You can’t protect your system if you don’t know what risks you face. Vulnerability management is a long-term security strategy that involves continuously identifying, classifying, prioritizing, remediating, and mitigating vulnerabilities in IT environments.
Having a vulnerability management program is a critical part of maintaining compliance and reducing the risk of both internal and external attacks. Establishing and maintaining a strong program can help you proactively understand potential threats to every asset within your IT infrastructure.
How Does Vulnerability Management Work?
Vulnerability management is an ongoing process. In addition to regular updates, as an organization evolves, new users, applications, and other changes can create new vulnerabilities that threat actors can exploit. With new vulnerabilities frequently being discovered, following the following steps can be the difference between staying protected and suffering a devastating breach.
You won’t know what may threaten your organization if you don’t know what’s in it. An organization’s assets should all be categorized, assessed, and kept track of. Regularly auditing your IT environment and eliminating unauthorized applications and other shadow IT will ensure you know what needs to be protected.
Get a status check on all of your assets with a vulnerability scanner. These scanners check your network and web applications for any known vulnerabilities, creating a report using CVE identifiers that provide information. Additionally, CVEs are also given a rating using the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) to distinguish how severe these vulnerabilities are on a scale of 0-10.
Vulnerability scans and reports are a great starting point for knowing which vulnerabilities are present in your environment, but while CVSS ratings give you some idea of the risk, they don’t account for the set up and circumstances of each individual environment.
Penetration tests add additional context by actually exploiting these discovered vulnerabilities. If a penetration tester can get into your environment by leveraging one of these vulnerabilities, so could an attacker. Pen tests determine which vulnerabilities are truly critical and most in need of remediation.
With their priorities clear, security teams can go in and address the vulnerabilities that pose the most risk, which can be done through patches, updates, or other remediation techniques. Once action has been taken on, an additional penetration tests should be run to ensure that the vulnerability no longer exists, or at least no longer poses a threat.
The Expanding Role of Vulnerability Management
The scope of vulnerability management is becoming increasingly important. Vulnerability assessment, analyzation, and management is now a security necessity for organizations of all sizes. See how cybersecurity pros are responding with The Expanding Role of Vulnerability Management Report.
How Do I Know If My Organization Needs Vulnerability Management?
Anyone who has assets connected to the Internet needs vulnerability management, so you can:
Know Your Risks.
To protect your business-critical data, you have to understand where your system is vulnerable. Find out which vulnerabilities exist, and which demand attention.
Think Like an Attacker.
Use the same techniques as threat actors to discover, exploit, and remediate vulnerabilities before an actual atttacker strikes.
Meet Compliance Requirements.
Vulnerability management programs not only help your organization maintain compliance for regulations like HIPAA, PCI DSS, and SOX, they alsoprovide detailed reports that avoid significant fines for non-compliance, allowing you to provide ongoing due diligence during any audit.
Justify Cybersecurity Investments.
Knowing your security risks can help you obtain the resources necessary to address the problems.
Learn More About Vulnerability Assessment Solutions from Fortra
Application security testing scans customer-facing web applications, network applications, and product applications for security weaknesses and helps prioritize remediation efforts.
Threat scanning and monitoring detects security misconfigurations and active endpoint threats, like malware, trojans, and viruses, within a network, for timely protection and faster remediation.