Vulnerability Management in Cybersecurity

The Impacts of Vulnerability Management in Cybersecurity

Vulnerability management solutions provide actionable reports that help security teams to prioritize and remediate vulnerabilities. Ultimately, this helps to uplift the team and improve their overall performance.

Vulnerabilities are weaknesses that attackers exploit to gain access to your systems. Implementing an effective vulnerability management program can reduce the risk of cyberattacks and prevent your business from losing money, customers, and reputation.

Increased Risk of Attack

Discovering and reporting vulnerabilities help teams better understand their organization’s threats. This includes knowing the origin of each vulnerability, its severity, and the impact it would have if exploited. This information gives teams more context for effective prioritization. This is important because traditional resources give generalities that can result in dangerous over- or under-prioritization of a vulnerability’s criticality for an individual company.

Hackers can exploit network infrastructure and software vulnerabilities to launch cyberattacks. They can steal data, invade privacy, or cause physical harm through IoT and industrial control system (OT) hacks. A proactive vulnerability management program can prevent these risks from being exploited. This reduces the risk of attacks and saves cybersecurity teams time, money, and effort. It also protects against regulatory fines and reputational damage for the company.

Damage to the Company’s Reputation

Thousands of new vulnerabilities are discovered yearly, requiring organizations to patch operating systems and applications and reconfigure security settings across the network environment. Companies serious about cybersecurity perform vulnerability management to identify these vulnerabilities, ensuring their assets are protected from cyberattacks.

This process can be automated through a vulnerability scanning tool that scans an organization’s assets and detects vulnerabilities. The results are then categorized and prioritized based on risk-based assessment criteria. 

This approach also reduces technical debt by helping the security team focus their efforts on assets most critical to the company’s operations. This prevents unnecessary costs to remediate low-risk vulnerabilities that would not impact the business. It also enables the security team to justify their work to stakeholders better and help build a stronger business case for vulnerability initiatives. This makes it more likely that these projects are supported by senior leadership.

Increased Costs

Vulnerability management requires a consistent scanning and reporting process, which can disrupt workflows and slow down systems. It also requires a system of classification and prioritization to ensure the most efficient use of finite resources. Leading vulnerability management tools use threat intelligence and company-specific risk context to help teams prioritize vulnerabilities for remediation.

A software vulnerability is often all it takes for a cybercriminal to breach your system. Armed with a default login and password, they can steal your data, invade your privacy, or even cause physical harm when exploiting connected devices such as IoT or operational technology (OT) machinery.

While preventing breaches may seem impossible, it’s important to remember that the best security tool is a solid vulnerability management strategy. Investing in a layered cybersecurity stack that includes ongoing identification, sifting, prioritization, and contextualization of software errors will prevent many costly attacks and reduce the impact of those that cannot be prevented.

Damage to the Company’s Business

The damage done by cyberattacks can be catastrophic for businesses. These attacks occur when malicious actors use software vulnerabilities as an entry point into the system. Once inside, they can access critical data and manipulate systems to do their bidding.

Having a robust vulnerability management solution in place prevents this from happening. It allows teams to keep up with patching schedules and ensures that all vulnerable machines are remediated. It also enables teams to create a process for prioritizing and remediating issues that impact the business most.

It’s important to note that the best vulnerability management solutions will support the varying needs of a company. For example, a solution that prioritizes vulnerabilities by risk will help organizations focus on their most important assets first. This helps to reduce the backlog and avoid wasting resources on low-risk vulnerabilities.

Additionally, practical solutions will offer several different remediation techniques. For example, they can help companies implement the correct patching procedures for their infrastructures and comply with regulatory requirements such as those from PCI and HIPAA.