Why Vulnerability Management Is a Strategic Investment
Considering that the threat landscape is constantly changing, it is important to maintain a strong cybersecurity foundation. Organizations need security hygiene standards to increase security and readiness while preventing vulnerabilities from being exploited by adversaries. By introducing a vulnerability management program, organizations will not only increase security and resilience but also prevent incidents from losing their money and reputation. This Leadership Brief provides an overview of the vulnerability management process that organizations should consider implementing.
1 Executive Summary
Software vulnerabilities are weaknesses in an organization’s IT infrastructure that a threat actor can exploit. Managing software vulnerabilities involves highly specialized technical knowledge. As a result, strong leadership and a dedicated team are required to respond effectively when a major risk is reported.
The ability to detect vulnerabilities is essential for businesses and organizations. Bad actors often exploit vulnerabilities to steal credentials, gain unauthorized access, or infect workstations and servers. Software vulnerabilities, combined with emerging threats, put organizations at risk of cyberattacks, data breaches, and other type of incidents.
When a vulnerability is detected, business continuity and corporate resilience are fundamental. Therefore, an organization’s overall IT risk management should include a continuous process for detecting and managing vulnerabilities. Organizations must address vulnerability management and have well-prepared processes in place. As opposed to managing threats, however, vulnerability management aims to close security gaps before they are exploited.
Organizations use vulnerability management tools such as scanners to monitor applications and networks and identify security vulnerabilities to patch or remediate them. Essentially, scanners are used to detect vulnerabilities arising from misconfigurations or flawed programs within network-based assets.
Vulnerability scanners and management tools have been an important part of every information security specialist’s arsenal for years. Nevertheless, with specific scanners for compliance, containers, source code, operating systems, and applications, it is usually difficult to manage the large number of potential vulnerabilities per environment.
While the majority of vulnerabilities do not pose a serious threat to an organization’s IT infrastructure, some vulnerabilities are more likely to cause a major incident and should be prioritized. Consequently, an assessment of the impact of a newly discovered vulnerability needs to be conducted to determine the appropriate course of action.
For vulnerability management to work, organizations need to implement sustainable vulnerability management procedures, define intelligent processes, understand how to prioritize, and apply a risk-based approach. Vulnerability management is about taking a step back and implementing regular processes to identify, assess, report, manage, and remediate vulnerabilities across all devices, networks, and systems.
Removing vulnerabilities is an essential foundation of cybersecurity. Organizations are constantly discovering new vulnerabilities that could allow cybercriminals to disrupt business operations. By implementing a robust vulnerability management strategy, however, your organization will not only increase security and readiness, but also prevent attackers from exploiting vulnerabilities.
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