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Vulnerability Assessment Methodology: Tiny Steps with Titanic Impact

The cyberattack on LastPass, a popular password management firm, was unexpected and stunned the world. A vulnerability in a 3rd party multimedia software led to the compromise of LastPass’s network, and its business, brand trust, and reputation went down. Like LastPass, critical vulnerabilities may run rampant in your network without Vulnerability Assessment Methodologies and have a disastrous impact on your devices too. You must learn to adapt and combat new threats by discovering new vulnerabilities daily. Remediating them will be easier with a patch management software.

Following a methodology for assessing vulnerabilities can ensure safety and security and provide many other benefits, improving your organization’s defense with a good vulnerability management tool.

So how do you do that? 

Understanding Vulnerability Assessment Methodology

Vulnerability assessment is a step-by-step process of scanning and detecting vulnerabilities in a system, followed by classifying and prioritizing them for remediation. And vulnerability assessment methodology involves using different tools, techniques, and methods to carry out vulnerability assessment. It is an integral step in the vulnerability management process, as it determines the time and effort needed to remediate and manage the detected vulnerabilities efficiently and effectively.

Steps Involved in Vulnerability Assessment:

  • Identifying network assets:
    The integral first step in the vulnerability assessment process is identifying all devices within the network. This step helps provide a broad picture of the network and helps plan the next step in assessing and managing vulnerabilities.

  • Performing a vulnerability scan:
    Extensive scans to identify vulnerabilities using comprehensive vulnerability scanners are key. Your scanner must scan for critical vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, and security deviations that might pose a risk. This vital step defines your organization’s defense because if a vulnerability is left undetected, it might cripple your network.
  • Assessing the detected vulnerabilities:
    After detecting vulnerabilities, smartly assessing vulnerabilities based on different factors are key for intelligent remediation. Efficient prioritization, by finding out which crucial devices are at risk based on criticality, high-fidelity attacks, CVSS score, and more, is a must.  Focusing on critical asset vulnerabilities ensures that you are remediating those that matter.

What Are You Doing Wrong in Your Vulnerability Assessment?

One of the formidable challenges security admins faces is efficiently assessing vulnerabilities for intelligent remediation. Vulnerability assessment is a laborious process with scope for mistakes. Avoiding them can make your vulnerability management process and cyber defense easier. Here are some of the common mistakes we make while performing vulnerability assessments:

  1. Prioritizing based on CVSS score alone:
    CVSS score is static and can provide a false idea of a vulnerability. An advanced process of prioritizing vulnerabilities based on criticality and high fidelity can be the difference-maker in effective remediation.
  2. Spending too much time remediating vulnerabilities:
    Ideally, it’s critical to remediate all vulnerabilities, but achieving this takes a lot of time. Further, some vulnerabilities take much time to remediate, while others need to be remediated immediately. So it’s important to pick and choose remediation and not spend too much time remediating low-risk vulnerabilities.

  3. Performing routine tasks manually:

    Routine and repeatable tasks like vulnerability scans should be automated instead of performing them manually. Especially with new vulnerabilities being detected every day, continuous and automated scans are the need of the hour. Further automation improves your cyber defense and your team’s efficiency too.
  4. Using bulky and hard-to-read reports:

    Reports are key in tracking progress. But if they are hard to read, it becomes useless. Creating concise reports that provide insights is important to ensure you effectively track and learn from what you’re doing.

Here are a few best practices that can make your vulnerability assessment better.

Closing Thoughts

Technology evolves rapidly, and hiding in its shadows are vulnerabilities that threaten to overshadow the positive impact evolution creates. You must take concrete measures and ensure safety. By following a robust vulnerability assessment methodology with rigorous scanning and intelligent assessment, you can reduce potential risk.

Because the number of vulnerabilities never falls, and the risks always rise. So, we must always be ready.