What Is VAPT in Cyber Security & How Can It Help?

what is vapt testing

One of the most popular acronyms in today’s cyber-security landscape is VAPT, which stands for Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing. In a few words, VAPT is a kind of cyber-security testing that pinpoints vulnerabilities in a system, application, cloud or network. It is a type of ethical hacking, which means that it uses techniques often employed by cyber-criminals but without any kind of malicious intent.

Both Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing complement each other to create an integral analysis that addresses all the cyber-security vulnerabilities of an organisation. Vulnerability Assessment involves scanning computers, networks and other digital systems for flaws and security risks. Vulnerability alerts allow companies to locate pre-existing flaws in their code, making it easier to fix them.

On the other hand, Penetration Testing (also known as Pen Testing) exploits a system’s security holes in order to determine an appropriate action plan. It involves an ethical hacker (or Pen Tester) who’s trying to get unauthorised access to a system. The reason why we call this hacker ethical is that the organisation grants them permission to break into their system. This kind of test provides companies with a clear picture of the areas of improvement in their systems.

Regardless of their size, all organisations can benefit from integrating VAPT into their chosen cyber-security solution. Read on as we outline some of the benefits that VAPT tests brings to the table.

How can VAPT help my organisation?

A common misconception in cyber-security is that cyber-criminals only target large companies. Time and again, the data has shown that this is wrong. In 2020 alone, 39% of small and 65% of medium businesses in the UK were victims of a security breach. At the end of the day, all businesses can become the target of a cyber-attack. But while large companies will likely survive after a successful cyber-attack, small and medium businesses might struggle to recoup losses and regain customer confidence.

If you have never conducted a VAPT test, chances are that your organisation’s systems or networks are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. From ransomware and DDoS attacks to cryptojacking, cyber-criminals are devising new forms of hacking every 

day. That means that you have to be prepared and take a proactive approach to cyber-security instead of waiting for the inevitable attack to happen.

Taking a proactive approach means preparing your defences before the enemy strikes. Would you like to learn how VAPT can help you accomplish this? Keep reading as we break down the ways in which it can help your business.

1. Provides a comprehensive view of your security systems

While a Vulnerability Assessment can be carried out using automated tools, Penetration Testing requires human intervention in order to simulate what a real hacker would do. This means that both processes are completely complementary. Making use of automation, a Vulnerability Assessment will instantly locate security holes and flaws with your code that are almost invisible to the human eye. On the other hand, Penetration Testing benefits from the expertise of a human ethical hacker to simulate a malicious attack.

At the end of a VAPT process, a final report combining both data is prepared. This provides companies with a holistic overview of their security systems.

2. Wi-Fi vulnerability assessment

Due to the rise in employees that rely on wireless networks to perform their daily tasks, the number of Wireless Authentication Attacks is growing by the week. Cyber-criminals have many different ways of breaking into a network, such as accessing control measures like Wi-Fi port access controls or AP MAC filters.

The importance of having a safe wireless network cannot be overstated. Usually, cyber-criminals will try to exploit a network’s weak encryption to create rogue access points. If they are successful, hackers will have access to sensitive data such as personal identity or login credentials.

Fortunately, VAPT tests can also be used on wireless networks. By performing a Penetration Test on your Wi-Fi network, your cyber-security team will be able to conduct site surveys and determine how safe your access points are. They can also check whether your authentication credentials are strong enough by performing password brute-forcing.

3. Protect you from insider threats

This is a key aspect of VAPT that often gets overlooked. A major cause of cyber-security breaches, insider threats are growing exponentially due to the increasing popularity of remote working. From awareness training to employee monitoring, there are different ways that you can protect your organisation from insider threats. 

VAPT is one of these ways. A penetration test is a form of ethical hacking. This test allows a cyber security expert to simulate an attack on your business and highlight any holes or vulnerabilities they might uncover in the process. Giving you the opportunity to patch any found vulnerabilities before a real cyber-attack takes place.

Because VAPT tests can also identify vulnerable endpoints, they’re ideal for companies worried that remote working might exacerbate insider threats due to misuse of company equipment.

4. Open-source intelligence data gathering

Open-source intelligence (OSINT) refers to the collection of data derived from information available online to the general public. Open-source information is not just what you can find on a quick Google search. The deep web stores millions of sites not indexed by regular search engines such as Yahoo or Google. Those websites can sometimes hide sensitive data that could be exploited by cyber-criminals.

And that’s where OSINT comes in. Cyber-security experts use it to find potential weaknesses and sensitive information in friendly networks before cyber-criminals exploit them. It’s essentially a race against time to find things like leaks or exposed proprietary code before a hacker can capitalise on them.

If you’re looking to conduct a VAPT test, it would be wise to ensure that it includes OSINT data gathering.

Start building up your defences today

Performing regular VAPT tests will help you adopt a proactive approach to cyber-security. At CyberGuard, we offer comprehensive Penetration Tests that will identify threats before they occur and pin down vulnerabilities in your system.

Our expert Pen Testers will assess the security of your wireless networks, collect OSINT data and provide you with a clear picture of your organisation’s weaknesses. If you want to protect your company from looming cyber-threats, start taking action and ask us for a quote today.

CyberGuard Security Testing Services