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Closing the Ever-Widening Gap Between Vulnerability Detection and Patching

Security risk management is a complicated and time-consuming affair. Organizations spend many resources to make sure all their business operations and data are running and stored by risk-free assets. Vulnerability management is the most common practice to manage risks. All assets are scanned, detected, and regularly mitigated to keep the IT landscape free from vulnerabilities. 

However, the number of vulnerabilities is continuously on the rise each year. Research suggests that vulnerabilities disclosed in 2020 are predicted to exceed the number of vulnerabilities disclosed in 2019.  With these challenges closing-in fast on organizations, vulnerability management needs to evolve into a smarter and more effective approach.

Scanning and detecting vulnerabilities 

Endpoints such as desktops, laptops, and servers are the commonly breached assets in an organization. They run multiple software applications, which open up tons of opportunities for vulnerabilities to pop-up almost every day.

Vulnerability scanners are used to scan each asset and detect vulnerabilities lurking in it. The scanners fetch security intelligence data from vulnerability databases and compare them against the endpoints under scanning. When a vulnerability is detected, the scanner reports it. 

The detected vulnerability is then assessed and prioritized, along with other vulnerabilities discovered in endpoints. Security teams consider multiple factors and analyze data to assess the true risk to their environment. After they are prioritized, the next stage is remediation.

Are piling vulnerabilities remediated efficiently? 

No, not in the majority of cases. Studies indicate that an IT team takes 67 days to close a discovered vulnerability in their environment on average. Once a vulnerability is disclosed, the clock starts ticking. You will never know how or when the vulnerability will be exploited by whom. As a vulnerability grows older, hackers get faster and better at exploiting it, causing more easy and widespread damage.

The leading cause of delays in remediation is ineffective patching tools and methods. After vulnerabilities are triaged and prioritized according to their risk levels, security teams need to take up patching activities right away. However, the actual process is more complicated and time-consuming. A security professional visits vendor sites, correlates the vulnerabilities, downloads the patches, manually installs and tests them on groups, and then deploys them on devices in the live environment. 

In some cases, teams use patching tools to deploy the patches across multiple devices in one swift action. But the wide range of heterogeneous platforms and software limits most patching tools. They are limited to either specific operating systems, third-party applications, or types of devices. 

All these challenges call for a more integrated security risk management approach that allows security teams to track a vulnerability right from scanning all the way to patch deployment. 

The bridge between vulnerability scanning and patch management

A tool that draws a straight line through all the stages of vulnerability management increases the risk management process’s efficiency and reduces delays in mitigation to an enormous extent. Vulnerabilities are detected and mitigated faster with integrated vulnerability detection, assessment, prioritization, and patching features.

Here’s the ideal situation a security team would love to experience through one vulnerability management tool. 

  1. Vulnerability scanners constantly scan the asset inventory for vulnerabilities without any prompting or management.
  2. Vulnerabilities are detected and reported to the security team immediately.
  3. The tool automatically assesses and prioritizes the vulnerabilities based on multiple risk factors specific to their environment.
  4. After the security team gives the signal, the tool automatically downloads patches from different vendors, tests the patches on specific groups, and schedules automatic deployment on the devices where the vulnerabilities were detected.

SanerNow Integrated Vulnerability and Patch Management is a cloud-based tool perfect for handling vulnerabilities across all your heterogeneous endpoints. It supports all devices that run on Windows, Mac, Linux operating systems. You can perform vulnerability scans across entire networks in under 5 minutes. The tool leverages our homegrown, world’s largest vulnerability database with 100,000+ security checks that give you maximum detection accuracy. It also smartly prioritizes all the detected vulnerabilities based on internal and external risk factors. You can take mitigation steps immediately by initiating the patching process.

Sign up for a free demo. We’ll show you integrated vulnerability and patch management in action.

You can also download our free eBook on Integrated Vulnerability and Patch Management” where you can find the integrated approach discussed elaborately.

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