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                Digital Transformation

                The Importance of a Strong Security Vulnerability Management System (VMS)

                A holistic approach to securing your environment must include security vulnerability management By: Bud Ellis - Product Marketing

                Summary:

                • Threat actors continue to target vulnerabilities
                • The importance of vulnerability management goes beyond compliance
                • A risk-based solution featuring automation and contextual remediation guidance delivers the most value

                Ask anybody who works in cybersecurity, and they will tell you that there is no shortage of items to occupy their attention. The latest threats, the volume of alerts, the scarcity of security resources, the buzz around XDR and MDR… you get the idea.

                But there is one element of securing your environment that should not be overlooked: the importance of a strong security vulnerability management system (VMS).

                A Well-Traveled Path to Exploitation

                Threat actors continue evolving in the ways they attack your data and devices, but one tried and true method remains popular: exploiting vulnerabilities. Identifying these weak spots in your environment, evaluating the level of risk present, and how to protect against exploit remains a critical aspect of any organization’s security posture.

                Vulnerability management is a fundamental part of good security hygiene. The latest shiny technology or popular solution means little if threat actors already have discovered a vulnerability in your ecosystem – a discovery serving as a point-of-entry that can go undetected for a significant period of time.

                More Important Than Checking the Box

                Exploiting vulnerabilities remains a popular path for threat actors. The U.S. CERT Vulnerability Database recorded 17,447 vulnerabilities in 2020, a record number of vulnerabilities for the fourth consecutive year.1 This underscores the importance of having a strong vulnerability management strategy. Combined with other security solutions such as XDR, managed detection and response, or security monitoring, vulnerability management is important and should be considered a pillar of your security foundation.

                Yes, compliance with security standards such as PCI DSS or ISO 27001 is an important reason to employ a vulnerability management strategy. But vulnerability management shouldn’t be valued just for the role it plays in checking the box to satisfy a compliance mandate. It’s an essential part of any holistic security approach.

                Take a Risk-Based Approach

                An effective vulnerability management system should not follow a set-it-and-forget-it approach. The strongest software-driven vulnerability management solutions encompass several key cybersecurity elements, including rapid detection, effective remediation planning, and risk mitigation.

                A risk-based approach to vulnerability management not only bolsters your overall security strength, but also leverages the best of automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and context specific to your organization. All vulnerabilities are not created equal, especially when viewed through the lens of where they appear in your environment.

                Considering that patching every single vulnerability is unrealistic, time-consuming and can disrupt otherwise-functioning systems, using context based on risk is an effective path toward determining which vulnerabilities require your attention first. Focusing on the vulnerabilities that matter to you, and using automation of manual tasks (time your already busy staff could be using to do other things) to determine which vulnerabilities present the most risk to your environment, goes a long way toward getting the most value out of your vulnerability management solution.

                To learn more about how an effective vulnerability management system can transform your security program, view our on-demand webinar, How to Make Vulnerability Management Work for You. 

                1 Source: NIST National Vulnerability Database

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