Rackspace Cloud Library

What is a Vulnerability Assessment?

A vulnerability assessment is a system of practices and technologies that help organizations gauge their exposure to cyber threats. As the digital world becomes a hacker’s paradise, more and more organizations are trying to identify their vulnerability to phishing, malware, DDoS attacks and other threats.

Gartner® predicts that by 2020, 30 percent of Global 2000 companies will have been directly compromised. To combat this, many companies are hiring Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) to help secure their data. Recent high-profile data breaches demonstrate that CISOs and other security professionals face some real challenges, including:

  • Meeting compliance requirements
  • Outsmarting cunning cyber criminals continually
  • Monitoring the security practices of their partners and employees

Meeting these challenges requires a comprehensive understanding of risks, vulnerabilities and threats — and the most effective practices and technologies used to address them.

Why Use Vulnerability Assessments?


As a leading managed security service provider, we have extensive experience performing vulnerability assessments. Our battle-tested process can help identify vulnerabilities quickly, helping your business remain operational and available.


All of our vulnerability assessments are performed by GIAC-certified intrusion analysts and handlers. We use leading technologies and industry expertise to detect threats, then go a step further by immediately responding to them on your behalf.

Around-the-Clock Support

Rackspace Managed Security Services are backed by always-on support and expertise. That means our security experts are available whenever you need them — 24x7x365.

Cybersecurity Self-Assessment Tool

Answer this Cybersecurity Self-Assessment to receive a cyber security risk score against our benchmark that can help identify common security gaps in your environment that you may not be aware of.

How Can Rackspace Help?

Many cyber criminals take advantage of basic security vulnerabilities such as weak passwords, web-based personal emails, poor patch-management procedures, and a lack of end-user education around sound security policies. A vulnerability assessment can be a critical first step to uncovering these potential liabilities.

Next, you have to look at your network. Most common vulnerability scans can identify those more obscure network and host vulnerabilities. But they’re highly technical and often performed solely for compliance purposes — with little connection to an organization’s business risks and executive security budget decisions.

The typical vulnerability assessment may also identify thousands of potential vulnerabilities and recommend multiple patches and upgrades without consideration for how they relate to mission-critical processes. These assessments may also identify a single vulnerability several times, recommending multiple solutions when a single solution could cover all your bases.

That’s why you want a vulnerability assessment that’s rooted in the context of your business. A comprehensive security strategy should link the results of a vulnerability assessment to a business impact, helping you understand which vulnerabilities should be addressed first, and how to address them effectively. This helps you to protect your business while making the most of your security budget.

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