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Vulnerabilities and Challenges that VAPT can Expose

Posted by: MK CS Team
Category: Vulnerability Assessment

A miniature misconfiguration is good enough to bring a stalwart business down as it happened with Yahoo, which led to a loss of $350 million in valuation. Server errors, attempts of internal sabotage, and unauthorized access have cost businesses a lot. In recent years, enterprises like JP Morgan Chase have paid millions of dollars to recover from a breach that could have been easily avoided.

In 2014, hackers acquired access to the root directory of JP Morgan Chase’s database and stole data of over 76 million users. Varied reports suggest that hackers were inside the system for more than 2 weeks. Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing are designed to identify and expose such threats.

Organizations globally are investing in VAPT but their judgment is skewed and they only leverage VAPT before launching a new product whereas most hackers creep in only when the platform grows. Often attackers come inside the system as a trusted customer only to fulfill their illicit notions slowly and gradually.

Vulnerabilities and Errors that can be identified with VAPT

While vulnerability assessment and penetration testing are complementary methods but not all organizations need them. Cybersecurity experts recommend vulnerability assessment and penetration testing to different organizations based on their cybersecurity risk and needs.

The differences between the two methods can be described eloquently but it is necessary to understand that, a vulnerability assessment is conducted through penetration testing, which makes the former a detailed introspection whereas the latter is just a single step.

1. Fatal Errors due to Mismatched Software and Hardware

In order to keep up with the changing dynamics of the contemporary world, enterprises often upgrade software packages and hardware. Often these upgrades are performed separately, where software and hardware vendors are different. Sourcing products from varied vendors leave the gap between the integrations. While the systems function efficiently but robust security ceases to exist. 

Almost all software packages are developed with hardware in mind and running them on low-grade or obsolete hardware is more about inviting troubles and less about progress. Running Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing can put such errors and mismatches under the limelight. 

2. Open Routes left behind by API Integrations

Ever since businesses started operating on cloud computing, third-party collaboration through API Integration has increased. Such integrations empower the business with the possibility of accomplishing more in less time without spending a fortune. 

Often global organizations onboard outsourcing agencies to get repetitive processes completed. Small agencies are on boarded on the platform through API Integration, once the work is done, such integrations are terminated. Often a few accounts or entry routes are left behind, which later turns out to be disastrous. 

In 2019, confidential data of over 100 million including bank account and social security number were accessed illicitly. Capital One suffered one of the biggest data breaches of all time. Later former employees of associated brands were arrested for accessing and selling these data. 

Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing can be leveraged to ensure all such routes are identified and closed after any major third party integration or mergers. 

3. Attempts of Internal Sabotage

A huge percentage of hacks and data breaches occur because of human error, which again puts focus on attempts of internal sabotage. While a majority of attacks occur due to negligence some of them are funded and organized. 

Often hackers or competitors buy out employees to gain benefits illegally. Such benefits are generally garnered by placing a set of code or providing unauthorized access to external individuals.

When vulnerability assessment is carried out, it identifies all kinds of alien codes that are placed to gain unauthorized benefits. One can see these vulnerabilities as the common practice of employees using office Wi-Fi for downloading movies. Hackers pay employees to download and share cardholders’ data. 

Professional tests rely on proven methodologies for identifying suspicious codes or patterns and then remove it. Such intricate protection of original code ensures all such attempts internal sabotages are under control.

4. Patched Walls to carry out Phishing

E-commerce organizations are faced with a unique challenge known as Triangulation Fraud. In such scams, the payment page looks similar to the original site, the duplicate page is used to acquire the credit card details. Later hackers place the order using the card detail on the original site, this way the customer receives the product he or she ordered but the card detail gets exposed, which is later misused.

Identifying and keeping away from such pages is tough for customers because all of them appear to be highly original. Through penetration testing, all such pages, attempts of data-stealing can be identified. Once identified these errors and fake pages can be removed to ensure the safety of users’ data. VAPT when leveraged regularly allows e-commerce stores to offer a safer shopping experience to the customers, which is very important.

5. Compliance Failure

The growing threat of data breach has coaxed councils and governments into taking action that protects common users and children on the web. By establishing norms through compliances like PCI DSS, GDPR, and HIPAA, agencies are protecting users’ private information ranging from card data to medical history.

When organizations fail to furnish the requirements of these compliances they become liable for heavy fines. The fine of PCI DSS compliance failure ranges from $5000-$100,000 and it is big enough to render small businesses shut. 

With rigorous vulnerability assessment and penetration testing, organizations can keep an eye and ensure that they are compliant at all times because the Internet is filled with hackers, who will identify such failures and seek ransom or they will report it to the respective council. 

Final Thoughts

Today be it a Fintech, e-commerce, or a cab aggregator company, all of them are under the radar because of the huge cardholders’ data they store. By attacking these companies, hackers can gain direct access to data that brings them real money, almost instantly. 

Also, the Healthcare segment is under immense pressure, by leveraging VAPT, all such organizations can continuously test their IT infrastructure and ensure it is robust enough to fight off hacks and breaches at all fronts. 

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