Mastering Vulnerability Management: Best Practices for Cybersecurity Success

Unpatched Vulnerabilities Cause Massive Breaches

Vulnerability management can be the difference between safeguarding your organization or setting up your business for a professional disaster. Think T-Mobile, and Twitter, and that’s just the beginning. The following headlines prove our point.

  • Twitter has confirmed that the data breach was caused when hackers used a zero-day API vulnerability to collect data by submitting an email address or phone number, verifying that it is associated with a Twitter account, and retrieving the associated account ID.”
  • “This is the second such incident T-Mobile has revealed since the start of the year, with the previous data breach disclosed on January 19, after attackers stole the personal information of 37 million customers by abusing a vulnerable Application Programming Interface (API) in November 2022.”
Mastering Vulnerability Management: Best Practices for Cybersecurity Success

The Good, the Bad, and the Vulnerable

When we talk about vulnerability management, we’re either referring to the good, the bad, or the vulnerable. Let’s discuss each of these to draw some conclusions about how to master vulnerability management and achieve cybersecurity success.

When vulnerability management is done poorly, we get “the bad”. We get attacks like the ones we mentioned earlier.

The “vulnerable” are companies that have not been breached despite poor vulnerability management. These companies were just fortunate enough to stay out of the limelight thus far.

What is “the good” in vulnerability management? A security team that completely manages its patching and vulnerability is on its way to cybersecurity success. It examines endpoints, servers, and other devices in addition to creating a prioritized list of the applications that are most at risk. Having the measures in place to remedy those security breaches will immediately strengthen security. Automation is often leveraged to find these vulnerabilities.

But if risk and vulnerability management is so simple and effective, what are we waiting for? Read on as we bring you some best practices that will help you master your cybersecurity goals.

Threat and Vulnerability Management Best Practices 

It’s All in the Solution, My Friend

Success in implementing a vulnerability management process comes down to selecting a program that holistically covers all your vulnerable bases. We’re talking about a tool or solution that returns your investment in it by giving you back time and resources to focus on projects and proactive security initiatives. Read on as we bring you some more vulnerability management program best practices.

KPIs Are Worth As Much as Their Relevance

There are a whole bunch of KPI’s out there for you to consider using in your vulnerability management program.  Remember to measure areas that provide insight into the program’s effectiveness and help identify areas that require attention. Some relevant KPIs for vulnerability management include:

  • Scanning Frequency: Measure how frequently vulnerability scans are conducted to ensure timely identification of potential risks.
  • Scanning Duration: Track the time taken to complete vulnerability scans, aiming for efficient and timely assessments.
  • Coverage of the Scan: Assess the extent to which the scanning process covers the entire IT infrastructure, including both internal and external systems.
  • Average Remediation Time: Measure the average time it takes to remediate identified vulnerabilities, aiming for faster and more efficient resolution.
  • Age of Vulnerabilities: Monitor the age of identified vulnerabilities to ensure they are addressed promptly, minimizing the window of opportunity for potential attackers.

Know Your Build

With the proliferation of remote work and the interconnectivity of applications and devices, organizations must have a comprehensive understanding of their entire IT infrastructure and attack surface.

This understanding encompasses the diverse range of devices, networks, and endpoints that comprise the hybrid network. It also involves considering the expanded attack surface resulting from personal devices and tools connecting to the company’s IT infrastructure remotely.

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See for yourself how the Centraleyes platform exceeds anything an old GRC
system does and eliminates the need for manual processes and spreadsheets
to give you immediate value and run a full risk assessment in less than 30 days

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Dashboards are Nice, But Automation is Everything

The tool you want should not only boast beautiful, user-friendly dashboards. You’ll need features like automated discovery of vulnerabilities and mitigation across your entire environment. When automation is enabled, vulnerabilities are automatically prioritized from the riskiest to the least 

risky. This takes out the leg work of reviewing massive data sets and trying to understand which vulnerabilities matter and which ones can be ignored.

Since You Can’t Tackle All Of ‘Em: Prioritize!

So you just received a massive list of vulnerabilities from your scanner and you’re feeling depressed. 

In a utopic world, we would probably tackle all vulnerabilities. But realistically speaking, security teams need to ensure that they have the capability of dealing with the most pressing vulnerabilities. 

When a vulnerability is detected, it will be assigned a CVSS score. Although the CVSS score can be helpful when it comes to assigning and prioritizing remediation tasks, it should be used as a guideline rather than taken as gospel. There are multiple real-world factors you must consider when prioritizing vulnerabilities. 

For each vulnerability, you must determine:

  • Whether or not the vulnerability is a false positive
  • How exploitable the vulnerability is in the context of your unique architecture
  • Whether or not you have pre-existing security controls in place to mitigate the vulnerability
  • The extent to which your business would be impacted if the vulnerability were to be exploited

Next Up: Remediation

Provided you’ve decided to fix a vulnerability, your next step is to determine how. Your vulnerability management software will usually provide you with recommendations, though it’s up to you whether or not you follow them. From there, it’s simply a matter of assigning the remediation task to an individual or team. 

Remediation may be simple or complex, depending on the scope of a vulnerability. In some cases, you’ll only need to apply an update or patch. Other scenarios may require you to replace large segments of your infrastructure or phase out a widely-used software platform. 

Mitigation Should Not be Mitigated

You have prioritized and remediated the most pressing issues. That’s great.

Sometimes your team may be able to take care of remediation once vulnerabilities are discovered but often there are simply not enough resources to remediate them. Alternatively, it may not be a good time to impose downtime on a system so that it can be patched and reloaded. That is where risk mitigation comes into the picture. In vulnerability management, mitigation is usually not the final step. It’s a form of buying time for the enterprise to wait for updated software to be released or to find an optimal time to schedule a system downtime to remediate the problem fully.

The Power of Vulnerability Management As Part of a Cyber Risk Management Strategy

To maximize the benefits of a vulnerability management program, it is crucial to integrate it seamlessly into an overall risk management strategy. With the complexity of modern ecosystems, manually addressing vulnerability management and risk management is no longer practical or efficient. The key to safeguarding your business’s assets lies in automation. And that’s where Centraleyes comes into play.

As the world’s most advanced cloud-based integrated risk management solution, Centraleyes revolutionizes the way you manage risk and remediation. Our intuitive dashboard acts as a centralized hub, collecting real-time threat intelligence from every corner of your ecosystem, including your vendors. By leveraging this comprehensive view, you gain unparalleled visibility into potential vulnerabilities and gaps.

But Centraleyes takes it a step further. Our powerful platform analyzes the collected data and automatically generates actionable remediation tasks, complete with intelligent prioritization and efficient management. Each identified risk is seamlessly integrated into our dynamic risk register, which you can easily customize and update manually. 

The Best Part?

This entire process happens in real-time, ensuring you stay ahead of emerging threats.

Choose Centraleyes and unlock “the good” of vulnerability management automation, paving the way for enhanced cybersecurity, efficient risk mitigation, and resilient business operations. It’s time to take implement best practices for vulnerability management into your organization’s security strategy and embrace a proactive approach to safeguarding your valuable assets.

Start Getting Value With
Centraleyes for Free

See for yourself how the Centraleyes platform exceeds anything an old GRC
system does and eliminates the need for manual processes and spreadsheets
to give you immediate value and run a full risk assessment in less than 30 days

Looking to learn more about Vulnerability Management?
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