Remediation 101: How to Remediate Vulnerabilities
Every vulnerability management program should include remediation. Vulnerability scanning can generate large volumes of information and following up on these threats is no easy task. Companies need to establish clear protocols for identifying and responding to vulnerabilities, so the IT team can patch the system as soon as possible. Learn more about remediation vulnerability management to overcome the challenges many organizations face today.
Scanning is Just the Start
The IT security team is responsible for identifying potential threats that can leave organizations vulnerable to cyber attacks, but simply reporting the vulnerability won’t stop hackers from seizing sensitive information or disabling valuable IT assets.
Common Vulnerability Remediation Challenges
Many organizations use automated vulnerability scanning tools that continuously monitor IT assets and applications, but these programs can lead to data overload, making it difficult for the cybersecurity team to follow up on these threats. The software may generate lengthy reports that can be time-consuming and difficult to read.
Team members also need to know that they are using quality data, or they risk losing track of vulnerabilities that could pose a threat to the organization. Up to 60% of raw vulnerability scan data is “dirty” data like false positives, duplicates, and mismatched endpoints. Bad data can leave team members focusing on unsubstantial threats while more dangerous vulnerabilities aren’t remediated.
Scanners that rely only on Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) scoring and other common vulnerability metrics often lack the context IT environments need to remediate potential threats efficiently. These metrics usually fail to consider whether the vulnerability is known to be exploitable if any malware attacks are being used against the vulnerability and other factors that can affect threat remediation and vulnerability prioritization.
Some IT environments simply lack the resources and people power to adequately make sense of this information, let alone remediate potential threats. If everyone is being pulled in different directions, communication can break down, even if the organization is small.
How to Remediate Vulnerabilities
Use these tips for remediation vulnerability management to avoid the pitfalls mentioned above:
The first step is to create measurable remediation goals; otherwise, you and your IT team may be trying to hit a target you can’t see. You should be able to track your progress when remediating vulnerabilities with a clear sense of how long, on average, it takes your organization to patch the system. Use key performance indicators like improving incident response times, reducing the number of false positives, and minimizing your organization’s risk landscape. This will also help you set and adjust your organization’s risk tolerance over time.
You can increase efficiency by automating certain aspects of the IT vulnerability management process. Use a vulnerability management system scanning tool that will automatically alert your team when a vulnerability occurs. The system should also prioritize the threat level using a range of different metrics, so your team can focus on remediating the most dangerous threats.
Do your best to limit the number of false positives by improving the quality of your data. Consider using more than one scanning tool to cross-reference this information to ensure it is as accurate as possible. When prioritizing vulnerabilities, use scanning tools that include additional context from multiple sources, including social media and other public platforms.
Continuous scanning doesn’t eliminate the need for penetration testing. Conduct regular pen tests to ensure that your existing security controls are up to the task at hand.
Security comes down to people. Don’t let communication between your team members break down in an emergency. Time is of the essence when responding to a data breach or malware attack. You will need the backing of C-suite executives to get your VRM program off the ground while regularly reporting on the progress of your efforts. You will need to communicate with other departments in your organization, so everyone can do their part to prevent cyber attacks.
Use a unified VRM program and ticketing system to keep track of outages and potential threats across your organization. Establish a regular rhythm for communicating the outcomes related to your vulnerability remediation goals and pen testing to keep leadership on the same page.
Remediation is the most important part of information security. Connect with NopSec to learn more about the remediation process and the latest vulnerability prioritization software.
If you’re looking for information on common remediation pitfalls as well as solutions to simplify remediation, reduce the average time it takes to close a remediation ticket, and keep your business running smoothly and securely, download the full Remediation 101 report by NopSec.