Vulnerability Essay

2025 words - 9 pages

No matter how secure one believes a network to be the need to conduct vulnerability assessments is of the upmost importance if a company or organization has information that is confidential or vital in nature. The need to conduct penetration testing should be an ongoing task for organizations as new technologies emerge. Even with security measures in place hackers continue to find ways around the roadblocks which are put in place to secure our networks. Just this month alone the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s network was compromised as a hacker was able to penetrate the emails of one of the organization’s special agents (Brito, 2012). The FBI has some of the most sophisticated ...view middle of the document...

The idea on conducting a penetration testing is not to be taken lightly. The software used to conduct security assessments can range from a few hundred dollars to well over $30,000 (Sawyer, 2009). If a company is going to invest this type of finances into a software they will want to know that the product is in fact going to benefit their organization. It is likely that the request for penetration testing is going to bring forth many questions from an organization regarding the need to conduct such testing. They will want to know what the cost will be for such software, if current staff is skilled enough to conduct the testing and if the testing will interrupt current duties. For the purpose of this paper we will assume that the IT employee is adequate to operate and conduct testing.
Once the company determines that their IT staff is competent to operate the software the next step will be to acquire the actual software. There are a multitude of packages and software that could be used to conduct penetration testing. We will examine three penetration tools and discuss the benefits and weakness in using the software to assess one’s network for security vulnerabilities to determine whether a company or organization should in fact invest in such software.
The first penetration tool that we will discuss is Core Impact. This is an excellent penetration testing source however, the software is rather pricey with a price tag of $30,000 plus (Business Case / Purchase Justification for CORE IMPACT Pro, p. 6). Core Impact Pro is a software that can be used to internally test the security of network systems, endpoints, web applications, wireless networks, as well as testing of phishing and other emails social engineering attacks (Core Impact). One of the great benefits of Core Impact is that the software continues to upgrade as new technologies and issues emerge. A third benefit of Core Impact Pro is that the software’s method of scanning a network for vulnerabilities uses the same algorithms and methods that hackers use thus providing a scan that is simulated to as close to a real life hack as one can get without actually involving a live hacker. This software will assists IT staff in pinpointing the most vulnerable areas on a network. The Core impact software also has an automated penetration process which can; “gather information, attack/penetrate, gather local information, escalate issues based on privilege, cleanup and generate reports on findings” (Core Impact). Laypersons or IT staff who are not as familiar with the hacking world find that Core Impact’s graphical user interface (GUI) to be especially helpful as the users can use the GUI to view penetration exploits and vulnerabilities with ease.
Let’s examine how Core impact works. This software “launches agents (programs installed on compromised systems) and modules which are operations launched against target systems and consoles (operations include port scanning, os...

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