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Best Practices to take your Vulnerability Assessment Program to the Next Level

Vulnerability assessment, a vital part of vulnerability management, defines the duration, efficiency, and efficacy of the upcoming steps in managing vulnerabilities, allowing you to understand threats and remediate them effectively. And vulnerability assessment best practices can help improve your assessment program.

Are you looking to improve your vulnerability assessment process by incorporating a few new best practices to solidify your organization’s resistance against dangerous threats?

Development and testing of new techniques and steps can better equip us in fighting back against cyber threats. By including these steps, your organization can stay ahead of the curve and tackle vulnerabilities to strengthen defense.

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.

It incorporates various scanning and assessment techniques to analyze and prioritize vulnerabilities by considering multiple factors.

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.

Read More: Vulnerability Assessment

Best Practices to take your Vulnerability Assessment Plan to the Next Level

There is always room for improvement, and in the case of your vulnerability assessment plan, 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:

8 best vulnerability assessment practices

  • Make scanning a continuous process or increase scanning frequency:

    • Standard compliance policies like PCI explicitly state a vulnerability scan per quarter, which is insufficient.
    • The fast-moving world transforms in a day, and vulnerabilities might cripple your network by the time you detect them in a quarterly scan.
    • Scanning shouldn’t be an audit exercise. By making scanning a continuous process or at the very least increasing the frequency of scan, detection, and remediation of vulnerabilities becomes more meticulous.
  • Define and demarcate your scanning process by planning ahead:

    • The scanning process must be exhaustive and consequently time-consuming.
    • Instead of scanning all the endpoints, assets, and frameworks in the network, define concrete boundaries between different domains to pick out vulnerabilities efficiently.
  • Assess vulnerabilities during the development process:

    • Software development is a lengthy process combining existing resources and original code to create something new.
    • Vulnerabilities in those resources can hamper the final product’s performance and reputation. Still, it also provides a chance to eliminate vulnerabilities in the development stage instead of patching them later.
  • 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 stay ahead of the curve in detecting vulnerabilities.
  • Ensure adherence to compliance parallelly:

    • Vulnerability assessment and compliance overlap and crossover, and you can enforce compliance by correctly scanning and assessing vulnerabilities.
    • It can help you protect your organization’s reputation and potential cost in fines as well.
  • Embrace/Integrate 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.
    • It helps discover vulnerabilities faster and before they can harm your network.
  • Employ Risk-Based Vulnerability Assessment(RBVA) to improve defense:

    • Risk-based vulnerability assessment analyses weaknesses by going beyond prioritization based on CVSS score.
    • By factoring in business impact after evaluating the potential risks, RBVA encourages innovative remediation with intelligent prioritization.
    • Stats suggest organizations embracing RBVA lower the chances of breach by 80 percent.
  • Document and smartly report the process and the result:

    • Taking actions suffice, but documenting the activities can provide a 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.

Conclusion:

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.

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