Categories: Application Security

Vulnerability Management Best Practices

Vulnerability management is at the core and center of every comprehensive, proactive and effective web application security solution/ program. Given the growing severity, sophistication, and magnitude of cybercrimes, vulnerability management is non-negotiable.

Ad hoc and ill-prepared vulnerability management programs can be detrimental to your application/ website. So, we have put together a set of best practices to help you get it right and stay ahead of the curve.

What is Vulnerability Management?

Vulnerability management (VM) is the continuous and consistent process of identifying, reporting, prioritizing, and remediating security risks (vulnerabilities, gaps, loopholes, misconfigurations, etc.) in a web application/ website. The main purpose of this process is to minimize the risk profile and fortify the security posture of the website/ web application.

Best Practices to Help You Stay Ahead of Attackers and Vulnerabilities

Plan Ahead, Establish KPIs

As with any other business project, you must start with planning and strategizing and follow it up with the establishment of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). KPIs guide your security team and enable you and to have realistic goals to work towards, apart from equipping you to assess the ROI that your vulnerability management software/ solution is yielding. Some good KPIs to include are:

  • Vulnerability coverage/ comprehensiveness and vulnerabilities per server per security zone
  • Scan frequency and intensity (when and how many different scans are conducted)
  • The proportion of licensed assets covered by VM
  • Patching duration
  • The pace at which your developers are fixing vulnerabilities and the age of hitherto unfixed high-risk vulnerabilities

Understand and prepare for your elastic attack surface

Today’s applications are increasingly borderless, interconnected, complex, and dynamic with multiple moving parts, third-party and open source components, several layers, and complex integrations. This means that scanning and assessing only the traditional network infrastructure is pointless. You must include your elastic attack surface in VM, for which you need to understand the different components of this attack surface. The components majorly include web applications, cloud instances, containers, mobile devices, IoT devices, etc. apart from the traditional network assets. Leveraging next-gen and intelligent solutions like Indusface vulnerability management will enable you to seamlessly gain full visibility into your elastic attack surface and its multiple layers.

Build your Vulnerability Management Database

In the discovery phase of VM, you typically map out and identify all digital assets, systems, affiliated and third-party systems and processes, IT infrastructure, devices, applications, servers, databases, content management systems, development frameworks, ports, etc. and gathering all possible information on the network infrastructure to get a holistic picture of your business’ IT assets and the criticality of each of these assets.

It is not sufficient to simply build the database once and leave it as-is. Your VM database and your entire security posture are only as good as the last time the data was updated. So, you must continually refresh the VM database.

Up-to-date Threat Intelligence

It aids in both prioritizations of vulnerabilities and pre-emptive patching to prevent threats based on the global threat landscape. Indusface Vulnerability Management is equipped with Global Threat Intelligence that empowers organizations to engage in intelligent and deep crawling and scanning while also immensely reducing risks.

Leverage automation

Agility brought in by automation is critical to enhancing the vulnerability management process. Intelligent and comprehensive Scanning Solutions offered by Indusface ensure that you get the best coverage to uncover and minimize risks. For instance, Indusface Vulnerability Scanning Tools leverages insights from pen-testing, WAF, and Global Threat Intelligence database to proactively and automatically include un crawled areas into Scanning and Testing.

Report, Report, Report!

Generating detailed reports after the scanning and discovery phases of the VM process is non-negotiable.

Prioritization is everything: Priority Ratings are useful

As the number of threats and vulnerabilities continues to increase, addressing every single vulnerability is next to impossible and so, prioritization in the VM process is indispensable. Threat Intelligence Database, scanning and discovery reports, etc. must be leveraged to create prioritization matrices and ratings. These matrices and ratings can be further analyzed to get onto the remediation stage. Remember that a generic/ general format cannot be used for prioritization. Priority ratings and matrices must be custom-built based on the context of the organization/ application/ network.

Integrate with other security solutions and processes

Remember that vulnerability management is just the starting point of application and network security. So, it needs to be part of a comprehensive solution.

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