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Vulnerability Management Controls for Critical Security Frameworks

The most common security framework policies, like HIPAA, PCI, NIST, etc., talk about vulnerability management controls, which are a set of recommended safeguards that help mitigate risks and prevent cyber-attacks in your network.

Vulnerability management controls make up a significant part of critical security frameworks, and strict adherence and proper implementation of these controls can be beneficial in both security and business.

Understanding different vulnerability management controls can provide key insights into critical security frameworks and can also help you properly plan your organization’s security, leading to a safer and more compliant organization.

Critical Vulnerability Management Controls

Security frameworks cover all the aspects of complete cybersecurity for a company to ensure the chances of risk of a breach. This includes both physical and virtual aspects of cybersecurity. Vulnerability management forms the major chunk of the virtual aspect, and its importance can’t be underlined enough.

All the top frameworks follow some fundamental steps or their variations: identify, detect, protect, and respond.

Top security frameworks like PCI, HIPAA, NIST, etc., cover different aspects of a well-structured vulnerability management process of an organization. Here are some critical vulnerability management controls you need to follow to become safer and compliant with these standards:

  • Asset management:

    Complete security starts with complete visibility over all of your IT assets. Proper detection and inventorying of IT assets, both software, and hardware, is critical. Asset management also includes cataloging of IT and shadow IT assets which are surging in popularity and usage.

    Some policies, like NIST, also talk about prioritization and demarcation of IT assets based on their criticality and business value as well. This is especially beneficial for risk mitigation and efficiency.
    It also talks about accurate documentation and maintenance of all the collected data.

  • Vulnerability & Risk assessment:

    This control mainly talks about all security risks that can potentially be exploited and lead to a cyber-attack. Here, vulnerabilities include CVEs and non-CVEs like misconfigurations, posture anomalies, open ports, and more.

    Systematic arrangements to perform vulnerability assessment by accurately detecting security risks through vulnerability scanners are a must.

    Proper assessment of these risks can help make the risk mitigation process easier and reduce the attack surface and improve the security posture of the organization.

  • Security Continuous Monitoring

    Vulnerability management shouldn’t be sporadic, be it monthly or, even worse, yearly. Security frameworks suggest that the monitoring of IT assets must be continuous. Continuous scans should be performed to detect any cybersecurity event like new vulnerabilities, breaches, etc.

    Along with monitoring, event logs must be recorded, and network vulnerability must be properly documented and stored. Documentation helps understand and assess threats and mitigate security risks.

    This also includes the physical security of devices that store sensitive data and more.

  • Vulnerability Remediation & Mitigation:

    Detecting and documenting vulnerabilities isn’t enough. Vulnerability management, from scanning to remediation, should be a continuous process that repeatedly scans, detects, and remediates security risks.

    Security frameworks mandate that it is key to remediate and mitigate vulnerabilities and security risks. Correct application of patches and remediation of misconfigurations and posture anomalies must be enforced.

    A systematic remediation process that efficiently prioritizes vulnerabilities based on risk and business value and remediates them to reduce attack surfaces and the chance of a cyberattack.

Here’s a table of top security frameworks and how they correlate and overlap with the top vulnerability management controls they recommend. Some features, functionalities, and requirements differ between the frameworks, but this table gives you an overview of what can be achieved with a solid vulnerability management program.

Critical Vulnerability Management Controls for Security Frameworks

Vulnerability Management Controls       

NIST Security Framework 

HIPAA Security Framework 

Asset Management

Asset Management

Hardware & software inventory

Vulnerability & Risk Assessment

Risk Assessment, Risk Management Strategy, Anomalies & Events

Risk assessment and management, Access management

Security Control Monitoring


Info Protection Process & Procedure, Security Continuous Monitoring

Security management, Access management,  Access and activity logging

Vulnerability Remediation and Mitigation

Analysis, Mitigation

Risk assessment and management

Effectively enforcing Vulnerability Management Controls through SanerNow AVM

SanerNow is an advanced vulnerability management platform that can perform a multitude of functions for your IT network. It’s an all-in-one platform that can scan, detect, document, assess, prioritize, process, remediate and report vulnerabilities and security risks.

Closely synergizing with compliance, SanerNow can enforce critical vulnerability management controls through its integrated and automated platform. It also provides a granular level of control over each step of vulnerability management, leading to a completely customized and highest level of security and compliance control for your organization.

Out-of-the-box, SanerNow can help you become compliant with NIST, PCI, and HIPAA. But it also provides a customizable set of compliance controls that can be used to enforce compliance with any security framework.

With vulnerability management being a fundamental requirement for all security frameworks, SanerNow provides a head start and a building base from which you can start your journey toward a safer and compliant organization.

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