The procedure for verifying the security of computer systems on a network

The Network Vulnerability Assessment is a fundamental cybersecurity procedure for both private companies and public administration. Most server intrusions occur by exploiting known vulnerabilities that could be easily patched, such as eliminating programming errors or infrastructure misconfigurations.

The Vulnerability Assessment is a check-up of the computer systems of a network, performed to ascertain the level of security, detect the presence of any weaknesses and eliminate them in order to block possible intrusions and protect company and customer data. Unfortunately, the importance of this procedure is underestimated. We consider that the evaluation should be carried out at least once every six months or whenever changes to the network structure are applied. If for private companies these procedures are very important, for public bodies they become essential, as the administrations should follow the rules imposed by AGID which urges the periodic verification of the network and the services connected to it.

SAFE AND NON-INVASIVE PROCEDURE

The Vulnerability Assessment is a non-invasive procedure that does not slow down the operation of the infrastructure and is performed in various phases starting from the Black-box mode, in which the HyperGrid team performs the analysis without knowing the details of the network. This is followed by the white-box evaluation, where the company shares with HyperGrid the information related to the network resources to be analyzed. At the end of the procedure, a detailed report is provided with the description of each vulnerability identified and of course the solutions to remedy it. Each vulnerability is assigned a classification according to its degree of threat which can be: Low, Moderate, High or Critical.

SECURITY CHECK

Security analysis: vulnerabilities are analyzed through the use of the best open source and proprietary software tools so as not to generate impact or slowdown the operation of the infrastructure.

Black-box: the HyperGrid team scans for vulnerabilities, without knowing the details of the infrastructure to be analyzed.

White-box: the customer shares with HyperGrid information relating only to the network resources to be analyzed in order to be able to perform more in-depth tests.

Risk assessment: detected vulnerabilities are checked for false positives. Provides a description of each vulnerability and procedures for eliminating them.

Corrective measures: actions are taken to remove the vulnerabilities found.

Check: a second scan is performed to verify that the vulnerabilities have been fixed.

PENETRATION TEST

The Penetration Test is the final verification to demonstrate that the infrastructure is no longer critical. Unlike Vulnerability Assessment (whose purpose is to identify security holes) it is an invasive action in which an attack on a certain target is simulated to test its defenses and verify that the critical correction operations have been successful. The test is conducted in several phases and focuses on the flaws detected by the Vulnerability Assessment, in order to verify that the system’s defenses are secure. The general tightness of the internal and external defenses of the system is also verified.

FINAL REPORT

At the end of the task, HyperGrid prepares the report that constitutes the formal documentation of the tests performed, containing the results of the scans and tests performed during the various phases of the procedure.