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For years, the two most popular methods for internal scanning: agent-based and network-based were considered to be about equal in value, each bringing its own strengths to bear. However, with remote working now the norm in most if not all workplaces, it feels a lot more like agent-based scanning is a must, while network-based scanning is an optional extra.

This article will go in-depth on the strengths and weaknesses of each approach, but let’s wind it back a second for those who aren’t sure why they should even do internal scanning in the first place.

Why should you perform internal vulnerability scanning?

While external vulnerability scanning can give a great overview of what you look like to a hacker, the information that can be gleaned without access to your systems can be limited. Some serious vulnerabilities can be discovered at this stage, so it’s a must for many organizations, but that’s not where hackers stop.

Techniques like phishing, targeted malware, and watering-hole attacks all contribute to the risk that even if your externally facing systems are secure, you may still be compromised by a cyber-criminal. Furthermore, an externally facing system that looks secure from a black-box perspective may have severe vulnerabilities that would be revealed by a deeper inspection of the system and software being run.

This is the gap that internal vulnerability scanning fills. Protecting the inside like you protect the outside provides a second layer of defence, making your organization significantly more resilient to a breach. For this reason, it’s also seen as a must for many organizations.

If you’re reading this article, though, you are probably already aware of the value internal scanning can bring but you’re not sure which type is right for your business. This guide will help you in your search.

images from Hacker News