Vulnerability Management Service

Vulnerability Management Systems

Are you familiar with the policies your company enforces to remediate vulnerabilities? The world of network security threats moves at an astonishing pace, which means understanding the security services you use is critical. Fortunately, there are managed solutions that provide vulnerability intelligence service that protect against ongoing threats that impact modern businesses. In addition to finding a robust solution, you need to develop one that’s relevant to your business environment.

At GA Systems, we’ve partnered with Rapid7 to deliver the vulnerability management services you need to protect critical IT assets.

What is vulnerability management?

Vulnerability management is a continuous network security system that identifies flaws in existing security systems as they arise. In a world where threats to data and end-point user information are ever-changing, it’s important to make sure vulnerability management evolves at the same pace.

The aim of this service isn’t to address every threat that arises. Rather, a good system strikes the right balance between promoting rapid business interactions and protecting said interactions against threats. One example of this is monitoring the use of cloud based storage. Cloud storage proves incredibly valuable to businesses that have multiple branches, as it allows for digital assets to move rapidly between each one. However, it isn’t advisable to allow that data to pass through the internet without security, as the wrong people could access it.

A highly efficient system is an excellent source of intelligence for your entire security program. It monitors who accesses cloud services and where the digital assets move to, without slowing down its use. As a result, your digital assets are managed safely and efficiently.

At GA Systems, one of the ways we achieve this is through the use of Rapid7’s fast-moving analytics service. With Rapid7’s ability to incorporate analytical firepower and automation across areas such as vulnerability, orchestration and automation, applications and user behaviour, finding and tackling vulnerabilities becomes easier.

The vulnerability management process

The right software will go beyond mere scanning and will perform an ongoing analysis of data that relates to security threats. Additionally, it will look at trends to assess future potential risks. After collecting data, the system will report analytics that security experts can use to frame their responses and policies. Some systems will also do this with some automation, which expedites the processes. This initial assessment takes place through vulnerability scanning.

Using Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) ratings, organisations can take the information that comes from the initial scan and address it in accordance with their risk management policies. During this prioritisation phase, those evaluating vulnerabilities identify how big the security threat is, whether the threat is likely to cause critical damages, and what the outcomes of responding to it are. At this stage, further information may also be gathered. For example, it might examine whether it’s easy to exploit the weakness and how long it has been sitting in the network for. If the report shows that the weakness has been present for a while, that information can be used to identify why a flaw has gone undetected.

The third stage of the process involves responding to vulnerabilities after prioritisation. In some cases, policymakers may decide that there’s no need to respond to the weakness. This usually happens when it’s found that the weakness can’t easily be exploited, and if it can, it’s unlikely there will be any significant harms.

Another approach involves mitigating the risk. This usually happens when an organisation can’t find an appropriate patch, or when a business feels as though there’s a greater risk that responding will harm its daily operations.

If a company finds that vulnerabilities are high risk, such as massive loss of data, it will respond to the report appropriately. In such instances, there’s no questioning whether there’s a need to find a patch or switch to a different program. Taking any other approach could result in critical damages to the network and the organisation itself.

At the final stage, reporting takes place. An effective vulnerability management system doesn’t just respond to a flaw and leave vulnerabilities there. Instead, it will generate a comprehensive report by extrapolating data that examine why vulnerabilities happened, what happened exactly, and how IT specialists can prevent it from happening again.

Vulnerability management policy

If you’re introducing a new service to your team, it’s worth identifying what your policy is in advance. Some of the factors you may want to consider include:

What is the purpose and scope of your vulnerability management services?

For instance, the purpose of the service may be to protect certain types of data. If that’s the case, you need to determine what the scope of the process should be to achieve this managed security.

Do you have any minimum expectations?

All excellent systems have a baseline, which could include how often they’re maintained and reviewed, which resources will support it, and how often scanning will take place. You may also want to determine a baseline for how relevant individuals in your team will interact with the system.

Who is responsible for vulnerability management?

In addition to appointing a go-to person who’s responsible for vulnerability management in your team or organisation, consider identifying how employees will interact with it. Using cloud storage as an example again, you may want to set a policy for how a team should respond if they notice something inappropriately downloading to their devices without authorisation.

Set out your remediation targets

While considering how you’ll respond to different threats, you should figure out how to remediate vulnerabilities. This entails determining how quickly you’ll respond to different levels and types of threats.

Are there any exemptions?

Is anything exempt from the scanning process? If so, can you identify why? And, how will you respond if this exemption does result in an unexpected security weakness?

The above policy areas aren’t exhaustive. As such, you may want to discuss your policies in full with the team responsible for creating and managing your vulnerability management services.

Vulnerability management software

In the pursuit of finding the right vulnerability management service, you need to look out for key features. First, will the software you’re aiming for expose all security vulnerabilities? Leaving holes in the visibility could render your efforts useless.

Next, is the program you’re using relevant? Inappropriately responding to security flaws that won’t affect your organisation is a waste of time and money.

Finally, will the remediation efforts prove effective? You could make your own system redundant by identifying vulnerabilities and then failing to secure software that responds to them.

By seeking advice from a team of experts, you can create a vulnerability management system that’s right for your business. When you do have one in place, make sure it is managed and reviewed consistently so it remains relevant. If you would like to learn more about vulnerability management services, contact us.