Three Critical Issues Businesses Face with Vulnerability Management

Three Critical Issues Businesses Face with Vulnerability Management

The COVID-19 crisis has put IT security experts under a lot of pressure. As cybersecurity budgets are tight and millions of workers have migrated to full- or part-time telecommuting, a threat landscape that was already becoming more complex by the minute now poses an even bigger challenge.

Too many businesses have a skewed understanding of what vulnerability management includes. It isn’t just about scanning networks for threats.

Identifying, assessing, reporting, and prioritizing exposures are all part of a holistic approach to vulnerability management. It is also important to consider the risk context. Instead of simply scanning for security flaws, a comprehensive vulnerability management strategy demonstrates how such flaws could be exploited and the potential implications.

When vulnerability management is executed correctly, it takes a large picture approach wherein all parts work together to reduce risk to business-critical assets.

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Even if security experts start with the right groundwork, they can still fall short when it comes to execution. With that in mind, here are three of the most serious issues that businesses confront when it comes to controlling vulnerabilities.

Failing to prioritize threats

One of the most serious difficulties that organizations face today in the context of vulnerability management is the inability to properly rank exposures. Too many businesses use scanning to detect security flaws before moving on to the remediation phase. This kind of urgency, even though understandable on certain levels, is short-sighted and increases risk.

The prioritization and reporting stages of vulnerability management receive a lot of attention from smart companies. Teams racing to resolve exposures that pose no real danger to business-critical assets might squander time and money if they fail to prioritize correctly.

Businesses should use an advanced attack patch management solution that prioritizes vulnerabilities based on critical, attack-centric risk context. A tool that goes beyond CVSS score to provide the whole picture: how probable a vulnerability can be exploited and how dangerous each exploit is to key assets.

Failing to take a continuous approach

Rather than being episodic, an effective vulnerability management approach is on-going. Enterprises may struggle to limit the flow of vulnerabilities and accumulate vulnerability debt if they do not adopt a continuous strategy.

Working with a constant backlog of security issues to fix can make the situation untenable, given how difficult it is to remain on top of emerging vulnerabilities. Instead of scanning and remediation on a sporadic basis, companies should take an on-going approach focusing on continuous and automatic vulnerability detection. This is one of the most important aspects of establishing a security posture based on continuous improvement.

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Failing to develop a clear line of communication

Problems are almost certain to fall through the cracks when security teams lack clear lines of communication and the proper organizational structure. Too often, team members lack clear roles and are unsure of their position in the overall vulnerability management system, particularly in terms of responsibilities.

Team members can work and communicate more successfully when their roles are clearly defined with well-articulated responsibilities. Rather than working in silos and missing the big picture, each person can focus on their own tasks and goals, while also understanding how their work links to the roles and responsibilities of others.

The C-suite is no exception to the demand for better communication. Given how cybersecurity has become a vital strategic objective, it’s critical that the company’s leadership understands and is involved in the program.

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