Vulnerability Management Service

Vulnerability Management Systems

Are you familiar with your company’s vulnerability management system? The world of network security threats moves at an astonishing pace, which means understanding the security you use is crucial. Fortunately, vulnerability management is constantly strengthening against the ongoing threats that impact on modern businesses. In addition to finding an approach that’s robust, you need to develop one that’s relevant. At GA Systems, we’ve partnered with Rapid7 to deliver the results you need.

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 vulnerability management isn’t to address every threat that arises. Instead, a good system will strike the right balance between promoting rapid business interactions and protecting said interactions against threats. One example of this is monitoring the use of cloud storage. Cloud storage proves incredibly valuable to businesses that have multiple branches, as it allows for data to move rapidly between each one. However, it isn’t advisable to allow that data to pass through without protection, as the wrong people could access it.

An excellent vulnerability management system will monitor who accesses the cloud and where the information moves to, without slowing down its use. As a result, a business’s information can remain both safe and speedy.

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

The vulnerability management process

The right software 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 produce 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 using a vulnerability scanner.

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 phase, those evaluating potential weaknesses identify how big the threat is, whether the threat is likely to cause significant harm, 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 it’s found 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 vulnerability management process involves responding. 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 the vulnerability is high risk, such as a massive loss of data, it will respond appropriately. In such instances, there’s no questioning whether there’s a need to find a patch or switch to a different system. Taking any other approach could result in further damage to the network and the business itself.

At the final stage, reporting takes place. An excellent vulnerability management system doesn’t just respond to a flaw and leave matters there. Instead, it will extrapolate data that examines why it happened, what happened exactly, and how IT specialists can prevent it from happening again.

Vulnerability management policy

If you’re introducing a new vulnerability management system to your business, 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 system?

For example, the purpose of the vulnerability management system may be to protect certain types of data. If that’s the case, you need to determine what the process’s scope should be to achieve this.

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 scans will take place. You may also want to determine a baseline for how relevant individuals 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 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 employees 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 highlight what your remediation targets are. This means determining how quickly you’ll respond to different levels and different types of threat.

Are there any exemptions?

Finally, 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 company responsible for creating and managing your system.

Vulnerability management software

In the pursuit of finding the right vulnerability management software, 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 software you’re using relevant? Inappropriately responding to security flaws that won’t affect your business is a waste of time and money.

Finally, will the remediation efforts prove effective? You could make your own system redundant by identifying flaws 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 you review it consistently to ensure it remains relevant. If you would like to learn more about vulnerability management, contact us.