Vulnerability Management

Identify, prioritize, and reduce risk based on business impact

Mesh your network and security services to identify security control gaps and network-exposed vulnerable assets

Vulnerability management is the identification of risks in your environment, prioritization of risk reduction, reduction of risks through remediation or mitigation, and tracking the outcomes of risk reduction efforts.

Vulnerability management is a critical component of cybersecurity programs to decrease the attack surface of the business. Effective vulnerability management requires the ability to identify the attack surface, map vulnerable assets to applications and their importance to the business, and utilize this security analysis to direct efforts on risk reduction exercises.

Vulnerabilities are regularly disclosed by security researchers and vendors, and irregularly disclosed by hackers. Vulnerability management requires the capability to regularly identify the assets in your business, identify the vulnerabilities associated with them, and direct remediation and mitigation efforts. Vulnerability management is an ongoing process without any conclusion due to the regular disclosure of vulnerabilities and the sheer volume of vulnerabilities any enterprise network has. 

If vulnerability management is a never-ending process, organizations need to develop well-tuned prioritization methods to determine which risks are the most important to the business for effective remediation or mitigation. 

Scenarios in which organizations are only scanning their assets for vulnerabilities, prioritizing all assets based equally on severity or other non-business-specific factors, and investigating each asset equally to alert owners to patch produces inconsistent risk reduction.

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Consider a disclosure scenario of a vendor disclosed vulnerability impacting many assets:

  • 3000 assets in your network have a new high-risk vulnerability
  • Realistically you can determine the owners of 100 of these assets in a 24-hour security cycle
  • You need one month to investigate all vulnerable assets (without detraction by other incidents) to address all 3000 vulnerable assets
  • 58% of vulnerabilities are exploited pre-patch release, and 42% within one month after a patch is released
  • This means the 100 most important assets to the business should be the first 100 vulnerabilities resolved
  • This is an impossibility without understanding the important of each asset to applications, resulting in an analyst treating a developer’s desktop vulnerability equal to a payment processing server

The inability to understand the contextual importance of a vulnerability of an asset on the business results in ineffective prioritization in vulnerability management and inconsistent or poor risk reduction to the business.

Patching everything is unfortunately a surefire method to breaking connections between applications. Patching requires understanding the asset’s connections, and any other applications that may share those connected assets as dependencies. For example, upgrading software may also introduce changed APIs that result in an unintended outage that cascades down the line of connections between applications. An asset’s importance to the business is a critical component of effective prioritization, but understanding the untracked or undocumented connections is of equal importance in the prioritization of vulnerabilities. The ripple effect of one change needs to be understood, because the differences between a developer needing to rollback to an earlier version of Visual Studio is fundamentally different than the inadvertent disruption of payment processing for the East Coast, one being a bad day for one person and the latter being a bad fiscal quarter for the company.

Cybersecurity is an industry of technical academia, but businesses consist of far more than technical people. Translating risk beyond the network and technical levels into the financial and business perspectives the organization adheres is one of the most necessary aspects of effective vulnerability management. The contextualization and prioritization of a vulnerable server are important for the technical teams, but also for the prioritization across other teams based on their perspective such as lost revenue or productivity of the business.

appNovi is the only security analytics and visualization solution that enables vulnerability management teams to identify the assets, teams, and businesses impacted by vulnerabilities to effectively prioritize vulnerabilities across their hybrid network.

If you’re ready to mature your vulnerability management programs to automate the contextualization of vulnerability data for effective prioritization and assurance of reducing the most amount of risk to the business, you can watch the video below or contact us for a review and consultative demonstration of our solutions.