Web Scans for Most of Us

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What is web scanning?

Web scanning is the process of systematically analyzing websites and web applications to identify vulnerabilities and security weaknesses. It is an essential practice for IT security and risk management professionals ensure the security and integrity of their online assets, inclusing documents and PII.

Modern web scans involve using automated tools and technologies to scan websites and web applications for potential security flaws. These tools simulate various attack scenarios, such as SQL injections, cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks, and directory traversal, to detect vulnerabilities that could be exploited by attackers.

The goal of web scanning is to identify vulnerabilities before they can be exploited by malicious actors. Through continuous proactive scanning and identifying security weaknesses, organizations can take necessary precautions to fix the security vulnerabilities and prevent potential attacks or data breaches.

Web scanning typically includes the following steps:

1. Discovery: The first step involves identifying the target websites or web applications to be scanned. This could include both internal and external-facing assets.

2. Mapping: Once the target is identified, the scanning tool maps out the structure of the website, identifying all the pages, forms, and functionalities.

3. Scanning: The scanning tool then systematically analyzes each page and functionality for potential vulnerabilities. This includes checking for common security flaws like weak passwords, misconfigurations, outdated software, or insecure coding practices.

4. Vulnerability identification: The scanning tool generates a report that lists all the vulnerabilities found during the scanning process. This report includes details about the vulnerabilities, their severity, and recommendations for remediation.

5. Remediation: The final step involves addressing the vulnerabilities and weaknesses identified during the risk assessment process. This step is crucial in minimizing the potential impact of security threats and ensuring the overall security of an organization’s IT infrastructure.

What risks are associated with web scanning?

Web scanning, as an essential practice in IT security, helps organizations identify vulnerabilities and potential risks in their web applications and infrastructure. However, it is important to acknowledge that web scanning itself is not without risks. Let’s explore some of the potential risks associated with web scanning:

1. False positives and negatives: Web scanning tools may generate false positive or false negative results, leading to either unnecessary remediation efforts or overlooking actual vulnerabilities. This can waste resources and create complacency in the security posture.

2. Network performance impact: Web scanning involves actively probing and scanning web applications, which can consume a significant amount of network bandwidth and computing resources. This may impact the overall network performance and availability, causing disruptions to critical services.

3. Unauthorized access and exploitation: During the scanning process, it is possible that attackers might gain unauthorized access to the network or web applications. This can occur if the scanning tools are misconfigured or if they inadvertently expose sensitive information, leading to potential exploitation by malicious actors.

4. Compliance and legal implications: Depending on the jurisdiction and the nature of the web scanning activity, there may be legal and compliance considerations. Organizations need to ensure they comply with applicable laws and regulations to avoid any legal consequences.

5. False sense of security: Relying solely on web scanning for vulnerability detection may create a false sense of security. Organizations should understand that web scanning is just one component of a comprehensive security program, and it should be complemented with other security measures such as penetration testing, secure coding, and so on. Organizations should also monitoring tools wisely.

About CheckPhish

CheckPhish is the place to start for domain monitoring. CheckPhish is a real-time URL and website scanner. Once a URL is submitted, our engine spins up an automated headless browser to capture a live screenshot, natural language content on the webpage, DOM, WHOIS, and other essential information. The engine sends this information to multiple deep learning models in the backend that can recognize essential signals like brand logos, sign-in forms, and intent. Our engine then combines these signals with our proprietary threat intel data to identify phishing and scam pages.