What Is Vulnerability Management?

 

Vulnerability management is the practice of identifying, classifying, remediating, and mitigating weaknesses in an IT environment. It also includes discovery, reporting, prioritization and response to vulnerabilities in your network.

With countless examples of threat actors able to exploit weaknesses, having a vulnerability management program is no longer optional for organizations. In fact, it is now required by multiple compliance, audit, and risk management frameworks. Continuous vulnerability management is on the Center for Internet Security's list of basic security controls, citing that organizations need to 'continuously acquire, assess, and take action on new information in order to identify vulnerabilities, and to remediate and minimize the window of opportunity for attackers.'

You can’t stop what you can’t see. Organizations must know what is on their network in order to monitor and protect it, which is why a vulnerability management program should be a foundation of your threat detection and security infrastructure. A good vulnerability management program can help you proactively understand the risks to ever asset in order to keep it safe.

 

vulnerability-management

What Are the Steps of Vulnerability Management?

Discovery

 

Build a list of every computing asset you have on your network and then build a database that vulnerability management solutions can use. This list will constantly be changing, so it will need to be regularly updated. Make sure all assets are found, categorized, and assessed.

What Are the Benefits of a Vulnerability Management Program?

Intelligently Manage Vulnerabilities

Not all vulnerabilities carry the same risks. With a vulnerability management program, your organization can more intelligently prioritize remediation, apply security patches, and allocate security resources more effectively.

Meet Regulatory Requirements

Vulnerability management programs not only help your organization maintain compliance across industry regulations, but they provide detailed reports that avoid significant fines for non-compliance, allowing you to provide ongoing due diligence during any audit.

Who Needs a Vulnerability Management Program?

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The simple answer is anyone who has assets connected to the Internet. Many industries require them in order to be compliant with regulations. Attacks resulting in data loss are often caused by breaches using known, unpatched vulnerabilities. If you have any asset on your network that is not patched regularly, a vulnerability management program is for you.