A Guide to Vulnerability Management

A Guide to Vulnerability Management

Vulnerability management solutions are an active approach that prioritizes remedial solutions for IT assets. The management helps security teams solve security system vulnerabilities and prevent threats.

What is Vulnerability Management?

Vulnerability management is a part of IT risk management. Security teams manage vulnerable areas of business that are highly receptive to threats. The process requires security teams to keep a continuous focus and monitor IT systems so that preventive measures are active in time. Management must prioritize solutions-driven actions focused on ugly threats in an organization’s IT infrastructure and software.

When on the subject of vulnerability management, it is essential to understand security vulnerability. A security vulnerability is a fault or weakness in a business asset’s functionality, structure, or implementation, such as networks, devices, infrastructure, software, systems, servers, and other IT assets.

Hackers exploit these assets to get data access and breach the systems. Common vulnerabilities are primarily seen in firewall misconfigurations, business data software, networks, and servers. Because the current state of enterprise networks is hybrid and remote, many new vulnerabilities are discovered daily. Due to this, effective vulnerability management is the need of the hour. Cybersecurity teams must have stringent vulnerability management solutions to prevent ugly threats from harming business assets.

Also Read: Ways to Improve Information Sharing Within Organizations and Enhance Cybersecurity

How are Vulnerabilities defined?

Vulnerability management is a standard-based effort that uses security content automation protocol (SCAP), which is developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. SCAP divides into a few components:

Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE): Each CVE is defined as a specific vulnerability through which any attack may occur easily.

Common configuration enumeration (CCE) lists system security configuration concerns are used to improve configuration regulation.

Common platform enumeration (CPE) – They are standardized methods of describing and identifying programs of operating systems, applications, and devices within the business environment.

Common vulnerability scoring system (CVSS) – It works to assign rigorousness scores of attacks to each vulnerability and is used to prioritize remediation efforts according to the threat. Scores range from zero to ten.

Security configurations under vulnerability management allow OSs and applications to run under rigid security solutions.

How Vulnerability Management Functions?

Cybersecurity teams use various vulnerability management tools and techniques to prevent and address cyber-threats. To go ahead with an effective vulnerability management program, security teams must know about the following components:

Discovery and Inventory of Business Assets

IT team is responsible for maintaining and tracking the records of overall software, devices, servers, networks, and systems across the company’s digital environment. However, managing and monitoring all these is highly complex since thousands of assets exist across multiple locations. Due to this, IT professionals need to have automated asset inventory management systems. The systems may help the team to provide visibility into the number of assets currently being used and their location. The inventory will help security teams to check and manage vulnerability areas and prepare preventive measures.

Configuration Management

Security Configuration Management (SCM) software ensures that company devices are configured securely. It is the security team’s responsibility to make changes to configurations. But, before the configurations are changed, approvals are required from security leaders. The leaders must check and track security settings to see if they comply with the business’s security policies. The SCM tools test devices and networks for vulnerabilities, track defensive actions, and generate reports.

Patch Management

Patch management software assists companies in keeping their computer systems up to date with advanced security patches. The advanced patch management solutions automatically check updates and prompt users on threat attempts. Some systems also allow for the deployment of patches across multiple computers. The deployments easily secure systems as security patches function continuously.

Threat Intelligence

Threat protection software provides the ability to monitor, track, analyze, and prioritize potential threats and suggests preventive solutions to protect assets efficiently. Threat intelligence helps companies identify threat trends and patterns for future attacks at the same time. Data collected from the intelligence report provides indications of possible threats harmful to businesses.

Security Incident and Event Management (SIEM)

SIEM software helps to combine an organization’s security information and events. The software provides visibility across IT infrastructure so that business and security leaders can gain visibility into vulnerability management functions and processes. Leaders can monitor network traffic, identify devices, and tracking of user activity. The software runs in the backend to measure vulnerability scopes. By gaining reports, security teams can create strategies and plan to mitigate vulnerable areas of these business assets.

Scanning of Vulnerable Areas of Assets

Vulnerability scanners test systems and networks against threats and look for common weaknesses or faults in systems and digital assets. These tests may include exploiting attempts, predicting default passwords or user accounts, or hackers trying to access restricted areas. The scanners run around the clock, and security teams check vulnerable areas through analytics.

Penetration testing

Penetration testing software helps IT and security teams find computer system vulnerabilities. The testing software provides a graphical user interface (GUI). It easily tracks the results of security measures for a particular system vulnerability or threat. The software offers automated features that speed up the testing of vulnerable areas. Testing vulnerable areas can speed up the preventive solutions at that point.

What are the Benefits of Vulnerability Management?

Vulnerability management allows security teams to identify and repair security issues before they become severe. Vulnerability management can prevent data breaches and other security incidents and save a business from operational and the company’s reputation point of view.

In addition, vulnerability management can also improve security compliance. As the management process includes monitoring and tracking, it can provide suggestions for updating security standards and regulations. It could benefit businesses to run advanced security systems and measures that effectively save all digital assets. Simultaneously, it can help organizations better understand their security risk levels and improvements. By looking at these points, here are three crucial advantages a stringent vulnerability management process many offer and advantage businesses significantly:

Enhanced Security and Controlling Power

Organizations having a proper vulnerability management process can effectively detect threats, enhance security solutions, and control future threats from attacks. Security teams can successfully hone this by regularly scanning for vulnerabilities on time. Robust vulnerability management practices may also allow to identify possible weaknesses in security patches.

In-depth Visibility and Reporting

Vulnerability management helps security teams to centralize solutions by providing accurate and up-to-date reporting about the organization’s security level. The process involves systems that provide all reporting levels and real-time visibility into potential threats and vulnerabilities.

Active Efficiencies

Businesses can minimize system downtime to protect their data. They can do it by understanding the type of threat and ways to mitigate security risks at scale. In addition, improving the vulnerability management process also reduces the duration of system recovery.

Also Read: Robust Penetration Testing Practices

Vulnerability Management Solutions

Many vulnerability solutions exist to simplify and automate the vulnerability management process. Some solutions focus only on vulnerability assessment, some perform vulnerability scanning, and others provide comprehensive coverage of the entire vulnerability management process. In addition, many security solutions also offer vulnerability management and add value to the security systems by integrating advanced functionalities. These measures help to protect the digital business environment better. The added functionalities include the following:

  • Detection of assets under attacks
  • Data breach classification
  • Intrusion detection
  • Privilege access management
  • Threat detection and responsive measures
  • Log data correlation
  • Compliance auditing and reporting
Vulnerability Management Tools
  • Advanced analytics includes behavioral analytics that helps identify irregular behavior that might indicate an attack. The threat analytics report provides data identifying the attack type and source.
  • Cloud connector — It is used to collect data using cloud-based vulnerability management solutions easily
  • Incident response automation — It helps in gathering data from tools. The tools are automatic and function in identifying incidents, predicting threat intelligence data, and automatically mitigating attacks.
  • Threat hunting – It helps to gain insights into threat intelligence data. The data helps identify new and unknown threats that might affect the organization severely.

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