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Knitting Vulnerability Assessment Tightly with Patching

Whether it was WannaCry, the biggest ransomware attack, or Petya, the attack that invaded many organizations in US and Europe, the reason for many infamous cyberattacks like these is due to missing patches. The complexity due to multiple tools in patch management and the inability of IT and security teams to patch vulnerabilities on time has cost numerous cyberattacks and security breaches in the past. Adding to this, the rate at which threats and targeted attacks abuse vulnerabilities have increased tremendously in recent years, and it is evident that attackers are not missing out on even the tiniest of security loopholes in the network.

Crucial Challenges of Remediating Vulnerabilities:

Although IT security teams run rigorous vulnerability assessments and identify the vulnerability loopholes in the network, they fall short of patching due to the following reasons,

Unable to keep up with the volume of vulnerabilities:

According to SecPod’s security research, over 11,781 vulnerabilities were discovered in the first six months of 2022. We can infer that more than 60 vulnerabilities are discovered every day, and this count is only going to rise in the years to come. IT security teams often find it challenging to cope with the constant surge in vulnerabilities, leading to increased risk exposure in the network.

Poor clarity on what to remediate first:

After vulnerability assessment, IT security teams are left with a pile of vulnerabilities. Traditional tools in the market lack capabilities to prioritize high-risk vulnerabilities, leading to IT teams taking a random approach to patching.

Taking the manual approach to patch vulnerabilities:

Manual patch management methods are not only time-consuming and take a lot of effort, but they also leave room for human errors. Manual processes take longer intervals to patch vulnerabilities, and it gets more strenuous when the number of systems to be patched is more. Complexity in manual remediation makes patching an irregular task leaving more security gaps.

Relying on different tools for vulnerability detection and remediation:

Most of the traditional vulnerability management tools in the market lack integrated patch management to remediate vulnerabilities on time. It gets tedious to correlate vulnerability data from one tool and patch them using the other. The multiple tools approach makes the entire process chaotic, leaving vulnerabilities to prevail in the network.

Multiple tools to remediate OS and third-party updates

IT security teams tend to rely on different tools for patching each operating system, like Windows, Mac, and Linux, and a separate tool for patching third-party applications. Siloed tools for patching various updates make the process even more cumbersome and tedious.

Unable to Mitigate Vulnerabilities that are Unpatchable

Not every vulnerability is patchable. Some vulnerabilities need fixes beyond patches to mitigate risks. IT security teams generally get stuck while mitigating the vulnerabilities that require security controls and remediation measures beyond patching.

Limited Access to Cloud-Based Patch Management tools:

The IT landscape is continuously changing post the pandemic. Many global organizations have opted for hybrid working ways where devices are constantly transitioning in local and remote environments. To manage remediation on hybrid devices, IT teams need cloud-based patching tools, the availability of which is limited in the market.

Vulnerability Management In short of Integrated Remediation:

Although vulnerability assessment and remediation should be a single process, it is two different activities today because of the tools’ limitations. The true objective of vulnerability management is effectively mitigating vulnerability. When we look at most of the traditional vulnerability management tools in the market, they lack tightly integrated patch remediation capability. On the other side, patch management tools lack integration with a vulnerability assessment to understand risks, prioritize vulnerabilities, and instantly validate the success of vulnerability remediation. Due to this, IT security teams have to suffer from siloed solutions with an ineffective vulnerability management process.

IT security teams need a tightly integrated vulnerability assessment and fully automated patch management solution to deal with the constant surge in cyber-attacks and reduce risk exposure to a larger extent. The fully integrated vulnerability assessment and patch management tool must discover vulnerabilities and provide necessary remediation controls to mitigate risks instantly. Both the crucial cyber-attack prevention capabilities managed from the same console yield many tangible benefits to organizations in strengthening the security posture.

Top Benefits of Integrated Vulnerability Assessment and Remediation:

Benefits of Integrated Vulnerability Assessment and Patching

Improved Operational Efficiency:

A seamless process is established with a single tool performing end-to-end vulnerability management, from detecting vulnerabilities to remediating them from the same console. IT and security teams need not juggle across a maze of tools to fix security loopholes and manage them easily from a centralized console.

Better Security Visibility and Control:

A centralized solution offers a unified view of vulnerabilities and missing patches, providing better security visibility in the network. With a centralized dashboard for managing vulnerabilities and patches, you can easily assess the entire process and bring strategic improvements to increase the effectiveness of the vulnerability management program.

Faster and a Pre-emptive Mechanism to Mitigate Exploits:

As vulnerability assessment and remediation go hand-in-hand, a solid prevention mechanism is built to keep cyberattacks in check. You can easily correlate the vulnerabilities with relevant patches and remediate them instantly, reducing the security gaps. Vulnerabilities will no longer prevail in the network as they are remediated instantly, decreasing the risk exposure in the network.

Cost Effective:

One of the important benefits of integrated vulnerability assessment and remediation is that it provides a cost advantage for organizations. By investing in a single effective tool that can execute both crucial operations, organizations save a lot on procuring multiple tools to implement each step of vulnerability management.

Unified IT and Security Goal:

A fully integrated vulnerability and patch management tool helps unify and achieve IT and security goals. While keeping a check on security risks, organizations can also ensure business continuity and productivity with improved device and application performance. 

Final Thought:

Vulnerability Management is fundamental to the cyberattack prevention process. Only by remediating the vulnerabilities on time can attack surfaces be eliminated, and cyber-attacks due to vulnerability exploits can be prevented. With vulnerability assessment and patch management in tandem, IT security is strengthened in the organization with a more preventive approach. IT security teams should start opting for integrated vulnerability assessment and remediation solutions.

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