Upgrade Your Vulnerability Management Program

Vulnerability management is more than patching whenever your receive an alert. It is prioritizing what exposures have the biggest impact to your business from data-driven decisions. Here are a few areas to drive those decisions and laser focus on the risks that matter most in your environment.

 

#1. INTEGRATE CONTEXT

By only focusing on technical risk alone, vulnerability teams often struggle to narrow down CVE identified vulnerabilities to their specific environment variables.

Understanding the business value and potential consequence associated with an asset or business service cannot be adequately measured on the same scale as vulnerabilities. Measured on its own and independently calculated, business context can more accurately express both the value and risk associated with an organization’s assets and services.

 

#2. AGGREGATE YOUR EXPOSURES

With so many different sources of vulnerability data, it’s natural that the process of aggregating them would be challenging. There are product-related issues as well as organizational issues to contend with.

Different vulnerability scanning products can create interoperability problems in aggregating data, and they are rarely designed to consume information from competitors’ products. Examples:

  • Different types of tools cover different groups of assets.
  • Scanners output data in different formats from one product to another, in ways that don’t condense neatly.
  • They often use different taxonomies to name the same vulnerabilities.
  • They use disparate scales to identify and rate vulnerabilities.

Many companies deal with this difficulty by having people manually integrate these data sources. Others choose to build proprietary solutions that are designed to meet the specific needs of the tools their organization uses. Each choice brings its own challenges.

Ultimately, the point of aggregating vulnerability scan data is figuring out how best to remediate the risk these tools uncover. Vulnerability aggregation is a key area to upgrade your vulnerability management program.

 

#3. AUGMENT YOUR DATA

How great would it be to identify and remediate coverage gaps in your security and enterprise tools? You already OWN the data, you should be leveraging it to enhance your existing systems. This help complete the picture of what is where, with

You are probably worried your data isn’t complete. Or it’s dirty. Or you’re mid-migration and don’t have enough to support this type of visibility.

NorthStar expects this.

In addition to making it easy to extract data from the dashboards via excel, csv, and even regular schedule reports, we make the data available to downstream solutions.  Whether it’s sending the highest priority issues into a ticketing system like ServiceNow or Remedy, or pushing out complete SuperLists – like a full asset inventory to your vulnerability scanner – NorthStar makes it easy to leverage your new, high quality data sets.

 

#4. PRIORITIZE YOUR EXPOSURES

Are you working through a large “critical” list that might not apply, or are you fixing them all?

A large number of vulnerability management programs are currently failing at prioritizing vulnerabilities. Why? Perpetual fear in the industry of missing something that will result in a catastrophic event or major breach. As a result, there is hesitation to start adjusting or suppressing technical risk to certain technical items down in terms of priority.

CVSS has had this known bias for a long time and most risk programs are built on this fear.  The long-term issue that shows up is that more and more vulnerabilities more keep getting pushed up to high and critical ratings, effectively leaving security teams with the problem that there are too many problems that need to be fixed right away. While the business mandates that you must fix all critical issues, if more and more issues keep getting deemed as top priority, it only detracts from what the real issues are and makes the problem worse.

Being able to effectively assess and look at problems and then appropriately prioritize or de-prioritize as needed is a critical need that many organizations are starting to see with their risk programs.

 

Want to learn more about how to upgrade your vulnerability management program to include RBVM? Pick and choose the level of commitment your organization can handle, and take incremental steps mature your overall program.

Download “NorthStar Navigator: A Better Way To Manage Vulnerabilities” now.