Undetected vulnerabilities provide gateways for data breaches and outages. By regularly assessing systems and prioritizing remediation using risk analysis, organizations can identify and address security gaps before criminals exploit them.
This guide outlines best practices for implementing effective vulnerability management programs.
Table of Contents
Schedule Periodic Assessments
The foundation of vulnerability management involves conducting recurring system and network scans using solutions like Nessus to unveil new issues emerging across the infrastructure.
Comprehensive programs necessitate:
- Automated vulnerability scanning on a monthly or quarterly basis.
- Agent-based assessments for authentication to internal assets.
- Testing disaster recovery and public cloud environments.
- Comparing results against previous scans to identify new exposure.
Regular assessments reveal blindspots before adversaries detect them.
Prioritize Remediation via Risk Ratings
While identifying vulnerabilities is crucial, the next phase – intelligent prioritization based on organizational risk tolerance – determines actual security posture improvements.
- Categorizing findings by severity (e.g. CVSS scores).
- Determining asset business criticality (i.e. High Value Target analysis).
- Prioritizing mitigation addressing most risky gaps first.
Risk-ranked remediation focus maximizes risk reduction.
Reassess to Validate Resolution
Finally, the last step is re-scanning previous vulnerabilities after patching to validate successful remediation.
- Tracking vulnerabilities to closure within vulnerability management programs.
- Rescanning to confirm fixes now show the weaknesses as addressed.
- Tuning scans to help identify borderline results requiring engineering clarification.
Closed loop assessments provide assurance in the program and dashboard reporting.
Mature vulnerability management lifecycles enable data-driven improvement of organizational risk postures through continuous evaluation. For additional training, explore SANS SEC560 courses covering network penetration testing methodologies.
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