How to Design a Vulnerability Management Program?

Widespread cyber risks over the web are still prevalent despite applying robust mitigation strategies within an organization, and thus, it becomes quintessential to evaluate and prioritize security dangers before they turn into full-fledged security incidents.

When the talk is about cyber risks prioritization and mitigation vulnerability management, vulnerability management programs, risk management techniques are often paid laser focus to prevent exploitation of IT vulnerabilities. 

Vulnerability management is an assessment done over software systems to identify, evaluate, and report security threats within the entire organization in order to take adequate and timely measures for remediation.

The process is entirely crucial to execute alongside running other effective techniques to safeguard a business’s digital assets to prioritize threats and minimize their attack surface.

Being a superset of patch management, vulnerability management helps a business to make informed decisions by proactively managing and addressing the potential threats and dangers identified in hardware and software devices throughout an IT infrastructure.

“The early months of 2020 witnessed 1.66 billion records exposed in 11476 breaches over the web.”

Vulnerabilities and exploits are expanding at a quadrupling speed and if timely corrective tactics and programs are not put into place, these threats might prove contagious in the future and would tend to destroy a business’s security, ruining its assets.

A vulnerability management program is seen as a full-proof security practice to be applied within each enterprise and at every operational hierarchy. It continually keeps an eye on the risks (monitors, analyzes, and assesses) highlighting the security weaknesses and exposures that need to be immediately veiled to prevent losses.

A vulnerability management program is aligned with high-level authentication strategies and is integrated with core elements of a business. This plan of action goes beyond just addressing and assessing vulnerabilities, ensures cross-functional support, and acts as the cornerstone of the corporate security, risk, and compliance programs.

Steps to Build a Vulnerability Management Program

Enterprises looking to strengthen their security posture must follow the below steps to forge a powerful vulnerability management program

1. Assemble your Team

To give a head start to your risk and vulnerability management program it’s crucial to build up a team with all the key players needed to do justice with their responsibilities of securing the business network.

Security directors, managers, analysts, administrators must be tasked with individual roles of handling the security posture of your organization, spanning multiple departments like IT, AppSec, DevOps, etc.

2. Deploy the Right Tools

A Vulnerability management tool must fulfill its actual purpose to unearth threats and risks with the IT environment. There are many tools available in the market; however, a software application that accompanies your professionals in the journey of security management (from identifying risks to monitoring to analyzing and mitigating) must be preferred to ensure safe and secured business infrastructure.

3. Know your Assets and Risk Tolerance

Understanding the digital assets of your business and knowing their performance in mitigating the potential vulnerabilities is critical for effective prioritization. Automation-powered software vulnerability management tools can help you build assets inventory by scanning organizational resources and networks to determine assets like servers, virtual machines, network devices, workstations, software applications, etc. 

Furthermore, an enterprise must be clear with its risk tolerance index that can be acknowledged by industry standards or specific guidelines set by the companies. With the evolving cybersecurity vulnerabilities, your company must be aware of the risks potential and understand how many risks you can accept and the trade-offs that need immediate remediation or can wait.

4. Run Vulnerability Assessment

Vulnerability assessments help to understand threats and security weaknesses within the organization and assess associated risks to put protection and the right actions in place. 

Vulnerability detection helps to identify the risk posture of each asset and recommend methods for vulnerability scanning and remediation that are on a high priority.

5. Communicate Remediate, and Report

Identification of the risks must be followed by smooth communication to take quick and efficient steps towards patching the gaps. Your vulnerability management solution must be designed to streamline the internal communications of risks while keeping everyone up to speed and making reports that are simple, intuitive, and progressive. 

The motive is to be clear on fixing up the glitches, decrease the time to remediate, show progressive results month by month, quarter by quarter, year by year and become more educated on the dangers that attackers pose.

Take a Data-Driven Stance against Threats via a Productive Vulnerability Management Program!

Chasing down vulnerabilities may not reduce their overall risks and may end up pouring inefficiencies into the security management workflows. 

A vulnerability management program is the need of the hour for every organization to implement to streamline IT operations to save time, money, efforts, improve team collaborations and communications, and make a meaningful impact on a business’s IT infrastructure and its security posture.

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