First, let's explain what a vulnerability is. A vulnerability is a weakness that can be exploited to gain unauthorized access or privileged control of a computer or operating system, application, service, endpoint, or server.
Vulnerability management is the ongoing practice of identifying, prioritizing and remediating vulnerabilities. It can also be described as a proactive and systematic response to vulnerabilities in your IT environment. Implementing vulnerability management is crucial for organizations that want to increase their security posture and minimize their attack surface.
Achieving excellent visibility into vulnerabilities across all ecosystems is challenging, something cybercriminals capitalize on. A modern vulnerability management solution will simplify the process of identifying, categorizing, prioritizing, and remediating vulnerabilities across systems and users.
A solid cyber security defense is a corporate necessity. With a proactive approach, you'll avoid both disruptive attacks, strained IT resources, a tarnished brand image, or even legal consequences. Creating a robust cyber security defense requires you to take active initiatives. Your scope should include detecting various vulnerabilities and potential risks in systems, web applications, and employees.
Vulnerability management is a proactive security measure, the act of searching for security gaps that exist before they are exploited. However, vulnerability management is more than patching and reconfiguring security settings; it necessitates a continuous approach to IT across the organization.
Vulnerability Management Process
After every asset has been identified, you should decide where to put security efforts and reduce potential risks. The vulnerabilities will be ranked from highest to lowest risk in this step, depending on multiple factors. A vulnerability management platform helps to prioritize vulnerabilities based on the MITRE CVE (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposure) score and threat intelligence.
It's impossible to identify and patch every single vulnerability. Instead, you must identify all priority assets that would cause severe damage to the business if they were compromised. You need to understand the cyber exposure of all assets, including vulnerabilities, misconfiguration, and other indicators.
Create a detailed picture of the organizational structure, current software, and programs used. Understanding the configuration and technology present in your organization will make identifying weak spots and prioritizing patching easier.
VULNERABILITY MANAGEMENT PROCESS
Your team should focus on vulnerabilities that expose your organization to the most significant risk. This would include remediating critical vulnerabilities and eliminating false positives.
Remediating vulnerable assets often requires deploying an upgrade or patch, per the recommendation of the affected software vendor. Patch deployment is challenging, with tests and patches taking up both valuable time and resources. The deployment process might impact business-critical operating systems and infrastructure or the application itself.
Another way to remediate a vulnerability would be to update the system, platform, or service configurations and wait for patch deployment. Once you patch the vulnerability, you should ensure that your vulnerability management platform will verify your patches.
VULNERABILITY MANAGEMENT PROCESS
The last step in the vulnerability management process is internal communication, specifically reporting. Information about vulnerabilities should be easy enough to be interpreted by all affected levels of the organization.
Reporting includes analyzing vulnerability data, tracking patterns and trends, and identifying issues that warrant further investigation. Reports help improve business and security posture management, current development over time, and other corporate risk management processes.
Implementing a vulnerability management program helps you:
Many organizations face identifying vulnerabilities and developing a decision-making process to prioritize patches with limited resources.Threat intelligence can help you understand what threats are most likely to affect your organization by focusing on the continuous identification, assessment, reporting, and remediation of security exposures using critical risk assessment and threat intelligence.
Cyber threat intelligence (CTI) is organized, analyzed, and refined information about potential or current attacks that put your organization at risk. A risk-based approach to vulnerability management should be imperative for all organizations that want to defend their business successfully. Finding the right vulnerability management platform tool will help to better prepare your team defensively against cyber-attacks.
Choosing between vulnerability management solutions can be quite a complex process. You should always start by identifying what your organization needs and ensuring the solutions you're evaluating meet those needs.
Here are some key questions to keep in mind when assessing a vulnerability management solution: