Setting Practical Time Frames to Remedy Security Vulnerabilities

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Setting Practical Time Frames to Remedy Security Vulnerabilities

With the volume of vulnerabilities continuing to surge rapidly, it is time for security and risk leaders to develop and implement practices that will support their security initiatives at specific time frames.

Businesses are increasingly relying on digital platforms to keep their operations afloat. But most of them adopt integration tools and solutions that are not fully secured, resulting in cybersecurity infrastructure that is easier for attackers to breach. Though security and risk leaders have industry-standard vulnerability remediation time frames in place, they are rendered futile if they are not backed by enterprise-specific constraints, internal policies, technology cohabitation considerations or confirming to external compliance requirements.

Today’s enterprises should take a more structured risk- and fact-based approach to vulnerability management as part of their overall security program. The increasing volume of vulnerabilities means that enterprises are challenged to remediate them in appropriate time frames.

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Depending on how rapidly vulnerabilities can be exploited, enterprises should perform emergency remediation on critical systems without having to rely on a vendor to release a patch. Additionally, they should also refine their remediation process maturity to achieve non-emergency remediation across all systems within a shorter time frame.

Here are four practices security and risk leaders can adopt to effectively operationalize remediation time frames:

Aligning vulnerability management to the risk appetite of the organization

Every enterprise has an upper limit on the speed with which they can patch or compensate for vulnerabilities. This is guided by the business’s appetite for IT operational capabilities, operational risk and ability to absorb disruption when striving to remediate technology platforms. Hence, security leaders should align vulnerability management practices with their organizational needs and requirements by assessing use cases, operational risk appetite for specific risks or on a risk-by-risk basis and determining remediation abilities as well as limitations.

Prioritizing vulnerabilities depending on risk

With insights into the vulnerabilities being exploited across their respective industry, enterprises they should implement multi-faceted, risk-based vulnerability prioritization. This could depend on the severity of the vulnerability, business criticality, current exploitation activity, and exposure of the affected system.

Fusing compensating controls and remediation solutions

To reduce attack surface more effectively while minimizing its operational impact on the enterprise, security leaders should integrate compensating controls that are able to do virtual patching with remediation solutions. Enterprises should incorporate the latest technologies such as breach and attack simulation tools to provide insights into how their existing security solutions are configured. Additionally, these solutions will enable the enterprise to defend against a broad range of cyber-attacks.

By strengthening their vulnerability management program, enterprises can ensure their ability to reduce their attack surface substantially. This also enables them to become a difficult target for threat actors to gain some leverage inside the environment.

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Utilizing solutions to automate vulnerability analysis

Security and IT leaders should enhance remediation windows and efficiency to further operationalize their remediation time frames. They should opt for technologies that will enable them to automate vulnerability analysis. They should review their existing vulnerability assessment solution to ensure that they can support the latest assets in the infrastructure of the enterprise. If they don’t, they should try to amplify or replace the solution.

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