Vulnerability Remediation Guidelines

Oct 14, 2021

Much to our detriment, new software vulnerabilities are discovered on a daily basis. For security professionals and companies alike, this becomes a significant concern. Companies must be able to follow a procedure to guarantee that they do not fall prey to these flaws. 

Vulnerability and patch management strategies are the best ways to do this. This post discusses key areas where security professionals can concentrate their efforts in order to establish these programs.

The Vulnerability Management Process: Summarized

Vulnerability management, according to the SANS Institute, is the process of identifying, eliminating, and mitigating the inherent risk of vulnerabilities. The goal of a vulnerability assessment program is to develop controls and processes that will help the company discover weaknesses in its technological infrastructure and information system components. 

This is critical because attackers may attempt to exploit these flaws in order to obtain unauthorized access to the organization's systems, disrupt company operations, and steal or leak important data.

When vulnerabilities are discovered, the best method to protect against them is to apply patches that correct the flaws, if any exist. The goal of a company's patch management policy and program is to define the controls and processes that will protect the company from the vulnerabilities and threats discovered by the vulnerability assessment program. These vulnerabilities and dangers might jeopardize the information system's security and the data entrusted to it.

What is Security Remediation?

The next essential stage in vulnerability management is security repair. It focuses on lowering security risk by closing security gaps as soon as feasible so that bad actors can't infiltrate systems. “What is a vulnerability repair process?” you might wonder.

Vulnerability tasks involve assessing the vulnerabilities discovered by your scans, assigning risk levels based on their criticality and potential impact on your environment, preparing responses, and monitoring actions. Vulnerability remediation best practices include:

  • Maintaining a single source of truth for all vulnerability management teams, including security professionals, IT experts and DevOps.
  • Attempting to automate as much as possible in order to expedite and enhance remediation.
  • Incorporating service ticket monitoring in the mix.
  • Creating remediation playbooks that are specific to your organization's environment.
  • Using your scanning tool to give the engineers who are doing the remediation access to information about the vulnerabilities.

Vulnerability Remediation Guidelines

The following are 5 ideas for implementing controls that will help companies build a regularly configured environment that is safe against known vulnerabilities.

1) Establish a Threat Monitoring Strategy 

It's critical for your security staff to remain up to date on the threats that could exploit your company’s information. They accomplish this through evaluating vendor notifications of threats, patches, and system upgrades, as well as receiving information from US CERT, which is always up to date with the most recent information. Any risks discovered by the team must be handled by the vulnerability remediation management.

2) Assess Vulnerabilities on a Regular Basis

This isn't something you do once and never think about again. Because the evaluation is simply a snapshot of your position at a certain point in time, it might alter when new vulnerabilities are uncovered. As a result, you must design a structured program with clearly defined roles and responsibilities that focuses on the development and maintenance of effective vulnerability protocols and procedures.

3) Create and Maintain a Set of Baseline Setups

Using documented settings and appropriate regulations, standardize the setup of similar technological assets throughout your organization. Your security team must ensure that all baseline configurations in your environment are documented, that these papers are maintained and up to date, that they are incorporated into your system development process, and that they are enforced across your organization.

4) Remediate Vulnerabilities

This is the process of assessing the vulnerabilities you've discovered, assigning risk to them, preparing responses to them, and then logging any activities done to mitigate the vulnerabilities you've discovered. Finding flaws and doing nothing about them is pointless and leaves your company vulnerable to a variety of threats.

5) Patch Vulnerabilities

The following is the best way to manage vulnerabilities and patches:

First and foremost, you must have processes in place to identify and validate vulnerabilities utilizing suitable tools and services that will assist you in identifying a potential or confirmed danger to your company.

Next, you analyze your findings in order to thoroughly understand what the risks are. Without genuine knowledge, how can you put the proper measures in place to deal with them? After you've completed your analysis, you'll need to remedy the issues.

Once your "repair" is in place, you must rescan or retest to confirm that it took effect and that it was successful. By following these recommendations, you'll be well on your way to protecting your company against vulnerabilities and dangers that may cause significant harm if not addressed.

How Do You Manage Vulnerabilities? 

The identification of your systems' vulnerabilities is the first step in the vulnerability management process. You may accomplish this using a variety of scanning programs. It's critical to conduct these scans on a frequent basis since new vulnerabilities emerge all the time. It's not simple to stay on top of weaknesses. 

According to an ESG poll, keeping up with the number of vulnerabilities is one of the greatest vulnerability management issues for 40% of cybersecurity and IT professionals. Perhaps this is why IT experts claim that submitting a report with thousands of vulnerabilities to the operations team to repair is one of the most prevalent ways to fail at vulnerability management. 

Successful vulnerability management methods, they say, involve using sophisticated prioritizing approaches and automated workflow technologies to streamline the handover to the repair team.

Choose Vicarius if you need a cybersecurity tool that can help you build a solid vulnerability remediation guideline. Vicarius is a vulnerability management program aimed towards cybersecurity officers and operators in the United States, as well as IT managers and operators.

 

Photo by Daniil Silantev on Unsplash

Written by

Kent Weigle

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