have access to more information about the systems and networks being scanned. However, these scans can also be very disruptive, as they require access to sensitive information and can cause downtime for systems and applications.

What are External Vulnerability Scans?

External vulnerability scans are performed by an organization to identify any potential security vulnerabilities in their systems that could be exploited by hackers. This type of scan is usually conducted by a third-party company that specializes in security testing. External vulnerability scans can be scheduled or performed on-demand, and they typically take place over the public Internet.

External vulnerability scans are an important part of any organization’s security program. By conducting regular scans, organizations can keep their systems and data safe from criminals.

The Short Version: Internal Vs. External Vulnerability Scans?

External vulnerability scanning is the process of using automated tools to scan for weaknesses in systems and applications that are accessible from the Internet. The goal of external vulnerability scanning is to identify vulnerabilities that could be exploited by attackers and to provide information about how to remediate those vulnerabilities.

External vulnerability scanning can be performed by anyone with access to the Internet and the proper tools. However, it is important to note that attackers also have access to these same tools, and may use them to find vulnerabilities in systems before launching an attack. For this reason, it is important for organizations to regularly perform external vulnerability scans as part of their overall security program.

There are several different types of external vulnerability scans, each with its strengths and limitations. Some of the most common types of scans include network discovery scans, port scans, and web application scans. Network discovery scans help identify systems and devices that are connected to the Internet, while port scans help identify which services are running on those systems and which ports are open. Web application scans help identify vulnerabilities in web-based applications, such as SQL injection flaws and cross-site scripting vulnerabilities.

Organizations should consider using a combination of different types of external vulnerability scans.

An internal scan is done with access to the network, identifying at-risk systems and providing insight into what needs to be patched. An external scan is being done outside of the network, targeting specific IPs that may have vulnerabilities. In both cases, they can find vulnerabilities as well as check for compliance against different baselines.

By doing an internal scan regularly, you are taking a proactive approach to ensure that your computer is secure. The situations that this will help you with include scanning your system for vulnerabilities and ensuring proper patch management is being followed.

Why are Internal and External Vulnerability Scans Important for your Organization?

As technology advances, so do the ways criminals can attack organizations through their networks. Vulnerability scanning is a critical security measure for all organizations to identify and mitigate risks before they can be exploited.

There are two main types of vulnerability scans: internal and external. Internal scans are conducted within an organization’s network by its security team. External scans are performed by an outside company or service.

Both types of scans are important for different reasons. Internal scans give organizations a more comprehensive view of their network and can identify potential vulnerabilities that may be missed by external scans. External scans provide an objective perspective and can identify vulnerabilities that may be difficult for an organization to find on its own.

Organizations need to use both internal and external vulnerability scanning services to get the most complete picture of their risks. This way, they can take steps to mitigate those risks before they’re exploited by criminals.

Pros and Cons of Internal VS External Vulnerability Scans

When it comes to security scanners, there are two main types: internal and external. Each has its Pros and Cons that must be considered when deciding which is right for your organization. Here, we will take a look at the Pros and Cons of both internal and external scanners so that you can make an informed decision.

Internal Scanners:

Pros:

  • More accurate results due to intimate knowledge of the network
  • Can be run more frequently
  • Quicker turnaround time for results

Cons:

  • It May require additional hardware/software to be installed on the network
  • May require trained staff to operate the scanner
  • Limited in scope to only scanning the internal network

External Scanners:

Pros:

  • Can provide a broader view of vulnerabilities since it scans from outside the network
  • Does not require additional hardware/software installation on the network
  • Does not require trained staff to operate the scanner

Cons:

  • Scanning from outside the network can be less accurate than scanning from inside the network
  • Slower turnaround time for results

After conducting a vulnerability scan, you will likely have a long list of potential risks that need to be addressed. How do you prioritize which ones to fix first? What are the most effective mitigation strategies? It comes down to what your needs are and what will work best for you. If you need a scanner that can be used on the go, then an external scanner is probably your best bet.

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