Virtual and Cloud Assets The increased use of cloud and virtual environments, the ever growing mobile workforce and the high security risks associated with privileged accounts have created some difficult challenges for traditional network-based vulnerability management solutions. Can you guarantee that your virtual and cloud-based systems are online during a network-based scan? What about the growing population of remote employee laptops that randomly pop on and off the network? You may also have a number of connected systems that have been hardened – limiting what you can see from the outside looking in. How can you cover these vulnerability gaps? Luckily, there are host-based scanning engines (agents) that eliminate the need for connectivity between a traditional network scanner and its target assets. These host-based agents reside on machines, and collect vulnerability, configuration and asset data locally. Some agents, such as BeyondTrust Retina Host Security Scanner, can then report their findings to a common platform, like BeyondInsight, for centralized management, reporting and advanced analysis. Giving you the confidence to reliably identify and audit cloud and mobile systems as well as get in-depth vulnerability and configuration information from hardened desktops and servers.
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Why Host-based Scanning is Critical to Effectively Managing Vulnerabilities:

infographic-host-based-scanning Cloud and Virtual Environments Cloud and virtual infrastructures by nature are very elastic and can be spun up or down without notice. As a result, their presence is hard to predict making scanning them difficult. Making matters worse, often these resources are hardened in order to prevent security breaches and are inherently resilient to network-based vulnerability assessments. Having a host-based scanner on an asset allows it to scan itself whenever active, giving you the confidence of always knowing the risks associated with your virtual systems. Mobile Workforce Employees are more mobile now than ever before. In fact, a recent study by Global Workspace Analytics found that 3.7 million US employees work from home at least fifty percent of the time. Mobile computers used by regional sales teams, remote employees and frequent flying execs can easily fall through the cracks, posing a significant risk to your organization. Host-based scanners can perform deep inspections of these mobile systems while they’re offline – safeguarding your business from these otherwise unknown threats that could compromise your security. Credentialed Vulnerability Scans While unauthenticated scans provide a valuable outsider’s view of your network, they tend to miss the majority (75%) of vulnerabilities within a target environment – making credentialed scans a must for those seeking to get a true picture of their risk. Some organizations however are concerned about internally sharing high-privileged credentials required to uncover threats such as weak passwords, missing security patches, and unauthorized applications. With a host-based scanner there is no need to share credentials or create additional service accounts for scanning – ensuring your most sensitive secrets stay private. Self-Service Kiosks Have you ever used one of those Redbox® video kiosks outside your local Walgreens or CVS Pharmacy? How about those newfangled vending machines in the airport that sell everything from $350 digital cameras to a $50 makeup kits? If you have, you know that these modern self-service kiosks accept credit cards for payment. And since they do, they are bound by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and in turn are required to pass a vulnerability audit - just like traditional point-of-sale terminals and websites. With host-based scanners you can rest assured that you’ll have a clear picture of your PCI posture for all your remote terminals and kiosks. With a host-based scanner like Retina Host Security Scanner, in-depth credentialed scans only take minutes regardless of whether you are scanning 10 or 10,000 assets. And because machines are scanning themselves, and not slowing down your network, you can perform scans more frequently for continuous visibility. Catch elusive cloud and virtual instances, regularly assess mobile computers, and safely perform deep scans to ensure you’re getting a true picture of your risk and know where you’re most vulnerable.
Ready to test drive how Retina Host Security Scanner can make a difference for you? Try Retina CS for free!
Need more information? Download our latest white paper, 10 Reasons to Rethink Your Vulnerability Management, and see how Retina’s cutting-edge capabilities can keep you steps ahead of the bad guys. For more, contact us today!