Cybersecurity - Prevention

Marissa Explains IT All: Vulnerability Scanning vs. Penetration Testing

Cybersecurity threats are continually evolving and it’s important to make sure that your organization is keeping up with those risks. Vulnerability scans and penetration tests are two proven tools that work to identify potential threats to your system before it’s too late. While they are similar in nature, there are a few key differences between the two.

To learn more about the difference between the two and why they are important, check out Marissa’s 60(ish) second explanation below. The full transcript can be found below.

Continue scrolling for more cybersecurity tips to keep your organization secure in a world full of digital risks.

Episode 11:


“Vulnerability scans is a tool that checks your technology for known vulnerabilities. You get a list of all the systems found and identified on your network, and it highlights anything that needs attention.

Penetration testing is done by an independent party and its a simulated cyber attack (think ethical hacking) against your computer systems to check for exploitable vulnerabilities to assess the weaknesses in your system.

Kind of like automated technology versus perhaps more AI and human investigation. The goal is just to make sure that there aren’t any potential problems, and if there are, that you can take action on those before an attack exploits it.

Validation of your IT security strategy is why this is often part of compliance requirements like SOC2, GDPR, PCI compliance. Also, these are used by insurance agencies when evaluating risk for cyber coverage.

*5 seconds back on the clock*

Risk management is an ongoing effort, and these are usually done at a point in time. But remember, we want to do them more ongoing so that we can discover and solve problems as they occur so you don’t accidentally leave an opening for attackers when you aren’t looking.”

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11 Tips for Protecting Your Small Business from Cyber Attacks