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Vulnerability scan

During a vulnerability scan, your IT infrastructure is tested for security flaws with the help of special software. With this method, known vulnerabilities are found. These are vulnerabilities in IT systems that are publicly known and are usually recorded in a standardized catalog. In most cases, security updates or workarounds have already been released for these vulnerabilities.

Hackers often use known vulnerabilities to gain access to a system. The goal of a vulnerability scan is to find and close these vulnerabilities before cybercriminals can exploit them.


First, the scope and focus of the vulnerability scan and a time window for its execution are defined. During this phase, providing a network diagram of the company's IT infrastructure is very helpful. An up-to-date network diagram ensures that all components of the IT infrastructure are considered and it helps to estimate the time and effort required for the scan.

The actual vulnerability scan consists of an external and an internal part. During the external vulnerability scan, the IT infrastructure is checked for vulnerabilities from the perspective of an external attacker. The target is the part of the IT infrastructure that is accessible from the Internet, such as a mail server or a VPN server.

The internal vulnerability scan is conducted from within the company's private network. The aim here is to check the IT infrastructure for vulnerabilities from the perspective of an internal attacker. An internal attacker could be a hacker who has gained access to a computer through malicious software in an email attachment. Are your internal servers, such as the domain controller, sufficiently secured to prevent them from being compromised by an internal attacker?

Authenticated vs unauthenticated scanning

The vulnerability scan can be performed with or without authentication. During an authenticated scan (also known as a credentialed scan), the software logs on to one or more IT systems. The advantage of authenticated scanning is that it can find certain security vulnerabilities that would go unnoticed during an unauthenticated scan. For example, a missing security update on a Windows server. In addition, IT systems can be examined for traces of attacks and signs of threats by using credentialed scanning.

Because an authenticated scan is more time-consuming than an unauthenticated scan, authenticated scanning is most often used only for IT systems that are at higher risk, such as a mail server or domain controller.

Final report

The result of the vulnerability scan is documented in a final report. This report lists any vulnerabilities, the severity of the vulnerabilities, and suggestions on how to address such vulnerabilities.

The report not only helps to fix existing security flaws but also shows how effective your current processes for applying security updates are. The importance of this is that the timely application of security updates is one of the most critical and effective things you can do to protect your systems and network.


During a pentest (short for penetration test), automated and manual techniques are used to detect more complex and often still unknown vulnerabilities. In addition, attempts are made to actively exploit the vulnerabilities found. This involves using means and methods that an attacker would use to penetrate the system without authorization.

When to use

There are various scenarios in which a pentest can be beneficial, for example when a company uses in-house developed software and depends on high availability of this software. In this case, a vulnerability scan will have little added value because there are no known vulnerabilities for the in-house developed software.

Another example is a company using outdated software that has several known vulnerabilities. However, this software plays a crucial role in the production process and cannot easily be replaced. In this case, a pentest can provide insight into the extent to which the vulnerabilities actually allow a hacker to take control of the system. Furthermore, based on the result of the pentest, defensive measures can be put in place, as the pentest shows exactly how the system can be compromised.


In addition to vulnerability scans and penetration tests, Bitwise IT also offers consulting in all areas of IT security. Below are some areas listed including a short description on how Bitwise IT can support your company in these areas.

Backup & Recovery

Even with a high level of IT security, an attack on your IT systems cannot be ruled out. Sometimes hackers exploit a new vulnerability before it is published and a security update is available. Furthermore, hardware defects or other incidents can lead to data loss.

Backups are the last line of defense against cyberattacks and system failures. Therefore, backup and recovery should be an important topic in your company as well.

Bitwise IT performs an assessment of your backup infrastructure. This assessment evaluates whether the current solution ensures a fast and complete recovery of your IT systems. After the assessment, any suggestions for improvement will be made.

Security in the cloud

More and more companies are using cloud services. These are often less expensive than internal IT solutions and allow for a certain degree of flexibility.

However, the cloud is not immune to outages, security breaches or data loss. How is your company going to be affected by a prolonged system outage at your cloud provider? Or, what if your cloud provider falls victim to a cyberattack, after which your sensitive company data ends up on the dark web?

Risk management cannot be shifted to the cloud. Companies should evaluate the potential risks associated with using a cloud-based system and implement controls to mitigate these risks. Bitwise IT supports companies in this process of risk assessment and risk mitigation and helps them to use cloud services in such a way that the confidentiality, integrity and availability of their data are ensured.

Remote working

Working remotely, whether from home or another location, has become increasingly important in recent years and is expected to be a permanent feature of working life for most businesses.

In order to work productively, employees need access to data and systems. If these data and systems are located in the company's private network, a VPN is a common solution for providing access to the company's network from a remote location. A VPN is a virtual private network that encrypts data to ensure secure transmission.

However, remote working presents companies with particular challenges in terms of IT security because it offers cybercriminals an expanded attack surface. In addition to the IT infrastructure within the company, the computers in the remote locations and the connections between them and the company's network must also be protected.

In most cases, the VPN connection is at least password-protected. However, other urgently recommended protective measures such as multi-factor authentication or security management of the end devices are often missing. In particular small and medium-sized companies have some catching up to do here.

Bitwise IT supports your company in achieving a high level of IT security, whether your employees come into the office or work remotely.