What are the 4 Stages of Vulnerability Management?

Enterprise Security Magazine | Thursday, November 25, 2021

FREMONT, CA

There are various stages to consider while developing a vulnerability management program. By incorporating these stages into the management process, one can assist ensure that no vulnerabilities go unnoticed. They can also contribute to ensuring that detected vulnerabilities are appropriately addressed.

Identify Vulnerabilities

The first level of management entails determining which vulnerabilities may harm the systems. Businesses can begin identifying which vulnerabilities are present after knowing what flaws or types of vulnerabilities they are looking for. This stage guides the search by utilizing threat intelligence information and vulnerability databases. It is also common to utilize vulnerability scanners to detect vulnerable components and establish an inventory for patch management. As part of this step, one should produce a complete map of the system that explains where assets are, how those assets can possibly be accessed, and what protection methods are currently in place. This map can then be used to facilitate vulnerability investigation and remediation.

Evaluating Vulnerabilities

On identifying all potential vulnerabilities in the system, they can start assessing the severity of threats. This assessment assists in determining where to focus the security efforts and can help reduce the risks more quickly.

By addressing the most severe vulnerabilities first, one can lessen the likelihood of an attack while also securing the remainder of the system. When assessing vulnerabilities, numerous systems may be used to determine the likelihood of a vulnerability being exploited. The Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) is one such system. Many vulnerability databases and researchers utilize this system because it is standardized. CVSS determines the amount of vulnerability based on inherent qualities, temporal traits, and the vulnerability's specific impact on the systems.

Resolving Vulnerabilities

Firms can begin remediation efforts once they have a prioritized vulnerability management plan in place. One may also want to improve monitoring or restrict access to places identified as vulnerable during this time. This can help prevent successful exploits of vulnerabilities until patches or permanent protections can be applied. After vulnerabilities have been addressed, ensure that successful remediation has been achieved. Penetration testing is useful for this since it can help determine the efficacy of the remedy.

Reporting Vulnerabilities

It may seem pointless to report vulnerabilities after they have been fixed, but it might help improve the security and reaction times in the future. Keeping track of vulnerabilities and when they were corrected demonstrates security accountability and is required by many compliance standards. Keeping track of vulnerabilities can also help with future investigations. For example, if one discovers evidence of a continuous attack, they can use the patch history to limit possible access points and periods.

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