Six Critical Elements of a Vulnerability Assessment

How To Write a Vulnerability Assessment Report

March 11, 2022
| Ethical Hacking

Vulnerability assessment reports play a vital role in ensuring the security of an organization’s applications, computer systems, and network infrastructure. The goal of a vulnerability assessment report is to highlight threats to an organization’s security posed by vulnerabilities in its IT environment.

Creating a vulnerability assessment report involves analyzing an organization’s systems, diagnosing system vulnerabilities, and describing the severity of those vulnerabilities. These assessments are carried out by security professionals who utilize a range of automated and manual testing tools. With the help of a vulnerability assessment, companies can understand their security posture and take measures to eliminate risks (EC-Council, 2020).

Vulnerability scanning includes automated network and system scans. Testers can also use penetration testing to locate vulnerabilities and determine the severity of a given risk. In this article, we’ll explain the core elements of a vulnerability assessment report.

Six Critical Elements of a Vulnerability Assessment Report

Because your client and their security team usually won’t have the time to read long explanations, it’s important to keep your report clear and concise—without omitting crucial information. Remember that you can link to quality sources to help others better understand the contents of the report while avoiding long segments of unnecessary text.

The below table outlines the six key elements of a vulnerability assessment report (EC-Council, n.d.).

Element  Description 
Executive summary 
  • Date range of the assessment  
  • Purpose and scope of the assessment 
  • General status of the assessment and summary of your findings regarding risk to the client 
  • Disclaimer 
Scan results 
  • Explanation of the scan results, such as how you’ve categorized and ordered vulnerabilities 
  • Overview of the types of reports provided 
  • Tools and tests you used for vulnerability scanning, such as penetration testing or cloud-based scans 
  • Specific purpose of each scan, tool, and test 
  • Testing environments for each tool used in the assessment 
  • Which systems identified by the client you successfully scanned and which you did not 
  • Whether any systems were not scanned and, if so, the reasons why 
Risk assessment 
  • Index of all vulnerabilities identified, categorized as critical, high, medium, or low severity 
  • Explanation of the above risk categories 
  • List of all vulnerabilities with details on the plugin name, description, solution, and count information 
  • Full list of actions the client should take 
  • Recommendations of other security tools the client can use to assess the network’s security posture 
  • Security policy and configuration recommendations 

EC-Council’s Certified Ethical Hacker (C|EH) course is a recognized ethical hacking course and  training program where’ll you learn the fundamentals of ethical hacking, including how to write comprehensive, effective vulnerability assessment reports. Mapped to the NICE 2.0 framework and internationally recognized, the EC-Council C|EH course equips cybersecurity professionals with a variety of hacking techniques and tools, with a focus on developing real-world experience using hands-on challenges that avoid simple simulations.

Enroll to the Certified Ethical Hacker course now and start your training today!


EC-Council. (2020, May 20). All about penetration testing and vulnerability assessment.

EC-Council. (n.d.).Introduction to CPENT.

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