It is necessary to execute a robust vulnerability management (VM) plan with a plan to maintain the organization’s IT infrastructure from attainable and upcoming security threats. The agenda should not only identify security vulnerabilities, but it should also establish a process to effectively formulate and control risks within the preferred timeframe.
Some of the challenges commonly seen in a vulnerability management program are:
- Estimating the increasing number of IT assets according to business needs.
- Establishing security vulnerabilities within the preferred time frame.
- Uncertainty in risk mark and priority.
- Excessive attempts at tracking and follow-up with various teams were eliminated.
- Lack of security resources.
A typical vulnerability management program is shown below.
With the plan to organize the VM process successfully and efficiently, various factors have to be considered. Listed above are some of the essential elements that make up a high-quality VM system.
- IT Asset Management
- Nature of Security Assessment
- Vulnerability Reporting and Tracking Report
- Mitigation and Control Plan
- Vulnerability Intelligence
Let us identify each of these clauses as factors.
- IT Asset Management
Asset management is an essential element along with vulnerability management. It helps to describe its scope and purpose.
Organizations essentially have to retain information about all their resources and classify them based on the location, criticism, or collision of the company. Such relevant information related to an asset helps to set timelines for difficult, security risks and prioritize them for closure.
Asset inventories should also be complemented by a change management system. This will make it possible for the InfoSec team to initiate security testing at the appropriate opportunity; Thus creating a definite secure status of all IT assets in all eras.
- Nature of Assessment
The nature of the evaluation establishes the degree to which a business can uncover every security flaw in IT resources. This is the most important aspect of any VM plan. It is necessary to look at the following characteristics of the safety assessment:
Security Testing Methodology – A safe testing process should include both robotic and physical evaluation. A physical evaluation is necessary to validate the scan result, incorrect positive details and business intelligence is needed to analyze the field. Thus, the process’s ability to uncover all security vulnerabilities in IT assets may be contingent on the variety of methods adopted for their assessment.
Periodic Assessments – IT assets must be subject to cyclical testing to continue a steady state of security. Nevertheless, as resources are insufficient, in most cases the determination for each asset cannot be accepted. Thus, there should be selection criteria by organizations to select assets for cyclical testing. Such a criterion should take into account the importance of resources, the regularity of change that resources are important, and their network architecture. There should be a balance between the periodicity of the test and the rate of revision in the resources. Regularity of review should ensure that all resources are carefully tested before being released on the production environment.
- Types of Assessments – As a division of a vulnerability management program, it is very important to conduct a variety of security evaluations, as required by the nature of the asset being experienced. Several important security test types are given below:
- Network penetration test
- Network Architecture Review
- Application Security Test (DAST)
- Security Code Review (SAST)
- Configuration review
- Firewall analysis
- Process Review
These are the necessary types of assessments that should be a piece of the VM plan. However, the suitability of the test will depend on the IT resources and the character of their company and technical environment.
Coverage of Assessments – Safety testing should be comprehensive. Any security interval that is overlooked can result in an entry point for the hacker. Security assessments thus have to incorporate technology such as threat models and examine security controls for well-recognized as well as application / company-specific cases.
Tools for evaluation – The collection of safety devices also participates in an important part of the evaluation. They are various open-source tools and scanners that are used to automate security testing. Nevertheless, the scope and capacity of such devices are incomplete. Therefore, depending on the nature of the equipment being used, the business must determine the physical efforts required in the safety testing process.
Skill Set Requirements – Vulnerability management should not be narrow for testing for security vulnerabilities. Advisors involved in this program must be capable of many other security aspects such as ambiguous programming, compliance, and many more. This will enable them to understand the security flaws in the structure in a systematic way and help the professional squad to overcome them.
- Vulnerability Reporting & Tracking
After assessing IT assets, it is important to inform the squad systematically about security vulnerabilities. Information should be guaranteed that it contains all important information. A comprehensive report helps the company’s teams identify the vulnerability and fix it within the time frame.
