When cyber threats continue to evolve, it is vital to prioritize cybersecurity in your organisation. Vulnerability scanning effectively enhances your security posture and prevents potential attacks. Identifying and addressing any vulnerabilities in your network and applications will minimise the risk of data breaches and other security weaknesses. Let’s dive into the benefits and features of vulnerability scanning services and how they can help you achieve a more secure environment for your business.

What Is a Vulnerability Scanning Service?

A vulnerability scanning service is a security measure to identify vulnerabilities and potential gaps in your organisation’s network and applications. The service uses automated software tools to scan your system and identify security weaknesses that attackers may exploit. By detecting any vulnerabilities early on, you mitigate cyber-attack risks and protect your organisation’s sensitive data.

You can get different types of vulnerability scans for your business. These include:

  • Network scanning
  • Application Scanning
  • Mobile scanning
  • Cloud security scanning
  • Web application scanning

Each scan is done in several steps that we’ll discuss below. But first, here is more information on the vulnerability scans you can perform.

Types of Vulnerability Scanning Services

As mentioned above, there are several scans you can perform to mitigate security vulnerabilities: Each of these scans addresses specific areas of vulnerability in your organisation’s network and applications. Here is what you need to know:

I. Network Scanning

Network scanning is a service that scans your organisation’s network infrastructure and identifies potential entry points for attackers. This scan will identify vulnerabilities in routers, switches, firewalls, and other network devices that attackers may exploit to gain access to your network. The process includes port scanning, ping sweeps, and service identification.

  • Port scanning probes the network for open ports and services
  • Ping sweeps send ICMP packets to identify active hosts on the network
  • Service identification identifies the specific services running on each host, which can help identify potential vulnerabilities

II. Application Scanning

This vulnerability scanning service identifies vulnerabilities in the software applications running on your organisation’s network. The scans identify vulnerabilities in popular applications such as Microsoft Office, Adobe Reader, and web browsers, which attackers often target due to their widespread use and the potential for exploitation. The scan includes vulnerability signature-based detection and behavioural analysis.

  • Vulnerability signature-based detection scans applications for known vulnerabilities, such as outdated software or missing patches
  • Behavioural analysis monitors the behaviour of applications to identify suspicious activity, such as attempts to access unauthorised files or network resources

Once any vulnerabilities are identified, the highly specialised software tool generates a report detailing the vulnerabilities plus ways you can address them. When you address these vulnerabilities, you will improve the general security posture of your organisation. It is best to perform these tests regularly for the best cyber security.

III. Mobile Scanning

Mobile scanning is a vulnerability scanning service designed to find vulnerabilities in mobile applications running on iOS and Android devices. As a business, your employees may use mobile devices to access your network and sensitive data, making mobile scanning an essential tool for protecting your organisation against cyber threats. Mobile scanning includes vulnerability assessments like static analysis and dynamic analysis.

  • Static analysis analyses the source code of mobile applications for potential vulnerabilities, including insecure data storage or hard-coded credentials
  • Dynamic analysis involves running your mobile applications in a simulated environment to identify vulnerabilities in real time, such as unauthorised data access or malicious network activity

Ensuring ongoing monitoring of mobile applications connected to your organisation is imperative. In addition, it is best to remediate vulnerabilities as fast as possible to keep sensitive data, including contacts and locations, safer.

IV. Web Application Scanning

Web application scanning identifies vulnerabilities in web applications such as online stores, portals, and customer-facing applications. The scans are performed using different techniques and processes, including black box testing, white box testing, and grey box testing.

  • Black box testing is when the testing is performed from the perspective of an external attacker, attempting to identify vulnerabilities such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), and file inclusion
  • White box testing tests web applications from the perspective of an internal user and looks for vulnerabilities such as access control issues and data leakage
  • Grey-box testing combines black-box and white-box testing, thus providing a more comprehensive view of existing or emerging threats

V. Cloud Scanning

Cloud scanning focuses on vulnerabilities in cloud-based systems and services. With the growing popularity of cloud computing, your business may be relying on cloud-based solutions for data storage, computing power, and application delivery. As a result, you need to perform cloud scanning to prevent risk exposure. Cloud scanning includes network scanning, application scanning, and configuration analysis.

  • Network scanning involves scanning the cloud infrastructure to identify potential entry points for attackers, including open ports or misconfigured firewalls
  • Application scanning runs cloud-based applications to identify security shortcomings, such as unpatched software or insecure coding practices
  • Configuration analysis involves analysing the configuration settings of cloud-based services to identify potential vulnerabilities, such as weak authentication mechanisms or unsecured storage

The Vulnerability Scanning Process

The managed vulnerability security scanning methodology follows six main steps. The process can be automatic or manual, meaning your service provider can use pre-configured settings to scan for vulnerabilities or manually customise the scan settings to meet specific needs.

In addition, your service provider can complete the process on-premise or remotely. On-premises scanning involves installing the scanning software on the organisation’s servers, while cloud-based scanning involves using a third-party provider’s software to scan for vulnerabilities. The former is better if you want total control of the scanning process.

That said, here is what the vulnerability scanning service process looks like:

Step 1: Planning and Preparation

This step defines the scope of the scan, selects the appropriate tools and techniques, and identifies the resources needed to conduct the vulnerability scan.

Step 2: Discovery

In this step, you identify and map out the target systems and devices to be scanned. These may include IP addresses, network ranges, and other relevant information.

Step 3: Scanning

This is where you use specialised tools and techniques to scan the target systems and devices for potential vulnerabilities. The process may include the types of scans we described above.

Step 4: Analysis

This step reviews the scan results to identify potential vulnerabilities and assess their severity and potential impact on the organisation.

Step 5: Remediation

Here, you start addressing the identified vulnerabilities. For example, you can fix patching software, update configurations, or implement additional security measures.

Step 6: Reporting

In this final step, you document and communicate the scan results to relevant stakeholders, including IT teams, security personnel, and business leaders.

Benefits of Vulnerability Scanning

Vulnerability scanning offers many benefits to businesses looking to improve their security posture and reduce the risk of cyber-attacks and data breaches. Some of the key benefits include:

  1. Improved security
  2. Cost-effectiveness since they are often less expensive than manual penetration testing or other types of security assessments.
  3. The scan helps you meet compliance requirements like HIPAA, PCI DSS, or GDPR.
  4. Managed vulnerability scanning saves your organisation’s reputation, showing your commitment to protecting sensitive data.
  5. Vulnerability scanning will help your organisation save time by automating the scanning process and generating detailed reports highlighting new vulnerabilities and weaknesses.
  6. Vulnerability scans enable you to proactively approach security, identifying potential vulnerabilities before cybercriminals or other malicious actors can exploit them.

Vetting Your Vulnerability Scanning Service Provider

When choosing the best service provider, consider the following:

  • Their experience and expertise
  • Their flexibility in terms of scanning options
  • Their industry reputation and references
  • Their compliance with industry regulations
  • Their customer support

In addition, before choosing a service provider, ask about the types of scanning they offer, how they guarantee accuracy and reliability, the types of reports and remedies they provide, and how they handle false positives and negatives.


Managed vulnerability scanning is essential to your organisation’s security posture. The scans identify potential vulnerabilities and provide actionable insights to mitigate risks and strengthen security.

By understanding the different types of vulnerability scanning services available, and the methodology and benefits of these services, you can make informed decisions about choosing the right provider for your organisation.

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