Vulnerability Management

Cybersecurity is no longer just a business strategy, but a vital component of an organization. The current COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated the need for better cybersecurity in the business environment.

One of the key aspects of understanding your security is knowing what to look for in your organization. This is where vulnerability assessment comes into the picture. But vulnerability assessment is only going to help you find security loopholes and other shortcomings. What is important is the action you take in preventing these discovered vulnerabilities. Enter vulnerability management.
What is vulnerability management?

According to CSO Online, "vulnerability management is the process of staying on top of vulnerabilities so the fixes can be more frequent and effective". It is the process of identifying, evaluating, and reporting on existing security vulnerabilities. The idea is to patch up vulnerabilities to beef up current levels of security in place. Furthermore, a comprehensive vulnerability management mechanism will also greatly reduce the effective surface area of possible cyberattacks to an organization.

Vulnerability management starts with assessment. The process involves tools such as vulnerability scanners. Here, a company's existing systems and processes are scanned for loopholes. Therefore, its advisable this is done as thoroughly and extensively as possible. Once the assessment is done, the vulnerabilities are usually prioritized based on the level of risk. However, this gets complicated should the number of vulnerabilities climb up to staggering levels.

Hence, why it is important to conduct comprehensive reporting on vulnerabilities and ensure the vulnerability management process is a continuous one.

Why is vulnerability management important to a business?

It is vital to take preventive measures whenever vulnerabilities are discovered. The alternative would be attackers sneaking through loopholes to compromise your systems before you even get the chance to react. Thereby, the quicker and comprehensive you are with your vulnerability management methodologies, the better.

One report from 2019 suggests that one in three breaches were due to an unpatched vulnerability. What this means is that effective vulnerability management could have prevented these breaches.

Take, for example, the WannaCry vulnerability from 2017. The malware was a crypto-ransomwarewhich basically held user files, hostage, for a ransom payment. Additionally, the attackers targeted an existing vulnerability in old Windows systems. WannaCry affected systems in over 100 countries worldwide. The National Health Service in England reportedly lost as much as £92 million because of the attack.

Now imagine if this played out in a scenario where comprehensive vulnerability management was done. The vulnerability already existed for months prior to the attack. Thereby, athorough vulnerability assessment would detect the loophole. A followed-up vulnerability management process would patch this, hence protecting company assets.

The vulnerability management process

It should be noted that vulnerability management is not a one-time procedure. Rather, this is an ongoing process that needs to be undertaken on a regular basis. This ensures any new vulnerability is discovered and patched promptly. Vulnerability management involves a few key stages.

  1. Preparation
    • The scope of the vulnerability management process needs to be defined
    • Company assets and systems need to be organized
    • Determine the types of scans needed
    • Compile all assets need to be tested
    • Rank assets according to the importance and access level of each user
  2. Assessment
    • This is where the vulnerability scanning is done
    • Any issues/shortcomings during the vulnerability scanning process should be recorded
    • You should ensure all data is obtained via credible sources so as to avoid false positives
  3. Reporting
    • All compiled data is structured into reports
    • The types of reports required will usually be determined by the -predefined scope, the IT department and the management of the company
    • Once risks and vulnerabilities are identified, they should be prioritized
    • The reports will detail out the vulnerabilities along with appropriate action to take in order to patch them
  4. Remediation
    • The aim is to monitor vulnerabilities and manage them accordingly
    • The relevant departments will analyze and follow up through feasible remediation actions
    • Organization will issue patches where required
    • This is a continuous process as new vulnerabilities come to light
  5. Verification
    • Following the remediation of a vulnerability, rescans need to be done to verify the remediated actions
    • Caters to maintaining transparency and accountability with regards to the vulnerability management process
    • The end goal is to minimize the attack surface of the company
What C-YBER can do for you?

By now, you're probably wondering how to get started with vulnerability management. We at C-YBER have a team of experienced professionals at our disposal, ready to cater to your specific requirements. Our vulnerability management services* will ensure your organization will receive the best vulnerability management has to offer. Currently, C-YBER has three such packages. Prospective clients can opt-in for one of the following.

One of the key contributors to an effective vulnerability management procedure is to have informative reports that can help make better decisions in an organization's cybersecurity requirements. Thereby one of C-YBER's vulnerability management packages will provide clients with a "Monthly Vulnerability Assessment and Developer Report". The developer report will detail out all the necessary information with regards to vulnerabilities and recommended actions.

As we mentioned earlier, vulnerability management is an ongoing process. As such its important to under go vulnerability management regularly to ensure existing or new vulnerabilities are taken into consideration. The second C-YBER vulnerability management package includes a "Monthly Vulnerability Assessmentand Consultation". Here, a comprehensive company-wide vulnerability assessment will be carried out. This will be followed up with consultation services where our expert team will advise and suggest the best path forward for your company with regards to tackling the vulnerabilities.

Last but not least, is the "Monthly Vulnerability Assessment and Fixing" package. As implied, our team will conduct monthly vulnerability assessments in the organization and these will be patched up by C-YBER ensuring optimum cybersecurity standards are maintained.

So, there you have it. If your company is one the lookout for a viable vulnerability management solution, then you know what to do. You can drop us an email us on info@c-yber.com or give us a call on (+372) 602 3532.

*Prospective clients would need to sign up for a minimum of 1 year of vulnerability management services with C-YBER.