What is a Network Security Assessment?

A Network Security Assessment is an audit that is designed to find vulnerabilities that are at risk of being compromised and could cause harm to business operations, or leak sensitive information. Vulnerabilities can come in various forms and are constantly changing with new technology, viruses, and applications; but they can be categorized into three categories. External, internal, and social. Network Security should be a top priority for all organizations and security assessments should be conducted regularly.

Goals of a Network Security Assessment:

  • Discover any external or internal entry points
  • Identify if a combination of lower-risk vulnerabilities could be exploited in a particular sequence to create a high-risk weakness
  • Identify network security vulnerabilities in application, file, and database servers
  • Audit and measure the size of potential impacts of successful attacks both inside and from outside of the company
  • Test the viability of network defenders to detect and respond to attacks
  • Provide evidence to support increased IT investments or network security

There are two major types of Network Security Assessments:

1. (Vulnerability Assessment) = Basic Security Audit

This is designed to look at the security of your network from both the inside and outside of the network and produce reports based on the weaknesses of parts of the network, and the network as a whole. This network security test will highlight areas of risk and will advise which changes will need to be made.

2. (Pen Test) = Penetration testing

This audit includes the capabilities of the Vulnerability Assessment mentioned above, plus more comprehensive external, internal, and social testing. (The social testing in itself explores, as the expression implies, examination and discussion of staff methodologies and habits). When the Pen Test finds vulnerabilities in the network, it can run software that delivers a ‘payload’; this helps to reveal weak links in the system. If a hacker can deploy a payload with harmful code, they could take control of segments and potentially expose the entire network. A Pen Test is performed in order to help prevent this from happening, by finding such vulnerabilities first and then, with the client’s permission, actively exploiting them.

The Vulnerability Assessment is an acceptable way to find weaknesses and areas of risk within your network but a Pen Test will test the true strength of your network.


Why do you need it?

A Network Security Assessment is a necessity for businesses for several different reasons. All organizations with a network are at risk. Network security should be a top priority and organizations should do whatever it takes to have a secure network. 

What else should you know?

Most companies will use a Vulnerability Assessment to show them where their basic weaknesses are. Pen Tests are much more comprehensive. Most of the time a basic network security assessment is implemented in order to uncover fundamental vulnerabilities, but a full penetration test needs to be implemented in order to prove the true security of the network. Implementing a Pen Test test will give confidence in your network security and will properly equip you to prepare and handle future threats to security.

Although Penetration Testing Software attempts to penetrate your network, it is not running active code that could be harmful. Implementing a Pen Test is secure as long as the vulnerability is kept within the scope of the assessment. Make sure to use an IT professional, like Abtech Technologies, who is experienced in Penetration Testing and security audits. 

Recommended Actions

Although each situation is different, we typically recommend implementing the following to enhance your network security and protect your critical systems from ransomware and other threats.

  1. End User Training: Most ransomware enters the network because someone clicked on an infected link attached to an email sent to a specific user. To the trained eye, these are easy to spot and can be reported to the IT department before they cause any damage. For this reason we recommend users are put through a training program on what to look for. Abtech offers this as part of our Ransomware Prevention Package.

  2. EndPoint Protection: This is much more than having anti-virus software installed on a PC or laptop. It covers any device that has access to the network including remote users and visitors. Abtech partners with SonicWALL to deliver a complete endpoint protection solution that, when implemented correctly, is proven to detect 99% of all threats to the network.

  3. Firewalls: Every network should be protected by a firewall, but that firewall needs to have the software tools to detect a wide range of threat types. Again we partner with SonicWALL to provide an end to end network security solution that integrates with the endpoint protection.

  4. Anti-spam software: Whilst anti-spam software offers the benefit of blocking unwanted spam email, it offers the added bonus of stopping a large portion of malware infected email. Abtech partners with ProofPoint to offer a fully-managed anti-spam service which we deploy and manage for our clients.

  5. Backup and Disaster Recovery: It is almost impossible to stop all malware from entering your network. There is always the risk that something will get through. This is why it is important to have a last line of defense in the shape of a quality backup and disaster recovery solution. Abtech offers StorTrust, our end-to-end cloud backup and disaster recovery service. Our service has saved many of our customer’s businesses by recovering their critical systems following ransomware attacks. Our solution

It is best to have a 3rd Party review your needs, run the Network Security Assessment, and implement necessary changes.

Using an end-to-end IT solutions provider like Abtech Technologies is the right choice. Not only will we provide you the right Network Security Assessment, we can consult on and implement any changes that need to be made. If there is a vulnerability in your network, it can be found, fixed and continued to be monitored. Abtech Technologies can provide this service for any type of organization and can also ensure the Network Security Audit and your network meet specifications of compliance for things like HIPAA, PCI, SSAE 16, and various others. 

Abtech Technologies is a market leader and end-to-end IT solutions Provider with over 29 years of IT experience. We manage thousands of servers and provide solutions and service to Fortune 500 companies. Abtech Technologies sets itself apart by having a highly experienced staff that can meet the IT needs of businesses of all types and in any stage of growth. Connect with us today!