Is Your Business Technology at Risk?

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Vulnerability scanning and penetration testing go hand in hand when it comes to cyber risk analysis. Both are required for business by standards such as PCI and HIPPA. An essential piece to your overall security is understanding the difference between the two practices and how they can benefit your business.  

Vulnerability Scanning

Vulnerability scanning is an automated process of identifying potential vulnerabilities in network devices such as firewalls, routers, switches, servers, and applications. Once identified, necessary updates, closures, cancelations, and changes can be made. After remediation, run the scan again to see if it comes out clean. To keep up with PCI these scans should be done every 90 days. 

A vulnerability scan focuses on detecting and reporting exploitable security gaps. It is an affordable way to scan software, but leaves the question of Now what do we do? That’s where a penetration test can come to finish the job.  

Penetration Testing

Penetration testing goes beyond identifying your security gaps and allows for a deeper analysis of the specific ways your network is vulnerable. 

A penetration test is a manual attempt to exploit the vulnerabilities that were found. An extremely experienced person manually works to see if they can gain access to the network through the vulnerable areas, just as a potential scammer could try to do. 

Being much more handson and timeconsuming, penetration testing can last a few days to a few weeks. PEN tests are often conducted a few times a year.   

Difference Between Vulnerability Scan and Penetration Test

A vulnerability test is always part of a penetration test but not vice versa. The penetration test is needed to gain further insight into the issue and confirm the actual risk to your valuables.  

Next Steps

With vulnerability scanning and penetration testing, you can proactively detect potential vulnerabilities, close gaps, and maintain strong security for your systems, data, employees, and customers. 


Data breaches are often the result of unpatched vulnerabilities, so identifying and eliminating them early will keep cyber criminals out. Contact Imagineering today to discuss these tests further with our team  

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