Managing Network Vulnerabilities

Posted by in Security+ | 0 comments

As a security professional, you need to be aware of the different security issues associated with threats, vulnerabilities, and risks, and the tools available to combat them.  If you’re planning to take the SY0-501 exam, you should have a basic understanding of some specific tools used to assess networks and manage risks.

For example, can you answer this practice test question?

Q. Your organization has a legacy server running within the DMZ. It is running older software that is not compatible with current patches, so management has decided to let it remain unpatched. Management wants to know if attackers can access the internal network if they successfully compromise this server. Which of the following is the MOST appropriate action?

A. Perform a vulnerability scan.

B. Perform a port scan.

C. Perform a black box test.

D. Perform a penetration test.

More, do you know why the correct answer is correct and the incorrect answers are incorrect? The answer and explanation are available at the end of this post.

CompTIA Security+ Study Guide

The 501 Version of the Study Guide

The CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide is an update to the top-selling SY0-201, SY0-301, and SY0-401 study guides, which have helped thousands of readers pass the exam the first time they took it.  It includes the same elements readers raved about in the previous three versions.

Each of the eleven chapters presents topics in an easy to understand manner and includes real-world examples of security principles in action.

You’ll understand the important and relevant security topics for the Security+ exam, without being overloaded with unnecessary details. Additionally, each chapter includes a comprehensive review section to help you focus on what’s important.



Over 300 realistic practice test questions with in-depth explanations will help you test your comprehension and readiness for the exam. The book includes:

  • A 75 question pre-test
  • A 75 question post-test
  • Practice test questions at the end of every chapter.

Each practice test question includes a detailed explanation to help you understand the content and the reasoning behind the question. You’ll be ready to take and pass the exam the first time you take it.

If you plan to pursue any of the advanced security certifications, this guide will also help you lay a solid foundation of security knowledge. Learn this material, and you’ll be a step ahead for other exams. This SY0-501 study guide is for any IT or security professional interested in advancing in their field, and a must-read for anyone striving to master the basics of IT security.

Kindle edition also available.

Obtaining Authorization

It’s important to obtain vulnerability testing authorization and penetration testing authorization before performing any vulnerability testing or penetration testing. In most cases, this consent is in writing. If it isn’t in writing, many security professionals won’t perform the test. A penetration test without consent is an attack. An organization may perceive a well-meaning administrator doing an unauthorized penetration test as a black hat or gray hat attacker. The administrator might be updating his résumé after running an unauthorized scan or penetration test.

Many organizations use a written rules-of-engagement document when hiring outside security professionals to perform the test. The rules-of-engagement document identifies the boundaries of the penetration test. If testing does result in an outage even though the testers followed the rules of engagement, repercussions are less likely.

Managing Network Vulnerabilities

Penetration Testing

Penetration testing actively assesses deployed security controls within a system or network. It starts with passive reconnaissance, such as a vulnerability scan, but takes it a step further and tries to exploit vulnerabilities by simulating or performing an attack.

Remember this

A penetration test is an active test that can assess deployed security controls and determine the impact of a threat. It starts with a vulnerability scan and then tries to exploit vulnerabilities by actually attacking or simulating an attack.

White, Gray, and Black Box Testing

It’s common to identify testing based on the level of knowledge the testers have prior to starting the test. These testers could be internal employees or external security professionals working for a third-party organization hired to perform the test. The three types of testing are:

  • Black box testing. Testers have zero knowledge of the environment prior to starting a black box test. Instead, they approach the test with the same knowledge as an attacker. When testing new applications, black box testers wouldn’t have any prior experience with the application. When testing networks, they aren’t provided any information or documentation on the network before the test. Black box testers often use fuzzing to check for application vulnerabilities.
  • White box testing. Testers have full knowledge of the environment before starting a white box test. For example, they would have access to product documentation, source code, and possibly even logon details.
  • Gray box testing. Testers have some knowledge of the environment prior to starting a gray box test. For example, they might have access to some network documentation, but not know the full network layout.

You may also come across the terms black hat, white hat, and gray hat. These aren’t referring to testers but instead to different types of attackers. They are reminiscent of the Wild West, where you could easily identify the good guys and the bad guys by the color of their hat. Black hat identifies a malicious attacker performing criminal activities. White hat identifies a security professional working within the law. Gray hat identifies individuals who may have good intentions, but their activities may cross ethical lines. For example, an activist, sometimes called a hacktivist, may use attack methods to further a cause, but not for personal gain.

Hackers and crackers are terms you may also come across. Originally, a hacker indicated someone proficient with computers who wanted to share knowledge with others. They weren’t malicious. In contrast, a cracker was a proficient hacker who used the knowledge for malicious purposes. However, English is a living language that continues to evolve and the media consistently uses the term hacker to identify malicious attackers.

Full Security+ Course

SY0-501 Full Security+ Course

Helping you Pass the First Time

Online access includes all of the content from the

CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide

  • Introduction
  • About the exam (including information on the number of questions, test duration, passing score, types of questions and more. Also includes a listing of the exam objectives)
  • 75 question pre-assessment exam
  • Mastering Security Basics (full content from Chapter 1 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Understanding Identity and Access Management (full content from Chapter 2 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Exploring Network Technologies and Tools (full content from Chapter 3 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Securing Your Network (full content from Chapter 4 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Securing Hosts and Data (full content from Chapter 5 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Comparing Threats, Vulnerabilities, and Common Attacks (full content from Chapter 6 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Protecting Against Advanced Attacks (full content from Chapter 7 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Using Risk Management Tools (full content from Chapter 8 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Implementing Controls to Protect Assets (full content from Chapter 9 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Understanding Cryptography and PKI (full content from Chapter 10 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • Implementing Policies to Mitigate Risks (full content from Chapter 11 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 15 practice test questions)
  • 75 question post-assessment exam
  • Glossary

Get the SY0-501 Full Security+ Course Here


Test your readiness with these quality materials

Random 75-question tests

Random practice tests from the all of the practice test questions in the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide. All questions include explanations so you'll know why the correct answers are correct, and why the incorrect answers are incorrect.

