No matter how many resources and efforts are put forward, companies never seem to be able to close the gap between the number of existing and new vulnerabilities in their environment and the number of ones that have been remedied. Companies have started prioritizing vulnerability patching, but if a vulnerability is found, it can be challenging to determine whether it can be exploited in a certain organization’s environment based solely on the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) score.
One of the most crucial elements of a contemporary vulnerability management program is vulnerability management prioritization. Prioritization is essential since even the best-resourced teams find it hard to address the right vulnerabilities because of the sheer volume of new vulnerabilities that arise on a regular basis.
What is Vulnerability Prioritization?
When the number of vulnerabilities in your business is in the hundreds of thousands and they are monitored inefficiently, such as utilizing Excel spreadsheets or various reports, vulnerability management and patching can easily get out of hand.
In an ideal world, security teams would patch and eliminate all risks as they were discovered; however, “zero in boxing” in the field of vulnerability management is merely a pipe dream. With an exponential increase in the volume of vulnerabilities that arise over time. In other words, instead of getting better, the issue gets worse.
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Benefits of Prioritizing vulnerabilities
One of the crucial elements of the vulnerability management process is vulnerability prioritization. Below are few benefits of prioritizing vulnerabilities –
- Optimum utilization of resources – Prioritizing vulnerabilities enables businesses to deploy their resources more wisely. Companies may invest in resources that are actually helpful to them without worrying about spending time and money addressing trivial concerns.
- Speedy Responses – The security team may respond to the most pressing risks more swiftly by putting the most pertinent issues first and avoiding wasting time on less essential issues.
Reasons for Difficulty in Patching
Although it is widely acknowledged that good vulnerability patching is very critical, it can be difficult. There are many places where vulnerabilities can be reported, including pen test reports and other scanning programs. You may run scans on your infrastructure, dependencies, containers, web apps, APIs, source code, and more.
- Effective patch management is challenging unless a company has a well-developed security program in place.
- New exploits continue to be discovered practically daily, making matching the vulnerability patch worse.
- The coordination and prioritization of patches will become more difficult and time-consuming.
Effective Approach to Patch Vulnerabilities
Prioritizing must first be streamlined before you can simplify patching. A “risk-based strategy” entails balancing the potential consequences of a vulnerability against the probability of its exploitation. This enables you to decide whether or not it is worthwhile to take action.
Utilizing this method significantly cuts down on the time needed to prioritize vulnerabilities. Let’s go through each point in greater detail:
- Sensitivity of the Asset – Public assets typically have a larger risk than private assets, but this does not always mean they should be given priority. The reason for this is that not all public property is sensitive. Some public assets might just be plain static pages devoid of user information, whilst others might process payments and PII. Therefore, even though an asset is public, you must take its sensitivity into account.
- Categorization of assets – Depending on how crucial an asset is to your company’s success, classify all of your assets’ business sensitivity. It is possible to classify an asset as a critical business sensitivity asset if it manages payments or holds sensitive information about users.
- Accessibility – Priority should be given to vulnerabilities for which public exploits are already accessible rather than those for which none exist.
- Complexity– Vulnerabilities with very simple exploits, which often require high privileges and user involvement, should be prioritized over vulnerabilities with highly complicated exploits.
- Classification – It is also important to take into account the vulnerability’s classification, which should be compared against industry norms like OWASP or CWE.
Need a solution?
To input data that can be mapped to write-ups and fill out reports, Strobes Security enables connections which include Burp Suite, Veracode, Nexcode, and many other tools. Additionally, we make sure that any threats potential or actual to the resources in your analytics module are immediately addressed.
Strobes Security can considerably speed up the process of identifying platform vulnerabilities, prioritizing them, and providing information on how to patch them for businesses of all sizes. Prioritization is further made simple by the fact that Strobes Security automatically ranks vulnerabilities for you using the criteria outlined in the section on a risk-based approach to patching vulnerabilities.
With its main products VM365 and PTaaS, Strobes Security is paving the path to upend the vulnerability management market. What are you waiting for if you aren’t already a Strobes Security user? Register for free here, or arrange a demo.
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