How To Implement Effective Vulnerability Management

Identifying the risks and vulnerabilities in your organization’s IT system is a must. To prevent threats to your network, vulnerability management is key because it allows you determine where potential harm could be done and work towards preventing it.

Identifying risks and counteracting them

An effective vulnerability management program is all about risks. Where are the risks to your system? Where does your network need to beef up cyber security to keep risks away? Each question can be answered when you run your vulnerability management program. Your plan should consist of an automated scanning program that can be run to assess risks and analyze data. Your IT department can create this program themselves or you can rely on the services of a vulnerability management and cyber security firm. Most companies use an outside firm for their vulnerability management scanning program because solutions encompass everything from scanning, remediation, monitoring, reporting and tracking metrics to measure success. Although your IT department may be capable of this feat, they may have too much on their plates to create the program themselves.

A topline program should not only identify risks but evaluate their severity and determine how to counteract them. Low risks can be remediated at a later date while high risks should be tackled ASAP before they are exploited by a hacker or cyber criminal.

How to implement your program

To implement an effective vulnerability management program you need to define the level of security you’re looking to maintain. Then, set up guidelines that detail what the vulnerability management practices will be (re: testing, analyzing, remediation and so on). Once that’s done you can run your scanning program and see what risks reveal themselves. Classifying the risks is the next step, followed by a comprehensive plan on how to deal with each.

How often should you run your program?

There is no clearly identified timeline. You can determine how often you want to run vulnerability scans and how much time to allot to remediation. Furthermore, the consequences of noncompliance should be outlined within your vulnerability management program so as to avoid any confusion in the future.

Evolve with the times

Cyber attacks are constant, so an effective vulnerability management program needs to be capable of evolution. You must run the program regularly and tweak it as needed. Cyber criminals and hackers are constantly refining their techniques and your program needs to keep up.

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