NormShield Blog

Vulnerability Scanners vs. Cyber Risk Scoring Solutions

“Why would I need a cyber risk scoring solution when I already have a vulnerability scanner?” We get this question a lot. Cyber Risk Scoring Solutions such as NormShield Scorecards are in high demand to see what hackers see when they look at your network. These solutions are new in the cybersecurity marketplace and many professionals compare them with the cybersecurity solutions that they already know and have in use, such as vulnerability scanners.

Perspective

Vulnerability scanning tools identify security threats over assets in the system. You can measure the security level of your systems through patch controls with vulnerability scanning tools.

Cyber Risk Scoring solutions, also known as the security rating platforms, allow you to assess the risk of your organization and the organizations that you work with (suppliers, partners, vendors, etc.). These solutions discover the internet-facing assets and their weaknesses outwardly, in cyberspace. The cyber risk assessment is made through the externally visible posture of your organization. Vulnerability scanning tools aim to perform a complete vulnerability scan of your selected assets and detect missing patches or risks within your security controls.

Vulnerability scanners and Cyber risk scoring solutions can produce common results, but they are not the same because they scan from different directions. Vulnerability Scanners are automated tools that scan the internal network to look for weaknesses, misconfigurations or flawed programming within a network-based asset selected to be scanned. Cyber risk scoring solutions such as Normshield scorecards do not scan internal networks, instead look at the security level of internet-facing assets (from the outside looking inward but not touching your internal security environment). The presence of customer assets inside internal networks is not visible or scored within cyber risk scoring solutions. Internal system weaknesses are important but how your system looks from the outside, a hacker’s point of view, is often of greater value.

The table below summarizes the key differences between vulnerability scanners and cyber-risk scoring solutions such as NormShield Scorecards.

Coverage

Only some of the results of cyber risk scoring tools are provided by vulnerability screening tools. Vulnerability scanners are good to track patching cadence. These tools produce results that will help to be used when performing patch management and answering questions like: Is the service running on the asset outdated? Where do I need to patch? How can I remediate the issue? These products work asset-based to find weaknesses in the given asset. In this example, cyber risk scoring solutions give the external view for patch management and help answer more important questions like: Was my patch management strategy a success? Are all the assets covered? Did the patch take (perform) the way I expected?Is my domain being misused? These tools detect your assets in cyberspace and show the weaknesses according to the version without any internal scanning and while vulnerability scanners and cyber risk tools have a compatible relationship, they are not the same. Cyber risk scoring solutions can be used for more than patch management for other aspects of risk such as: threat intelligence, reputation, resiliency, etc. In this way, the cyber risk scoring solution methodology offers a holistic perspective.

Third-Party Risk Management

Solving the problem of unknown risk start with a cyber risk scoring solution, assess the risks of your cyber ecosystem and understand the impacts of potential vulnerabilities but with the data they are based upon. An organization can empower itself to minimize risks through a proactive third-party risk management approach. Analysis of your vendors security posture is an important step in protecting your company’s business product or supply chain.

Cybersecurity has evolved over the past decade from just a weakness in the system to a multifaceted and complex ecosystem which requires time, effort, and energy. Companies must adapt their environments to how dynamic technology has and is changing. Cyberspace affects your security and the best way to stay prepared is to monitor your external facing security posture. The technical precautions you have taken yourself, the awareness of your users, the vendors you work with, what hackers know about your organization, and your procedures are all part of the threat landscape which is constantly being exploited.

You can use security rating platforms to monitor your cyber ecosystem, which may consist of you and your third parties; evaluation of your cyber risk from a holistic perspective is a progressive way to think about cybersecurity and risk. Don’t miss the opportunity to be a leader and a game changer in your organization, discover what can already be seen on the web…