We know too well at Euclid Security that cybersecurity threats come in various forms, and businesses should always be vigilant for potential threats and vulnerabilities. Having an effective vulnerability management program will ensure that your organization is aware of IT Infrastructure risks introduced by the presence of vulnerabilities and known or unknown threats, which gives your business the visibility it needs to control and reduce risk to an acceptable level. In this article we are going to help you with efficient vulnerability management that reduces not just your risk, but also your costs.
When it comes to cybersecurity threats, a vulnerability refers to any weakness that could be exploited by some form of cyber-attack. The combination of threats and vulnerabilities will create risk in an organization, and the best way to control risk is to be prepared and proactively find and fix vulnerabilities. It is vital to regularly perform vulnerability scans against your environment to be able to address issues in a timely manner so your business has minimal exposure to cybersecurity threats.
At a high-level, the vulnerability management process is made up of a few main steps that can be summarised with planning, scanning, detection, analysis, remediation, and performing remediation scans. It is very important to know how to detect all vulnerabilities and create a risk-based remediation program.
Performing a vulnerability assessment
1. Plan: It is vital to have a thorough plan for your vulnerability scans. The basics are to decide the scope of your scan and the method of your scan. If this is your first vulnerability assessment then it is recommended that you start off smaller, to prevent being overwhelmed by the number of vulnerabilities detected.
2. Scan: Perform the scans using the chosen methods. Internal vulnerabilities are as critical to remediate as any vulnerabilities present in externally facing assets, so your vulnerability management program should include them. Scans can be authenticated and unauthenticated, but the best scans are those that are authenticated for better visibility and effective vulnerability remediation.
3. Analyse & Define Actions: Ensure data from the scan is thoroughly analyzed to identify and effectively prioritize the vulnerabilities, to create an action plan to mitigate them. The way in which you will mitigate your vulnerabilities is critical to your organization’s security posture.
4. Implement Changes: Using the plan created in Step 3, the remediating actions will be completed in an attempt to eliminate vulnerabilities and therefore cybersecurity risks. If any remediation steps are unsuccessful or problems occur, the vulnerability management program must account for unsuccessful remediations or business requirements that prevent them.
5. Rescan: A rescan should then be performed to ensure the changes have been made successfully, and all targeted vulnerabilities have been removed or reduced as planned. This is an ongoing process and it will likely take multiple attempts before vulnerabilities are removed or reduced to an appropriate level.
Having a vulnerability management process alone is the first step, but implementing it effectively is key in making it successful. You will need highly trained staff to ensure that your vulnerabilities are detected, analysed, and remediated in a way that helps your organization’s overall goal in reducing the cybersecurity risk. This is an on-going process and will likely cost you time and money. Unfortunately, in many cases this makes vulnerability assessments a burden rather than a method to reduce risk.
In-House vs. Professional: Many businesses, particularly those without or with limited in-house IT support, choose to outsource their vulnerability management to ensure it is performed to a high standard by qualified professionals, and risk is truly reduced. It is usually considered that an internally-run vulnerability management program guarantees the effectiveness of the program and ensures cost savings, but day after day there has been proof that firms need external assistance in developing or improving the program. In many cases using a managed service provider is the most efficient and cost-effective way to manage vulnerabilities.
Our advice is that if you aren’t completely confident in identifying cybersecurity threats yourself, then don’t; Save yourself the time, worry, and potential mistakes by employing the help of a professional. Euclid Security can help your organization and your staff by implementing an effective vulnerability management program, and performing vulnerability scans as needed. We also offer a Managed Service Program, in which our professional team will manage the whole program for you.
We hope you have a better understanding of vulnerability assessments after reading this article, and you’ve maybe gained knowledge about the importance of implementing an effective vulnerability management program. We perform a variety of security assessment services at highly competitive prices, and we even offer retainer services. If you would like to hear more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch for a no obligation discussion.