The Vulnerability Management Process

vulnerability management

Vulnerability management is a constant battle. Benevolent researchers and malicious hackers constantly discover new methods of compromising networks, and defenders must be ready to match them. Managing new threats can sometimes seem overwhelming, and developing a good plan for tackling security flaws can help streamline the process. It can also reduce the time when vulnerabilities are left on the network and make it easier to implement fixes. Attackers are constantly looking for bugs, and it can be a race to cover the problems before they are found.

Developing A Plan To Manage Vulnerabilities

When designing a network, it should be built with security as a consideration at every step. Network design should also be planned with the potential to expand based on future needs. Security solutions must also be flexible enough to expand when needed. This can take some foresight, as security solutions are different for every company.

Another major consideration is what kind of network is being run. It can be difficult to develop a scalable solution that covers the entire network between different vendors, on-premises, cloud, and hybrid networks. It will be very rare that an organization does not have at least some variety in their devices, so this must be accounted for. Every network is different, and as a result, every solution must also be different.

Organizations need to carefully document the components they have in their network and any software running on them. This should be done regularly to make sure that new additions are documented and not left unnoticed. A clear list of what is being run on the network is a great way to properly manage patch cycles and prevent insecure software from remaining on the network. Another benefit is that unapproved software will be spotted more quickly and can be analyzed for malicious behavior.

Aside from software, network behavior and services should be documented for the same reasons. Keeping track of everything in the network will give a clear understanding of everything internal and external and help to identify malicious activity. Doing this will also help map out areas of concern and develop a strategy to secure the entire network.

Once everything is documented, the next step is hardening the network. Patch management should be a high priority, as software vulnerabilities can often be extremely dangerous. Managing the security for other network components will differ for each network, as each service or device’s security process is different. A security specialist can analyze the network and develop a security plan and prioritize the most important areas.

Retroactive Vulnerability Management

Ideally, networks are designed with security in the first place. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Securing a network can be difficult and time-consuming, as security is an incredibly complex topic. Insecure aspects of a network can lie unfixed for a long time and expose an organization to massive risks. Even if the network has been in place for a long time, starting a security process from the ground up is still possible.

Typically, networks without an enforced vulnerability management process will be filled with security flaws. These should be identified and documented comprehensively. Especially in larger organizations, the number of vulnerabilities can be staggering. This is where the expertise of the security tester becomes valuable, as they will be able to develop a strategy for tackling the already present vulnerabilities in the network.

It will usually be best to tackle the most major problems before moving down the list to the lower priority areas. This can often be as simple as deploying patches across the network or may be complex and involve more fine-tuned solutions. A skilled tester can introduce good strategies for managing security problems across the network while maintaining critical business functions.

The management process can become more routine once present vulnerabilities have been identified and addressed. A plan should be developed to keep the network secure and ensure that software and components are kept up to date. Relevant security advisories should be reviewed regularly, and changes should be made accordingly.

Develop A Vulnerability Management Plan With Blue Goat Cyber

Implementing a vulnerability management plan can feel overwhelming. Our team at Blue Goat can help you with the process and work with you to develop a plan to keep your network secure against cyber threats. Whether you are just developing your network or it has been in place for years, we can help. Contact us to schedule a discovery session.

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