Tips For Creating A Vulnerability Management Strategy
The internet has connected more and more devices and systems worldwide. This has drawn the system towards network security. Cyber-attackers and black-hat hackers can invade the systems for higher risk of cyber-thefts and the vulnerability is greater than ever, thus calling out for vulnerability management.
Software vulnerabilities are generally the network security protection inconsistencies that intruders have. They progressively leverage these inconsistencies to compromise structures and move the strike from low-value resources to high-value holdings.
Weaknesses are typically computer code inaccuracies that allow an attacker to inject malicious code into the system to start an attack. This is a broad category but is generally linked to production practices in the field of cyber threats.
The systems and the software running on them are, therefore, vulnerable to cyber-threats. The identification, evaluation, treatment, and reporting of such cybersecurity threats is called vulnerability management. Vulnerability scanning is essential for organizations to minimize the risk of a cyber attack.
The vulnerability management process should be run regularly to stay updated on system vulnerabilities and to keep all system information safe and secure.
The general process of vulnerability management
There are four necessary steps in vulnerability management. These are identified as:
1. Identification of System/Software Vulnerabilities
Vulnerability Scanners are used to scan the various systems connected to a network. After the scan, the system information is compared with the known vulnerabilities. For this, the scanner uses a vulnerability database that lists publicly known vulnerabilities.
There are other methods of identification of threats too. This processed system information after the identification of vulnerabilities is then evaluated.
2. Evaluation of System/Software Vulnerabilities
The processed system information with the identified vulnerability is evaluated using the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS). These scores help to sort out the vulnerabilities that pose the most threat to the systems. Like any other security process, the evaluation of weaknesses can also give fallacious scores. The chances are low, but more than zero.
3. Treatment of System/Software Vulnerabilities
After the significant vulnerable areas are segregated, they need to be adequately treated to cut off the risk of an attack. Treatment can be done in three ways.
- Fixing the vulnerability completely.
- Reducing the risk of attack from the vulnerable areas but not wholly cure it.
- Taking no steps to correct the sensitive areas of the systems because the risk level is shallow.
4. Reporting of System/Software Vulnerabilities
Making reports of the process of vulnerability management is essential. It keeps a record of the method used to cure the vulnerabilities. This report can be helpful for reference and to reduce the time for future vulnerability treatments in that system.
By maintaining a comprehensive report, the workload on the employees also reduces as they know their specific roles and can act on them accordingly.
Difference Between Vulnerability Management and Vulnerability Assessment
- Vulnerability assessment is a subset of vulnerability management. It is not just a scanning mechanism, in essence. Organizations assess system vulnerabilities by hiring system information security consultants who analyze the system status and risk levels.
- Vulnerability assessment is a one-time project that points out potential system vulnerabilities and makes a detailed report on it. The report contains information about the identification of security threats and lists the recommended ways for treating the vulnerable areas of the system. The process of vulnerability assessment ends there.
- Vulnerability management is a continuous process of identification, assessment, treatment, and reporting of system/software vulnerabilities. The process of management of vulnerabilities is more beneficial than just their assessment.
- Vulnerability assessment does not cure or treat the system of its vulnerabilities, but only recommends methods to cure them. Assessment does not make the system less prone or less threatened to cyber-attacks.
On the other hand, vulnerability management treats the system vulnerabilities and makes the system safe and secure (or at least less vulnerable)
- Vulnerability Management is a more extensive process (that includes vulnerability assessment). It has four main steps –
- Identification of System and Software Vulnerabilities
- Assessment and Evaluation of System and Software Vulnerabilities
- Treatment of System and Software Vulnerabilities
- Reporting of System and Software Vulnerabilities
2. The four main steps have been discussed above in the previous section (the general process of vulnerability management).
3. Vulnerability assessment is a part of the first and second steps (identification and evaluation of vulnerabilities).
Top tips for creating a great vulnerability management strategy
- Make a vulnerability knowledge base
A comprehensive management program must begin with the maintenance of current knowledge of known Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures. You have to ensure that the protection department is set up to provide daily CVE warnings. To implement this information, you would still require a full stock of assets, which will, of course, contain information resources over their product lifecycle. This asset index needs to be total and comprehensive. A missing endpoint could make the entire strategy fail.
- Map the process knowledge
The inventory of information collected during the creation of a knowledge base has to be further elevated into a mapping exercise to find out about vulnerabilities. A comprehensive document needs to be created to help develop a robust vulnerability management strategy.
- Trust on tools in the genre
The usage of the perfect tool helps in making the process smoother. It will help in effectively dealing and eradicating the future and present threats posed by malicious software.
Using a comprehensive vulnerability scanner is a step towards effective risk mitigation, but not the entire narrative. It is a computerized way of checking your system flaws, usually by using specialized search tools. The search should check for established weaknesses.
Besides scanning vulnerabilities, you can also use penetration testing. Penetration tests provide a more holistic view of potential defects.
- Work on the findings
The reporting and remediation phase follows the vulnerability assessment. The reporting assignment helps the project administrators to determine the current state of security of the system and the places in which it is still unsafe, and marks this out to the person in charge.
Reporting often offers managers something concrete, so that they can relate it to the potential path of the company. Reporting usually takes place before remediation so that all knowledge gathered during the vulnerability management process will migrate smoothly to this point.
Remediation complements this by offering responses to known risks and weaknesses. All compromised computers, servers, and networking appliances are monitored, and the required measures are taken to eliminate bugs and defend them against potential exploits. This is the most critical aspect of the vulnerability management approach, and if it is appropriately executed, the strategy is perceived to be a triumph.
- Make this strategy your habit
The vulnerability management strategies will have to evolve according to changing modern techniques used by cyberhackers in order to provide long term protection. Program configuration is one of the advantages of using the most efficient scanning tools and specialized services that understand how to run a successful vulnerability management program.
Important elements of vulnerability strategy
The employees working on the vulnerability management strategies should have proven efficacy in communication skills, with the ability to coordinate with different business people and management. They should have extensive knowledge about vulnerabilities and how they impact functioning.
Everyone can perform a security assessment. However, being proficient enough to set up and follow processes to make scan data workable is what adds value to an organization. The method must be reproducible and precise, in particular, if decisions are to be taken on the importance of the remediation of established problems.
Using updated and easy-to-use technology does not only help in scanning for vulnerabilities. The tools used can also be utilized for creating asset databases and ticketing systems.
An optimal vulnerability management system will make sure that your data stays safe in this world of competition where even major businesses are susceptible to cyber-attacks. This article explained how you can set up a vulnerability management process using penetration testing and vulnerability assessment tools. Many Organizations do not have the time to manage this on their own and it is recommended to partner with vendors who besides providing security assessment also provide managed service, reporting, 24×7, and also remediation guidelines and remediation as well around identified vulnerabilities. A Managed WAF service such as AppTrana bundles all these aspects in one service for getting a comprehensive vulnerability management program and risk mitigation on a continuous basis for your applications.
It further mentions the different dimensions required for the workflow to be streamlined and smooth. With the help of these suggestions, you will be able to protect your company and rise to the pinnacle of the business industry.