Why is Vulnerability Management so crucial?

Vennela Boppa

Vulnerability management is the continuous and regular process of assessing identifying and managing vulnerabilities across your business’ IT infrastructure and software.

Young worried-looking business professional sitting on a desk staring at laptop screen in a darkened office late at night

It is a crucial step in protecting your business from threats and involves proactively monitoring for weaknesses where potential attacks and malicious agents could infiltrate your business’ IT estate.

The key aspects include identification, assessment, reporting, management and remediation, and threat intelligence and prioritisation.

  • Identification means scanning for potential weaknesses and then identifying vulnerabilities. This can be anything from one-off scans to continuous scans and monitoring with a team of experts fixing issues as they are identified.
  • Vulnerability assessment means considering the threat level and then prioritising vulnerabilities based on their severity and the impact that they would have on the business should an attack happen. This is in addition to considering the return on investment to remediate.
  • Reporting involves creating reports about identified vulnerabilities so that security teams can understand their situation and plan to resolve any issues. They can also share these reports with senior leaders to gain budget for any work which might be needed to solve the issue.
  • Management and remediation could be anything from updates, fixes, new patches or new solutions and adapted security measures.
  • Threat intelligence, often abbreviated as TI, is a crucial aspect of cybersecurity. It involves the collection and analysis of information about current and potential attacks that threaten the safety of an organisation’s digital assets and scanning for these scenarios within the environment. This is where having a managed IT service is particularly helpful because this team of specialists are monitoring and protecting multiple organisations and sectors and can spot trends and new attacks as they have a broader view

Vulnerability management is crucial for protecting systems on networks from attacks, breaches and exploits and is beneficial for the following reasons:

  • It can prevent malicious agents from exploiting vulnerabilities to infiltrate networks. This is often to steal sensitive data and hold businesses to ransom because they understand the threat to the brand value if the business is perceived as lax on security.
  • It can help businesses to remain compliant with certifications or regulatory frameworks such as Cyber Essentials and ISO 27001.

Common threat and vulnerabilities include:

  • Misconfigurations to cloud and application security, plus errors in manual configuration cause a wealth of cybersecurity threats.
  • Unpatched software which can lead to real problems in the event of a zero-day attack.
  • Insecure APIs which can provide an entry point if not properly locked down.
  • Weak authentication and authorisation caused by badly formed passwords, inadequate permissions or one-step authentication.
  • End of life software which may be too old to properly secure or even potentially forgotten about and lingering somewhere as a gateway to the network. (This is why asset inventories are so important.)
  • Out of date solutions which are no longer receiving security updates.

The Types of Vulnerability Scans Available

One way to proactively identify vulnerabilities is threat scanning. At Wanstor we offer four services.

  • A free External Threat and Vulnerability Scan which can offer a snapshot of the external-facing Ips, scanning for website vulnerabilities .
  • A Threat and Vulnerability Scan which is an internal IP and external IP scan, undertaken as a one-off or on a quarterly basis.
  • A Threat and Vulnerability Managed Trial which involves an internal and external IP scan performed for 30 days.
  • A Threat and Vulnerability Managed Service which involve comprehensive monthly recurring scans to mitigate any vulnerabilities as they occur. This benefits from a team of security specialist on-hand to deal with vulnerabilities as they are identified.

Each of the above scans involves a session with one of our security consultants and their recommendations, so do sign up for one of the options if cyber security is high on your list of challenges and priorities.

Vulnerability testing and management means protecting your assets, finances, time and resources involved to mitigate a successful attack. It also saves your reputation as many consumers and businesses are reticent to work with organisations which have fallen foul to a data breach. Whilst it isn’t the sole requirement to ensure security, it should be seen as one of the key foundations to build your security posture upon.

If you’d like to know more, you can contact our team here.