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Re: Vulnerability Assessment vs. PenTest
From: Bob Radvanovsky <rsradvan () unixworks net>
Date: Fri, 04 Aug 2006 19:01:04 -0500

A vulnerability assessment often *includes* the penetration testing and analysis.  For the most part, a VA includes 
elements such as policy management verification (does the company XYZ have the correct policy implemented for it), 
verification that a policy does what its supposed to do (procedural verification), and several often factors, all of 
which are "paper verifications".  Pen-testing is really one of the few aspects of a VA that *does* anything technical 
(per se).  The rest are operational in that they are verifications that the company is doing what it claims to be doing.

Does this help?  I hope I've explained it well enough.  If someone else has a better way of explaining, please do so.

-r

----- Original Message -----
From: James Harless [mailto:jharless () kidwellcompanies com]
To: pen-test () securityfocus com
Subject: Vulnerability Assessment vs. PenTest


Where is the line between a Vulnerability Assessment and a PenTest?  In
other words, which tests do you run which identifies your assessment as
a pentest rather than a VA?  
 
And, related, do VAs still have value?  Do you feel that a PenTest
includes everything that a VA would (and more)?
 
My thoughts are that a VA is just an effort to document all the
identified and potential vulnerabilities on a network.  A PenTest is an
attempt to identify those vulnerabilities and then exploit some of them
to verify their weakness.
 
 
James

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