Identify and quantify the security vulnerabilities in your system, so you can make improvements that reduce risks.
You can’t protect your system if you don’t know what risks you face. It 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 shadows IT will ensure you know what needs to be protected.
Scanning and Reporting
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.
Analysis and Prioritization
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 setup 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.
Response and Re-testing
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 the action has been taken on, an additional penetration test should be run to ensure that the vulnerability no longer exists, or at least no longer poses a threat.