Importance Of Vulnerability Management

By: Aseem Rastogi | 13 Nov 2017

Vulnerability Management In The Era Of Complexity

Vulnerability Management (VM) is the process in which vulnerabilities in IT system are identified and the risks of these vulnerabilities evaluated. This evaluation leads to correction, removal or acceptance of risks by the organization.

“Why do we need vulnerability management?”

The primary objectives of VM is to scan, investigate, analyze and report level of risk associated with any security vulnerabilities discovered, and suggest appropriate mitigation strategies to address those vulnerabilities.  Some of the other common objectives are —

“How does vulnerability management work?”

Using a cyclical practice of identification, classification, remediation and mitigation of vulnerabilities, VM works continuously to fix security weaknesses before they are exploited.

“Benefits of vulnerability Management”

Vulnerability management is integral to computer security and network security. Vulnerability management process allows to —

  • Control the information security risks.
  • Bring extra focus on information security at the time of increasing cyber-crime and complexity.
  • Obtain a continuous overview of vulnerabilities in their IT environment and the risks associated with them.

Only by identifying and mitigating vulnerabilities in the IT environment an organization can prevent attackers from penetrating their networks and stealing information.

“Lifecycle of vulnerability Management”

  1. Prepare
    • Size, scope and geographical location of infrastructure
    • Number of applications and devices on the network
    • Relative value of all these assets
    • Criticality of assets, sensitivity of the information stored there
  2. Discover – Determine frequency of scan. Low-risk assets scanned at least quarterly and high-risk assets several times a day.  There are other factors to consider as well; for example, considering patch release cycle  from vendors.
  3. Analyze – Analyzing the enormous amount of data that is generated through scanning is a key capability of a robust vulnerability management solution. Solution should have ability to identify the highest-value information that each scan yields.
  4. Report – Data becomes actionable at this point. An efficient vulnerability management solution will generate a variety of reports focusing on threat analysis, service level agreement status, regulatory compliance and expiration dates. Reports should be reviewed by the security team, system owners, and system administrators, who will work to create a schedule of what actions must be taken and what the priority of each action should be.
  5. Remediation – Depending on the asset and the vulnerability found, remediation can be done quickly and remotely, or it may require a more complex, hands-on fix that may require taking some systems offline, using redundant systems, and implementing additional controls.

Overlooking Vulnerability Management is like securing your house with a sophisticated alarm system but without locking every door and window before going on vacation. This is a vast generalization because networks have many hosts and each one of them has dozens of potential issues. So, it is crucial to have a consistent, repeatable plan for vulnerability management in your organization.

 

Looking for more information or need help how to set up a Vulnerability Management program for your organization? Contact us today!!