Addressing vulnerabilities and fixing them is easier said than done. What notion do you get when you hear about vulnerability management? All vulnerability management does is scan and discover vulnerabilities and remediate them. Only the security teams know how winding and bumpy the road is between scanning and remediating vulnerabilities as per the severity level.
Managing vulnerabilities has always been an important step to protect devices and networks from falling into the wrong hands. Challenges of overcoming vulnerabilities, threats, and risk of exploitation in the ever-evolving realm of cybersecurity making it harder for security teams to address them. As the attacks and exploitations are getting sophisticated every day, security teams uncover new vulnerabilities which evolve into cyber threats that attackers use for their advantage. For any security team, the process to stay on the top of the chain is to fix the severe and critical vulnerabilities frequently and effectively. As the security teams focus on severe and critical vulnerability, what about those hiding in plain sight?
This is where the security teams, even the organizations employing them, make mistakes. Once the vulnerabilities are determined and then prioritized, the process of remediation begins. Nevertheless, only severe and critical vulnerabilities are addressed. But what about the vulnerabilities which are hidden? How do you manage vulnerabilities which are hidden? Can’t they be of use to attackers to breach an IT framework? All these questions ponder over the head when it comes to managing hidden vulnerabilities. Hidden vulnerabilities pose a massive threat today as they are often neglected.
Understanding How Hidden Vulnerabilities Pose a threat
Hidden vulnerabilities are more like ticking time bombs as they lurk in the shadows for months and sometimes years. Security teams often neglect or do not think these hidden vulnerabilities need to be accessed and remediated. And the repercussions of not assessing the Hidden vulnerabilities are disastrous. These vulnerabilities are waiting for bad actors to find them and launch unprecedented attacks.
One of the most notable examples of Hidden vulnerabilities being exploited by attackers is with SolarWinds Orion. Bad actors hacked this IT management platform, and these hackers were able to breach the defences of renowned US government agencies and private counterparts. The attack on over 250 organizations using the SolarWinds IT management platform was reported for the first time in 2020. However, findings suggested that bad actors have been actively selling out access to the system since 2017.
The impact of the often overseen and neglected, hidden vulnerabilities could be remediated quickly by adopting a robust vulnerability management routine. When it comes to protecting devices and endpoints, the chain of endpoints interconnected is as strong as the weakest link. Covering the basics to address vulnerabilities irrespective of their severity could strongly arm your organization’s vulnerability management. Missing out on discovering and remediating hidden vulnerabilities allows pathways for cybercriminals to exploit endpoints and network devices.
How do attackers exploit hidden vulnerabilities?
Organizations often fail to look out for vulnerabilities that are present in network devices and endpoints. Moreover, the vulnerabilities in network devices are not correctly understood. But the entire working module of an organization’s IT infrastructure depends on the devices being connected to the internet 24/7 365 Days, making the devices open for attack. It’s not like security teams aren’t aware of the shortcomings of addressing the hidden vulnerabilities in such devices. For them, managing the critical ones is the priority.
A hidden vulnerability in the network compromises your entire digital infrastructure, whether you’re a significant enterprise or a medium one. Back in 2017, one of the large-scale and significant Botnet attacks was launched on one of the network devices by Huawei. The botnet known as Satori was successful enough to exploit the vulnerability ‘CVE-2017-17215’ in the said routers, which evolved into a massive threat in no time.
People could argue that unpatched devices will open doors to exploitation. But with Huawei network devices, this wasn’t the case. Huawei released the patches for the network devices even before the attack took place. So how did the attack take place? According to the reports from SpiderLabs, the emergence of the Satori botnet was because organizations do not document and test the network devices regularly to prepare for potential cyber-attacks.
Tips for managing hidden vulnerabilities
- Have clear visibility over all the assets in your network.
- Run regular vulnerability scans and ensure that you do not miss any devices in your network.
- Assess the vulnerabilities thoroughly and understand the risk potential
- Plan your remediation wisely, patch on time, and manage vulnerabilities smartly.
- Remediate all the vulnerabilities irrespective of the severity rate and do not delay the process.
- Manage vulnerabilities beyond the CVE data. Note that not all vulnerabilities in the network have a CVE number. Refer to this blog to know more.
To seamlessly manage vulnerabilities, you need to achieve all of the above. Hence, it would be best to opt for a full-fledged, robust, and automated vulnerability management solution.
Almost 0% chance of missing out on vulnerabilities with SanerNow
SecPod SanerNow identifies almost all the vulnerabilities existing across the network devices. SanerNow goes beyond the traditional vulnerability management approaches and supports a vast range of vulnerabilities, irrespective of the CVE data. SanerNow leverages its homegrown world’s largest vulnerability intelligence feed with more than 160000 checks and enables accurate detection of vulnerabilities. The vulnerability feed is updated regularly with the latest information to provide extensive vulnerability coverage. With the up-to-date comprehensive vulnerability feed, you can manage vulnerabilities effectively without missout on the hidden ones.
SanerNow also provides the industry’s fastest vulnerability scanning for rapid vulnerability detection. Its integrated patch management remediates the vulnerabilities on time without leaving any security gaps.
After successful vulnerability discovery, SanerNow thoroughly assesses the vulnerabilities and provides information on its risk potential. Even though the industry demands you to remediate the most critical ones first, it is always recommended to patch all the detected vulnerabilities. Thus, with SanerNow, you can minimize your vulnerability exposure and manage vulnerabilities smartly.
18,103 vulnerabilities were reported back in 2020. Among these, 10,342 were reported critical. Then what about the others? High chances that those vulnerabilities were left unattended. Over time, Hidden vulnerabilities might play a key role in creating havoc among organizations’ digital infrastructure. Thus, ensure that you manage vulnerabilities in your network and do not leave any open doors for attackers.
Schedule a free demo here if you want to take SanerNow for a spin to manage vulnerabilities!