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How To Maintain Vulnerability Management To Secure An Organization ?

Sept 25 2021

How To Maintain Vulnerability Management To Secure An Organization Blog Article

Importance Of The Vulnerbility Management

Vulnerability management is the processes for identifying vulnerabilities in IT assets, evaluating risk and taking appropriate action. Vulnerability scanners are commonly used in vulnerability management to identify weaknesses across systems and networks, and play an integral role in the process.
Internet of Things (IoT) devices are rapidly becoming ubiquitous while IoT services are becoming pervasive. Their success has not gone unnoticed and the number of threats and attacks against IoT devices and services are on the increase as well. Cyber-attacks are not new to IoT, but as IoT will be deeply interwoven in our lives and societies, it is becoming necessary to step up and take cyber defense seriously. Hence, there is a real need to secure IoT, which has consequently resulted in a need to comprehensively understand the threats and attacks on IoT infrastructure.

A Serious Threat

As vulnerabilities keep increasing exponentially every year, the need to efficiently classify, manage, and analyze them also increases. Many of the previous attempts at managing vulnerabilities have not been so successful because of the use of taxonomy approach. Few of the recent approaches have used ontologies for vulnerability management. Ontologies are real world concepts that are modelled using an ontology language. Ontologies are more appropriate for vulnerabilities as vulnerabilities can not be strictly classified into hierarchies (taxonomies) and tend to overlap. Ontologies support both these characteristics of vulnerabilities. Cloud computing is redefining the way computers are used. As more and more users, applications and businesses move to cloud it becomes very important to have proper vulnerability management in the cloud.

Process In Finding Vulnerabilities

Asset tracking is important for vulnerability management. If you are conducting vulnerability scans and not scanning all assets it could leave vulnerabilities undiscovered. Vulnerability scanners have forms of asset management built-in where the most popular methods are to discover hosts by conducting a light scan on a network to determine which hosts are active, and to input asset details such as an IP address, network range or domain name. Assets can be categorized by groups based on details such as operating systems, purpose of the machine, network, and physical location. These groups help manage and prioritize assets and becomes very useful in the remediation and scanning processes.
Vulnerability Scanning is the process of running a vulnerability scan to identify weaknesses. Scans can be tuned, configured, and scheduled to meet needs of the business and security requirements. The longer duration between scans the greater the chance systems are left vulnerable.

Why is Having a Vulnerability Management Process Important?

Network vulnerabilities represent security gaps that could be abused by attackers to damage network assets, trigger a denial of service, and/or steal potentially sensitive information. Attackers are constantly looking for new vulnerabilities to exploit—and taking advantage of old vulnerabilities that may have gone unpatched.
Having a vulnerability management framework in place that regularly checks for new vulnerabilities is crucial for preventing cybersecurity breaches. Without a vulnerability testing and patch management system, old security gaps may be left on the network for extended periods of time. This gives attackers more of an opportunity to exploit vulnerabilities and carry out their attacks.

Network vulnerabilities represent security gaps that could be abused by attackers to damage network assets, trigger a denial of service, and/or steal potentially sensitive information.

Building a Vulnerability Management Program

What can you do to create or establish an IT vulnerability management framework in your own organization? There are a couple of ways to build out a vulnerability management program: creating the program internally or using a vulnerability management service from a managed security service provider (MSSP).
When building a vulnerability management program internally, there are several factors that you will need to account for:
• Inventory Management. You can’t patch what you don’t know you have. Tracking your inventory of assets is crucial for verifying that you have addressed all vulnerabilities in your network. If you have an unknown asset on the network, then you will have unpatched vulnerabilities from that asset.
• Patch Management. How will you deliver security patches to your network assets? When will patches be applied? Will you have to disable some or all of your network to apply fixes to your major vulnerabilities?
• Vulnerability Scanning Solutions. How will you check for vulnerabilities? It’s important to have a comprehensive suite of vulnerability scanning tools for detecting weaknesses and logging them for future fixes. Checking external network assets (such as vendor networks, cloud-based applications, and external servers) with vulnerability scanners is also crucial for modern vulnerability testing.
• Risk Assessment. What are the biggest security risks revealed during penetration testing? When allocating resources to patch management, it is important to prioritize the easiest to fix vulnerabilities that have the biggest impact on your network security.
For example, if there was a vulnerability that could be fixed with less than 15 minutes of work, but would cost you $1 million if an attack leveraged it, that would take priority over a minor bug that would take hours to fix and not affect any critical systems if exploited.
One of the fastest ways to build a vulnerability management process is to use a vulnerability management service. The service provider likely already has a robust set of tools and an experienced team that is used to handling vulnerability and patch management plan build-outs. This helps them build a better vulnerability management system to address security gaps in your organization. Many organizations decide to use a dedicated vulnerability management service because of how much easier they are to deploy and manage. Plus, it eliminates the need to add dedicated internal staff to the payroll—which helps reduce the cost of vulnerability management.


SwiftSafe Blog Author

Author

James Maverick

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