What Is Risk-Based Vulnerability Management – Need and Best Practices

Today, cyber risks are increasing at a rapid pace. Consequently, there’s a need to look for the most effective ways to manage vulnerabilities and threats. One such approach is risk-based vulnerability management.

It is a process that minimizes vulnerabilities by focusing on remediation according to the risks that the vulnerabilities pose to your business. This process not only involves finding vulnerabilities but also enables you to comprehend their risks within the context of threat. Keep reading to learn about the key building blocks of this approach and how to build a robust risk-based vulnerability management program.

Why Is Risk-Based Vulnerability Management Needed?

Did you know that in 2020 alone, according to the U.S-CERT reports, 17,447 vulnerabilities were discovered? Misconfigurations of applications, unsecured APIs, unpatched software, stolen user credentials, and unauthorized access are some of the many common vulnerabilities an organization faces.

Risk Based Vulnerability Management

However, not all these vulnerabilities are equally risky. Threat actors exploit a narrow subset of them. So, it is best to emphasize not the number of vulnerabilities you face but the kind of vulnerabilities posing an imminent hazard. It, in turn, demands a risk-based approach to managing vulnerability.

Risk-based vulnerability management is very much unlike conventional vulnerability management as it enables you to prioritize extremely serious vulnerabilities.

Primary Considerations for Effective Risk-based Vulnerability Management

Efficient risk-based vulnerability management relies on the accurate identification of the vulnerability risk and prompt responses. Below are the major considerations for the success of this approach.

  • Continuous monitoring of endpoints to look out for emerging and known vulnerabilities.
  • Maximize your coverage to include more than just vulnerabilities.
  • Include all different types of security loopholes.
  • Determine the actual risk of vulnerabilities. It’s best to use numerous risk factors in combination with CVSS scores. This will let you comprehend their impact so you can prepare the response.
  • Proactive remediation of vulnerabilities should be prioritized.
  • Every team should have visibility from a centralized location from the detection of vulnerability to closure.

The Process to Develop a Successful Program for Risk-Based Vulnerability Management

You will not find any shortage of vulnerability management solutions in the market today. There are many of them promising various benefits. To create a robust risk-based vulnerability management program, take into account these points.

  1. Visibility in Real-Time
  2. Real-time visibility of a tool to manage vulnerability is very crucial. Here are some critical things to ask about your solution.

    • Can the tool discern security loopholes promptly?
    • Does the tool impart end-to-end visibility for the endpoints and assets in your environment?
    • Is there a scanning technology equipped with the solution? This technology allows you to access data in actual time.
    • Does this solution protect the endpoints when they are on the network and off it?
  3. Endpoint Performance
  4. While analyzing the endpoint performance of a solution, you need to ask yourself one question. Is the risk-based vulnerability management program easily deployable without impacting the endpoint performance?

  5. Automation
  6. In order to simplify the detection of cyber risks, the usage of emerging AI and ML automation is crucial. Find out whether the risk-based vulnerability management tool uses such intelligent automation. It will free up more resources for your IT team.

  7. Integration
  8. The capacity of the solution to integrate into your organization is essential. Some questions about integration that you should ask include the following:

    • Can the risk-based vulnerability management solution integrate into the current cybersecurity architecture of your firm?
    • Are there built-in integrations in the tool? These quicken vulnerability remediation endeavors.
    • Find out the support options for the tool provided by your vendor. This will ensure that your investment gets incorporated with various tools and technology.
Recommendations for Risk-Based Vulnerability Management

Here are some best practices for successful risk-based vulnerability management.

  • Vulnerability management should align with the operational risk appetite of the organization: It’s important to match the vulnerability management efforts to the needs of the organization by evaluating particular use cases.
  • Categorize vulnerabilities according to the risk they pose: Businesses should implement vulnerability prioritization according to the extent of the vulnerability, existing exploitation activity, and how exposure of the system that is vulnerable.
  • Automate vulnerability analysis: Another best practice is to employ technologies that automate vulnerability analysis.
  • Employ a comprehensive intelligence solution for vulnerabilities: It will provide your security departments with the requisite details to study potential issues.
  • Make a CMDB: Another best practice for risk-based vulnerability management is to make a CMDB or configuration management database. It includes every configuration item in the network and is helpful for categorizing deployed assets.
  • Allocate data-driven asset risk scores: These help you to communicate the assets that pose the most risks if attacked. Assigning values to them assists you in determining the ones that need your attention.

Concluding Words

A successful risk-based vulnerability management program defends the entire ecosystem and makes it resilient in an evolving threat landscape. Xcitium offers cutting-edge cybersecurity solutions that detect and neutralize the most sophisticated cyberattacks. So businesses can gain better control over their private data. Their cybersecurity solutions protect numerous organizations from cyberattacks daily. They offer insight into the attack and how it can be stopped. By containing the attack at the endpoint, the solution halts its spread effectively.

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