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Note: This article has moved! You can now find more information on vulnerability assessments in this blog instead: Benefits of a Vulnerability Assessment


When I signed the paperwork to join my gym, all I wanted was a membership pass and a clear path to the treadmill. I was on a mission to “get fit,” although I hadn’t really defined what that meant – or what it would take, specifically, for me to achieve that vague goal. The membership coordinator pushed me to schedule a fitness assessment, and I’m glad I agreed. It was a chance to determine my starting point – my weight, blood pressure, muscular strength and cardiovascular endurance – so that I could map out a specific objective and a plan to reach it with the help of a personal trainer.

A vulnerability assessment (VA) performs a similar role for IT security teams. It’s a process that identifies and quantifies the security vulnerabilities within your software, hardware, network, web applications or code. While reactive teams spend their time covering security weaknesses with cyber Band-Aids, proactive teams use VAs to assess their security posture so they can determine the severity of their vulnerabilities and create a plan, with the help of an experienced partner, to reduce their exposure to risk.