The Importance of an Authenticated Network Security Scan

Authenticated network security scans are tests for vulnerabilities that are performed as an authenticated or logged-in user. Authenticated scans happen from a computer that is logged in normally to a network with extra software installed, or from a machine that is designated for the task and given login credentials. These procedures can determine how secure a network is from the interior point of view. Running an authenticated network security scan can provide users with a wealth of information, and here we explore how that is important to a business.


Detect Insider Threats

An insider threat is a malicious hacker who is an officer or employee of a business. Sometimes it is an outside individual who pretends to be an employee by obtaining false credentials. The insider threat’s goal is to gain access to the networks or computer systems of the business, then use found data to maliciously harm the company. Authenticated network security scans limit the damage these insider threats can do.


Find Vulnerabilities 

Authenticated scans can find vulnerabilities that are not detected with an unauthenticated scan. These scans can reveal weak share permissions, missing patches and general overall misconfigurations. Many companies skip running an authenticated scan, but it is the best way to see exactly where things stand for your network.


Prepare for Information Overload

Businesses must be prepared to deal with how authenticated network scans can give you an overload of information, which can be a problem if the individual reading reports is not skilled in IT speak. If they see a lot of “critical” or high level flaws, they can make managers and internal auditors jumpy when they don’t truly know what they are reading. A managed service provider can help your company interpret results of an authenticated network scan.


Set Aside Time for a Scan

Running authentication network security scans can take up to two to three times longer to implement than unauthenticated scans. The more network hosts you have, the more time it will take. You also need time to analyze the scanner results and to report them since they are much bigger than unauthenticated scans. Be prepared and have a significant chunk time set aside.


Scan with Several User Role Levels

To get the most accurate authenticated network security scan it is best from the views of different levels of privilege, such as a standard domain user with limited access and a domain or local administrator. It is also recommended to scan at the highest level possible. By scanning as an administrator or a role that is equivalent to that level you will get the most insight into your company’s network security vulnerabilities.


Contact us today if you have any questions about running an authenticated network security scan for your business. Our highly qualified team is here to help.