What Is Vulnerability Management?

Vulnerability management is a proactive approach to identify, manage, and mitigate network vulnerabilities to improve the security of enterprise applications, software, and devices. This involves identifying vulnerabilities in IT assets, evaluating risk, and taking appropriate action across systems or networks.

Organizations across the world are placing investments in vulnerability management to safeguard their systems and networks, thereby saving themselves from security breaches and data theft. Often coupled with risk management or other security practices, it has become an integral part of a computer and network security today to prevent the exploitation of IT vulnerabilities, such as a flaw in code or design, to endanger the security of the entire enterprise network.

As more and more connected devices and endpoints are being added to digital spaces, the possibilities of cyber threats are also growing. According to research conducted by edgescan in 2020, a leader in full-stack vulnerability management, more than 8 Billion records were breached in 2019 alone. Alongside, the meantime to remediate (MTTR) internet-facing vulnerabilities is 84.59 days, and for non-public/internal vulnerabilities, it is 75.29 days.

At this juncture, quickly identifying vulnerabilities and patching them to remove potential risk factors is of paramount importance for any organization across industries. Network vulnerabilities pose a grave security gap that attackers can use to damage network assets, trigger a denial of services, or steal intellectual property. Implementing a vulnerability management policy and other security tactics is vital for organizations to prioritize possible threats and minimize cyber attacks. This process should be performed regularly to keep up with the addition of new endpoints, changes made to enterprise systems, and the emergence of fresh vulnerabilities over time.

Embracing robust vulnerability management software assists companies in automating this process. By utilizing a vulnerability scanner or endpoint agents, firms can check a range for vulnerabilities across a range of diverse systems on their network. Post identifying possible threats, the risks they pose to the enterprise network can be evaluated in different contexts to best mitigate those threats.

On similar lines, constant vulnerability assessment and remediation are an integral part of risk and governance programs worldwide. In fact, many information security compliance, audit, and risk management frameworks that exist today mandate the adoption of a good threat and vulnerability management program in any organization. 

According to a recent survey conducted by Ponemon Institute and ServiceNow, there was a 17% increase in cyberattacks in 2019 alone, where 60% of the breaches happened due to a vulnerability that was not patched.

Integrating threat-centric vulnerability management frameworks in your organization can help prevent data breaches in this increasingly connected world. As more and more vulnerabilities arise, vulnerability management tools such as vulnerability testing and patch management form the key to identify and address new cybersecurity threats.