Vulnerability assessment is a lengthy process that makes up the foundation of your vulnerability management program. It helps you efficiently detect vulnerabilities and is critical in preventing cyberattacks. But if the foundation is shaky, the entire program can crumble.
To improve your vulnerability assessment program, you must follow some best practices that can make the process better. With small changes and critical additions, you can take your vulnerability assessment program to the next level.
Do you want to know how? Read on.
What is Vulnerability Assessment?
Vulnerability assessment is a step-by-step process that involves scanning and detecting vulnerabilities in a system, followed by classifying and prioritizing them for remediation. An indispensable part of the vulnerability management process, it helps determine the next steps in remediating vulnerabilities and helps manage the time, effort, and resources needed to do this.
We must remember that vulnerability assessment is a part of vulnerability management and not vulnerability management itself.
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Best Practices to take your Vulnerability Assessment Plan to the Next Level
Vulnerability assessment should be correctly set up and performed. But if done half-heartedly, it can adversely affect an organization’s cyber defense. But if already set up, there is always room for improvement as you might be missing some crucial features and practices that can elevate your organization’s defense and security.
Here are some of the best practices in Vulnerability assessment that you might be missing out on:
Make scanning a continuous process or increase scanning frequency:The fast-moving world transforms in a day, and vulnerabilities might cripple your network by the time you detect them in a quarterly scan. So, scanning shouldn’t be an audit exercise. By making scanning a continuous process or, at the very least, increasing the frequency of scans, the detection and remediation of vulnerabilities become more meticulous.
Don’t limit scans for vulnerabilities alone:Vulnerabilities aren’t the only risks being exploited. Misconfigurations, security anomalies, asset exposures, and deviations from security controls are the threats of the modern era. So scanning for threats beyond software vulnerabilities is critical in ensuring complete coverage. Scanners like SanerNow can detect these security risks beyond software vulnerabilities.
Incorporating penetration testing in the vulnerability scanning process:Penetration testing is simply simulating cyber-attacks by exploiting vulnerabilities in the network. While scanning helps find the weaknesses in the network, pen-testing helps find the extent of damage those weaknesses can cause by intentionally exploiting them. It can help assess and prioritize critical vulnerabilities over non-critical ones.
Use a continuously updating SCAP repository to detect newly discovered vulnerabilities:The vulnerability repository your scanner uses also plays a vital role in detecting vulnerabilities. An outdated repository cannot detect newly discovered vulnerabilities, which can be devastating. By employing a fast scanner working cohesively with a large, constantly updating repository, you can accurately detect vulnerabilities and reduce false positives.
Ensure adherence to compliance parallelly:Vulnerability assessment and compliance overlap and crossover, and you can enforce compliance by correctly scanning and assessing vulnerabilities. Adhering to compliance policies provides a seal of approval, and it can help you protect your organization’s reputation and potential cost in fines as well. Advanced vulnerability management solutions like SanerNow can help you achieve compliance while performing vulnerability management.
Embrace automation of scanning and remediation:Automate scanning by either scheduling scanning as a regular repetitive process or making scanning a continuous process that automatically starts running when a device turns on. Detecting vulnerabilities quickly, before they can harm your network, is key, and with automation, the entire vulnerability management process becomes faster.
Document and smartly report the process and the result:Taking action suffices, but documenting the activities can provide long-term value to your organization. Recording accurate information regarding the detected vulnerabilities can help diagnose problems in the future and help remediate them even faster.
While 100 percent protection against cyber-attacks is not feasible, nothing stops us from striving towards a distant goal. You might have already incorporated some of the practices mentioned earlier, and you could continue to include more. And with hackers getting more innovative and using advanced methods to break into organizations, why shouldn’t we fight back and strengthen our defense?
Try SanerNow Advanced Vulnerability Management with a plethora of features, from continuous and automated vulnerability scanning to enforcing custom compliance policies; SanerNow smartly prioritizes vulnerabilities and remediates them with an integrated patch management tool. SanerNow helps you achieve, maintain and solidify your defense.