With vulnerability information, its risk should be reviewed appropriately. Accurate risk heights associated with moderation in timing and financial planning will help the team plan the effort and talk about the required issue on a right-of-way basis. Various safety risk marking frameworks exist, but businesses should choose the one that best suits their environment.
The vulnerabilities present in the resources must be tracked unambiguously to ensure that they are fixed, and the necessary remedies are applied before the resources are made live. It is also important to follow the information associated with the vulnerability such as the closing date, the person responsible for fixing the problem, the main concern associated with the subject, the time, and the effort required to repair or fix it. It will also help the business recognize delays in fixing the problem and highlight an area that needs immediate attention and escalation. This will bring efficiency to the overall method.
- Mitigation & Control Planning
Vulnerability Fixing – The process of vulnerability management does not stop at identifying security vulnerabilities in IT resources. To achieve the preferred phase of protection, it is very important to correct the reported anxiety from time to time. The Vulnerability Management Plan should have provisions to make teams possible in this area. The list of security patches to be applied to the property should sometimes be updated to IT teams.
The process should also include follow-up with the Sahara management team to become familiar with the state of the effort, meet the challenges and provide them with on-demand support.
The support proposal by the InfoSec team is important because it will help asset management teams understand the gaps in the report’s vulnerabilities and can jointly plan a viable solution to mitigate them.
Vulnerability Exception – Not all security concerns can be fixed before the date of departure, due to lack of other plans, lack of money and time, lack of technical feasibility to implement the solution or in the majority of cases due to company requirements. In all such cases, a security exception is used to place a condition to fix the concern at the upcoming date, as per the wishes of the company’s team. In this case, as the risk remains unprocessed, the vulnerability management program should have adequate provisions to allow, track, and follow up for the conclusion of such a waiver concern. There should be norms that describe the nature of the security concern that can be accepted as an exception. In addition, the exception concern should have an approval process related to senior management. Once such exceptions are in use, they should have an expiration date path, and ensure that the company’s teams close the concern before the period in which it expired.
Security Standard – Along with operational vulnerability assessment tasks for IT assets, the business needs to focus on enhancing the security information of the company’s squad. This will help to overcome security vulnerabilities in resources, as their respective squad will actively implement the security arrangements required by them. Thus, the overall safety standard of the business will improve.
Maturity can be achieved in the vulnerability management work as a whole by the execution process to identify, mitigate and prioritize security risks in the early stage of development in a valuable and streamlined manner.
- Vulnerability Intelligence
Vulnerability Metrics & KPIs – With various teams mixed in formulating, evaluating, and mitigating risks in security resources, it is important to know the outlay in terms of time and hard work being spent on various VM tasks and process deficiencies. Measurement of various parameters will help to increase the plan, increase the depth of evaluation or support the company team. This will increase the benefit from the security outlay in the vulnerability management process.
Integration with Other Processes – Vulnerability management should not be a separate process, its result should be fed into other related processes such as risk management, patch management so that it can assist in effectively dealing with overall organizational risks.
Integration of the vulnerability management plan with additional procedures is extremely important and can be a rewarding task. The overall vulnerability status of IT resources can assist risk management teams in planning an effective security plan for the business and guide the management team to take practical steps towards security.
Vulnerability Research – With zero-day attacks and the latest threats released on an ongoing basis, it is necessary to spend time in research for such concerns and incorporate them into the business’s security knowledge base. Research should not be incomplete just for vulnerabilities, but may not include looking into the latest technologies, safety devices, and other ways to identify security vulnerabilities. This process will enhance the overall security part of the business and allow it to stay ahead of hackers the whole time. These are several essential aspects of VM planning. And successfully implementing such a plan is a continuous practice of completing, measuring and managing the process with safety in mind. We may have to rediscover these approaches to keep pace with the changing technology landscape. However, the underlying value of the security will remain the same.