3 sets Performance-based Questions

Three new sets of performance-based questions with a total of 30 questions. These new questions use a new testing engine that includes realistic drag and drop, matching, sorting, and fill in the blank questions.

Flashcard Set

  • 494 Online Security+ Glossary Flashcards
  • 222 Online Security+ Acronyms Flashcards
  • 223 Online Security+ Remember This Slide from the popular CompTIA Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide

Audio - SY0-501 Security+ Remember This Audio Files

Learn by Listening. Over one hour and 20 minutes of audio (MP3 downloads.)

Audio - SY0-501 Security+ Question and Answer Audio Files

Learn by Listening. Over two hours hour and 53 minutes of audio (MP3 downloads.)

Bonus #1

Audio from the end of chapter reviews from each of the chapters in the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide. Over one hour and 40 minutes of additional audio.

Bonus #2

Access to all of the online content that is available for free to anyone that purchases the CompTIA Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide. This includes labs, extra practice test questions, and supplementary materials

Bonus #3 

Access the study materials for a total of 60 days because sometimes life happens.

Get the SY0-501 Full Security+ Course Here

Intrusive Versus Non-Intrusive Testing

Scans can be either intrusive or non-intrusive. You can also think of these terms as invasive and non-invasive, respectively. Tools using intrusive methods can potentially disrupt the operations of a system. In contrast, tools using non-intrusive methods will not compromise a system. These terms also apply to penetration testing (intrusive) and vulnerability scanning (non-intrusive).

When comparing penetration testing and vulnerability scanning, it’s important to remember that penetration tests are intrusive and more invasive than vulnerability scans. They involve probing a system and attempting to exploit any vulnerabilities they discover. If they successfully exploit a vulnerability, a penetration test can potentially disrupt services and even take a system down.

Vulnerability scans are generally non-intrusive and less invasive than penetration tests. They never attempt to exploit a vulnerability. Because of this, a vulnerability scan is much safer to run on a system or network because it is significantly less likely that it will affect services.


Security+ Practice Test Questions

SY0-501 Practice Test Questions 

Over 300 realistic Security+ practice test questions

All questions include explanations so you'll know why the correct answers are correct,

and why the incorrect answers are incorrect.

Pass the Security+ Exam

the First Time You Take It

Multiple quiz formats to let you use these questions based on the way you learn.
  • Learn mode - randomized. View each of the questions in random order. Learn mode allows you to keep selecting answers until you select the correct answer. Once you select the correct answer, you'll see the explanation. Click here to see how learn mode works.
  • Learn mode - not randomized. View each of the questions in the same order. Use this if you want to make sure that you see all of the questions. Learn mode allows you to keep selecting answers until you select the correct answer. Once you select the correct answer, you'll see the explanation. Click here to see how learn mode works.
  • Test mode - randomized. View each of the questions in random order. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.
  • Test mode - not randomized. View each of the questions in the same order. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.
  • Test mode - 75 random questions. View 75 random questions from the full test bank similar to how the Security+ exam has a potential maximum of 75 multiple choice questions. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.

Get the full bank of SY0-501 Practice Test Questions Here

 SY0-501 Practice Test Questions


INCLUDES QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU PREPARE

FOR THE NEW PERFORMANCE BASED QUESTIONS 

Bonus - Performance Based Questions

Three sets of performance-based questions including over 30 questions. These questions show you what you can expect in the live exam. They include drag and drop, matching, sorting, and fill in the blank questions. See a demo here.

Bonus - Extra Practice Test Questions

New multiple-choice questions in the extra test bank. Questions are added occasionally. You can see what has been added recently here.

Get the full bank of Security+ (SYO-501) Practice Test Questions Here

Get the full bank of Security+ Practice Test Questions

Click here if you're looking for SY0-501 Full Study Package

Q. Your organization has a legacy server running within the DMZ. It is running older software that is not compatible with current patches, so management has decided to let it remain unpatched. Management wants to know if attackers can access the internal network if they successfully compromise this server. Which of the following is the MOST appropriate action?

A. Perform a vulnerability scan.

B. Perform a port scan.

C. Perform a black box test.

D. Perform a penetration test.

Answer is D. A penetration test attempts to exploit a vulnerability and can determine if a successful attack will allow attackers into the internal network.

A vulnerability scan is passive. It does not attempt to compromise a system, so it cannot verify if an attacker can access the internal network.

A port scan only identifies open ports.

A black box test only refers to the knowledge of the testers and indicates they have zero knowledge prior to starting a test.

See Chapter 8 of the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide for more information on using risk management tools.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

CompTIA Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list and get a free excerpt of the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide.  This excerpt includes the introduction and Chapter 1. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Get Certified Get Ahead is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program,
an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Copyright © 2015 Get Certified Get Ahead. All Rights Reserved.