What is Vulnerability Management and Why Does Your Enterprise Need It?

Vulnerability management is an ongoing process that is crucial to your enterprise as it helps eliminate and mitigate vulnerabilities that can open an enterprise’s networks up to attack. But what exactly is vulnerability management, what are it’s benefits and challenges, and what can help solve these challenges? Keep reading to find out. 

Cyberattacks are on the rise and enterprises are scrambling to find ways to protect themselves from falling victim to the next attack. In the year 2020 alone, cybersecurity experts reported 4,000 cyberattacks a day since the onset of Covid-19, a 400% increase from pre-Covid-19 days. 

Amidst this exponential rise in cyberattacks, vulnerability management (VM) has become a key buzzword in the realm of cybersecurity as a means to prevent these attacks. But what is vulnerability management and why is it essential that enterprises like yours have it?

What is Vulnerability Management

Vulnerability management is an ongoing process that is usually performed by IT security teams to eliminate vulnerabilities that pose severe threats to an organization. VM is crucial as its goal is to eliminate vulnerabilities that can open and enterprise’s networks up to attack. The process consists of a few critical steps that together, provide an enterprise with appropriate coverage from attack.

  • Identify: An enterprise needs to identify all of its IT assets across the environment. These IT assets can range from routers, printers, servers, scanners, and other various types of connected devices. Following their identification, they are then correlated to continuously updated vulnerability databases to identify security threats, vulnerabilities, backdoors, and misconfigurations. 
  • Prioritization: Once all IT assets are accounted for, IT security teams need to categorize the devices according to their importance to the enterprise and assign risk-based prioritization. 
  • Risk Assessment: A risk-baseline for found vulnerabilities needs to be created and remediated accordingly. While VM solutions will produce long lists of discovered vulnerabilities and assign them risk ratings, such as Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) scores, these vulnerabilities still need further assessment. For example, are the vulnerabilities real or false positives, are they exploitable, and are the devices affected by these vulnerabilities essential to business processes?
  • Plan of Action: Once vulnerabilities are assessed, security teams need to decide on the best plan of action for handling them. There are several ways a security team can address discovered vulnerabilities:
    • Remediation, which would mean completely patching it to prevent exploitation.
    • Mitigation, which would reduce the chances of the vulnerability being exploited. Mitigation is used when full remediation isn’t always a possibility. 
    • Acceptance, where no action is taken because either the vulnerability is of low threat, or the cost of fixing the vulnerability would outway any repercussions of the vulnerability being exploited.

The Benefits of Vulnerability Management

When VM processes are implemented correctly, enterprises benefit from enhanced security postures and save both time and money on preventing the next cyber attack. Additionally, the correct VM processes enable an enterprise’s security teams to assess the impact of found vulnerabilities and prioritize which ones require the most immediate remediation based on various risk factors. Enterprises usually implement different VM solutions to achieve these essential benefits.

Vulnerability Management Solution Challenges

In an ideal world, enterprises would implement VM solutions that could identify and remediate all found vulnerabilities. However, many VM solutions face the same challenges that can potentially open an enterprise up to attack. A few of those challenges are:

  • Time: VM solutions produce long lists of vulnerabilities that security teams need to manually go through to verify if the vulnerability really exists or is a false positive.
  • Lack of Prioritization: Numerous VM solutions don’t consider the importance a device or IT asset plays in its organization’s business processes when generating its vulnerabilities risk scores. Inaccurate risk scores lead to errors in the prioritization of which vulnerabilities to fix. This means that a device with a higher CVSS score but lower importance to an enterprise’s business processes is remediated first, while a device with a lower CVSS score and higher importance to the organization is remediated later on, which can more severely impact the enterprise.
  • Manual Work: Many enterprises face a similar challenge of a shortage of cybersecurity professionals, which results in vulnerabilities slipping between the cracks when security teams are required to undergo the long process of manually verifying each vulnerability.

A Solution to your Vulnerability Management Problems

To overcome the many challenges that enterprises face with the VM process, especially those related to device vulnerability management, ArcusTeam created the DeviceTotal platform. Unlike traditional VM solutions, DeviceTotal is a fully SaaS, automated solution that generates a unique risk score per vulnerability based on the device’s found vulnerabilities and its role in both its site (physical or logical) and organization. Using this unique risk score, accurate prioritizations are generated that enable security teams to focus on the most critical vulnerabilities first. 

Additionally, DeviceTotal automatically implements threat mitigation measures for found vulnerabilities. These measures allow for the elimination of attacks before they threaten the network. By implementing DeviceTotal, enterprises can rest assured that their most pressing vulnerabilities will be eliminated and their enterprise will be safeguarded from avoidable attacks.

Schedule your demo today and see how ArcusTeam can protect your network from vulnerabilities lurking within your connected devices.

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