July 24, 2014

4 Important Reasons to Use a Vulnerability Scanner

(LiveHacking.Com) — As a network administrator, could you honestly say that you are up-to-date on every new vulnerability which could affect the security of your operating systems and software products on your network? The sheer volume and frequency of this information makes it extremely difficult for a single individual to know it all, and other day-to-day tasks often get in the way. Using a vulnerability scanner can take off some of this responsibility from your shoulders, giving you peace of mind. Here are four reasons why using a vulnerability scanner will make your life easier:

GFI LANguard - Dashboard

GFI LANguard - Dashboard

  1. Good vulnerability scanners make use of highly detailed databases of known vulnerabilities and scan your systems to give you a realistic view of how secure they are. An extraordinary amount of manual checking would be required to stay in control of this without the help of dedicated software.
  2. It is practically impossible to manually keep track of certain small issues, such as individual open ports on a laptop or an antivirus product disabled by a user. Using a vulnerability scanner to alert you to these new security glitches reduces the quantity of manual checking that is otherwise required to ensure they don’t go unnoticed.
  3. Change management can be burdensome for a busy IT team, but if you fail to stay on top of it, it can be difficult to track the cause of new problems on your systems. A good vulnerability scanner maintains a list of significant network changes, and can also alert you to changes you may otherwise have been unaware of – a very useful feature if you have several technicians all capable of making configuration adjustments.
  4. You probably don’t enjoy trying to keep control of the numerous patches that have to be installed on your networked systems. Ranging from large operating system service packs to small patches that seal holes in software utilities, updates cannot be ignored. You can however minimize the late nights in the office and dark weekends in the server room by making use of the patch management facilities that form part of a robust vulnerability scanner solution.

These solutions also lower the risk of forgetting to apply important updates to those machines not instantly visible, such as the laptops hidden in desk drawers. Software auditing features can alert you when a machine appears on the LAN inadequately patched. Without these alerts, a computer runs the risk of being unprotected until is it picked up during your next manual update—not something that will be fun to explain to a chief executive if it results in your system being exploited.

Vulnerability scanners can remove some of the more routine and, let’s face it, sometimes rather dull tasks involved in managing an office network. At the same time, these solutions can help to ensure you meet all of your compliance obligations. Most importantly, they can help you, as an IT professional, to sleep more soundly at night!

Editor note: This guest post was provided by Ben Taylor on behalf of GFI Software Ltd. GFI is a leading software developer that provides a single source for network administrators to address their network security, content security and messaging needs. More information: GFI vulnerability scanner .

Disclaimer: All product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

 

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