Vulnerability Management (VM)
Historically vulnerability management used to be a function of server operations and application support groups. Over time, with the emergence of new technology giving rise to online data-sharing concepts and cloud computing, the lines, and boundaries between on-prem and cloud-based assets started to blur. Additionally, with the proliferation of mobile devices accessing company networks and the concept of BYOD, it became increasingly harder for asset/app owners to get their hands around the roles and responsibilities on keeping all the devices and apps at the latest patch levels while mitigating the production demands on systems. In the present day, it has become not only unavoidable but mandatory to treat Vulnerability Management as a separate entity rather than a function of some existing operations group. Most enterprise businesses already have some variant of Vulnerability Management programs in place though few have reached maturity due to the relatively liquid nature of the IT infrastructure landscape and the ever-evolving nature of threats and vulnerabilities.
IT security regulations are increasingly the norm demonstrating a standard of care in protecting sensitive data. To serve this standard, several regulatory bodies have mandated the creation of vulnerability management programs. Examples include the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and Federal Energy Regulation Committee (FERC).
Vulnerability management programs address the inherent security weakness created by software vulnerabilities. Known software vulnerabilities create opportunities for criminals and other adversaries to exploit these weaknesses. These vulnerabilities may result in unauthorized access to a system or network or access to/theft of confidential data which would result in regulatory, financial, or reputational impacts on the business. Unfortunately, new software vulnerabilities are discovered daily. Vulnerability management (VM) is the means of detecting, removing, and controlling the inherent risk of vulnerabilities. A well-designed vulnerability management program utilizes specialized software and workflow to help eliminate detected risks.
A good vulnerability management program should have the following components:
- Identifying/tracking assets (build asset inventory)
- Categorizing assets into groups
- Scanning assets for known vulnerabilities
- Ranking risks
- Patch management
- Test patches
- Apply patches
- Follow-up remediation scan – confirms vulnerability addressed.
Regardless of what your vulnerability management program looks like, we can help.
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