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What is Vulnerability Management?

vulnerability management

Is your organization prepared for cybersecurity attack? Threats like hacking or malware are so common now that every company is vulnerable to them. However, there are steps that you can take to manage your vulnerability to specific threats. If you do it well, your company can minimize the chances of a serious cybersecurity threat bringing it to a grinding halt. This is what you need to know about vulnerability management to avoid being the next big company brought down by data leaks.

Vulnerability Identification

Every organization that uses computer systems to manage operations risks having those systems violated by outside entities. No matter how strong its cybersecurity systems are, there are always vulnerabilities and potential weaknesses in those systems that can be exploited.

Vulnerability management is a proactive approach to finding and fixing weaknesses in security systems before cybercriminals find them. There are several ways that companies can find vulnerabilities in their systems, including using third-party tools to run tests periodically to identify potential problems. However, your company needs to do this on an ongoing basis since new vulnerabilities pop up all of the time.

Implementing a Vulnerability Management Process

If all of this sounds like concerns that you have for your company, the best thing that you can do is establish a vulnerability management process inside your organization. Here is a simple process that you can follow to create a vulnerability management system:

Step 1: Choose a Way to Test Your System

There are several ways to test IT systems for vulnerabilities. You have the option of working with a third-party company that will do the work for you and report back on what they find.

Another option for this is to use a third-party tool to do your scanning. This gives you better control over the process, but it also means that you have to have dedicated resources to manage vulnerability scanning. Most companies don’t have the resources or expertise to do this properly on their own, which is why partnering with a third party like Element Four is the most common choice.

Step 2: Review Results and Identify Problems

Once you have a tool in place for vulnerability testing, run it on the systems that you want to test. While it is possible to run a test on your entire IT infrastructure at the same time, it is not recommended. Instead, focus on specific parts of your system and fix problems there before moving on.

Review the results of the test and identify potential problems. Look for system components that have issues. In many cases, a vulnerability testing tool can identify those problems for you.

Step 3: Coordinate with IT Teams to Address Problems

Once you know where the potential vulnerabilities are, work with your IT teams to plan and implement solutions. Involving your in-house IT staff gives you greater control over fixing issues, even if the problem is in an external system. Implement patch management to patch all of the potential problems that you can find as soon as possible. The longer you leave them unfixed, the more likely they are to be exploited. When you have everything patched in this area, you can move on to the next. However, it may be a good idea to wait and monitor the changes that you made to make sure that everything is working well. Fixing vulnerabilities is a process that often requires multiple attempts since fixing one issue can cause problems somewhere else. Keep working on a vulnerability fix until you are sure that you have it fixed in a way that you can work with.

Step 4: Schedule the Next Vulnerability Test

Finally, schedule the next vulnerability test. Like many other parts of your business, vulnerability management is an ongoing process. Whether you are retesting a part of your business or moving on to another part, your company should always have a vulnerability management process running at all times. It is the only effective way to ensure that you are being proactive about stopping cybersecurity threats from exploiting problems in your security systems.

The Hardest Part of Vulnerability Management

The hardest part of vulnerability management is the ongoing nature of the work. No matter how much you get done, there is always more to do. Keeping your IT security team motivated to move at the right pace and stay proactive can be a challenge. If there is no end goal to a process, then it feels impossible to make progress and maintain motivation.

This is where most companies start to run into problems. Vulnerability management stops being a priority since there is no end in sight. They stop being proactive and become complacent with the level of work that is already done. Unfortunately, this is when those vulnerabilities are often exploited, leading to tragic results.

Consider Outsourcing Vulnerability Management For Improved Performance

The simplest solution to this problem in any organization is to outsource your vulnerability management program. Not only does it mean diverting fewer resources to this task, but also getting better overall performance. There are companies that specialize in this process and have the reputations and systems in place to be trustworthy with access to your systems.

It’s natural to be worried about giving another company access to your systems. However, it all depends on which company you give access to. You have to vet the company first to know that you can trust them. It’s all about finding the right fit for your needs.

Make Vulnerability Management an Important Part of Your Cybersecurity Plans

Your company needs a vulnerability management partner to survive in current markets. The threat of cybersecurity incursions is too great to ignore, and most businesses won’t survive a serious incursion.

Don’t let your business be the next big news story for being taken down by a data breach. Partner with Element Fourt for better vulnerability management. We are a partner in the industry trusted by many businesses to handle vulnerability testing and reporting. Our systems make it easy to find where your company is at risk so your IT teams can jump into action and close the gaps.

Learn more about how Element Four can help you downsize the potential threats that could hurt your business from our website. Contact us to schedule a consultation and see just how much your company can benefit from our vulnerability scanning services.

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