“Vulnerability Management” can be a security term that carries a lot of unnecessary weight. The irony is that the right vulnerability management (VM) solutions can actually take the weight off – your security team, your organization, and your other assets.
Understanding how means debunking some of the more popular myths around this topic and discovering the truth behind one of security’s most underrated tools.
The Most Common VM Myths
We’ve all heard them. Now it’s time to put those vulnerability management myths to the test and see how they hold up.
Myth #1: It Takes an Expert to Set Up a VM program
This is actually not true. The right VM solution will be easy to stand up and easy to use. Made for the modern era, some of today’s VM platforms are simple to deploy – even on small networks – and intuitive, so no in-depth training is required. Additionally, a vendor can help streamline remediation by providing ongoing guidance in finding, mitigating, and remediating vulnerabilities so as your IT infrastructure (and subsequent vulnerabilities) evolves, you can respond at scale.
Myth #2: Vulnerability Assessments Produce a Laundry List of Results
Many people opt out of critical vulnerability management assessments because they don’t know where to start. And at one time, those fears were well-founded. Old assessments just churned out a list of vulnerabilities, leaving practitioners with no way of knowing which were the most pressing. Now, there are risk-based vulnerability management solutions available that use threat intelligence and information on your individual infrastructure to prioritize which vulnerabilities are the highest risk to your organization. Additionally, penetration testing services can validate the exploitability of some of these weaknesses and also validate remediation efforts.
Myth #3: Regular VM Will Disrupt Operations
On the contrary. This is like saying stopping for gas will disrupt the flow of driving. “A lot of companies are afraid that regular vulnerability scans will interrupt the flow of operations,” notes Fortra’s Mieng Lim. “If they’re done right, they won’t have to. And there’s no interruption greater than the fallout from a cyberattack.” Vulnerability scans should be viewed as ongoing maintenance and no different from the other IT tasks we consider routine. These days, scans can be scheduled during off-hours, so they use minimal bandwidth and further fade into the autonomous background.
Myth #4: If You Have Pen Testing, You Don’t Need VM
Actually, they work better together; vulnerability management provides visibility, while pen testing provides vital context. VM can tell you how many vulns you have and where they reside, while pen testing identifies which of those CVEs presents the greatest potential for compromise. VM can tell you where to patch, and pen testing verifies if that patch was applied properly and is effective. Together, the two combine to create the perfect one-two punch.
Don’t Believe Out-Dated Myths
Cybersecurity is a fast-moving industry. It’s important to stay current on the latest technological advancements, or you may miss key features and capabilities as they emerge. It’s fair that some lingering beliefs remain from the “security early days”; for example, the VM scans of yesteryear certainly did not produce the most informative (or prioritized) data, and so old prejudices persist. However, as technology has improved, these problems were put on the chopping block a long time ago.
If you think you know vulnerability management, think again. If it’s not easy, intuitive, or truly a time-saver, your current version (and perception) might be out of date.
Why You Should Want a Vulnerability Management Solution
There are several desirable advantages to having a well-established vulnerability management solution. First of all, how can you know where you’re going without a roadmap? Your whole security setup is ostensibly to protect your internal assets from outside attackers. Great. Do you know where they’re going to attack? If you had an accurate inventory of all your weak spots, you’d have a pretty good guess.
Additionally, a compliance audit is never the time to be on the receiving end of an unexpected vulnerability. The right vulnerability management solution can prepare you for specific compliance frameworks like PCI DSS and make the actual audit just a matter of course. Know what they’re testing for and test for it yourself with a proactive VM solution.
Time is money in a modern SOC, and unfortunately, both are often tight. A VM platform is designed to maximize your limited resources, not take more away. This small investment in time will pay big dividends when your team knows which vulnerabilities to patch first, which ones have the highest impact, and which ones to leave behind. In a scenario where teams are stretched as it is, it’s important to make every effort count.
Choose the Right VM Option For Your Organization
Every company has different cybersecurity needs and standard vulnerability management may not be enough. Get The Case for Enterprise-Grade, Risk-Based Vulnerability Management guide and see how essential risk-based VM can be to your company.