Next Generation Vulnerability Management – Staying Ahead of the Curve

What is Next Generation Vulnerability Management?

Your vulnerability management program is the cornerstone of your cybersecurity initiative because vulnerabilities in your cybersecurity posture, if left unidentified and unaddressed, can bring your business down. But as your enterprise advances with new innovation in technology and growing employee numbers, your vulnerability management needs to evolve as well to continue to protect your enterprise against diverse threats. This has not been the case with traditional vulnerability management solutions.

Next-gen vulnerability management (NGVM) enables organizations to take a more modern, risk-based approach to understanding and managing their security posture. Next generation vulnerability management not only identifies exposures but also helps predict breaches, prioritize action items based on business risk, and initiate fixes that will correct identified issues.

Traditional Vulnerability Management Challenges

Although many organizations still use a traditional vulnerability management approach, it has become increasingly ineffective as attack surfaces continue to grow and evolve. It spews out an inordinately large number of vulnerabilities and without an accurate view into proper prioritization, enterprise security teams struggle with patching and closing these vulnerabilities in a timely manner. In addition to this, there are several other areas where traditional vulnerability management falls short:

  • Does not provide accurate, up-to-date IT asset inventories
  • Typically only scans certain types of assets, and usually only enterprise-owned ones
  • Is episodic, with point-in-time rather than continuous monitoring
  • Assesses risk across only one attack vector, unpatched software, and does not cover the 100+ other attack vectors such as phishing, exposure due to weak/stolen/reused passwords, misconfigurations, encryption issues etc.
  • Does not prioritize action items by business risk

Capabilities of a Next-Gen Vulnerability Management Solution

A next generation vulnerability management solution will have the following key capabilities:

  • Automatic discovery and inventorying of all IT assets – managed and unmanaged, fixed and mobile, on-prem and cloud.
  • Visibility across all types of assets including BYOD, IoT, cloud, and third party
  • Coverage across a broad range of attack vectors, not just scanning for vulnerabilities in unpatched software
  • Understanding of context and business risk for each asset
  • Continuous and real-time monitoring of all assets across all attack vectors
  • Prioritized list of security actions based on comprehensive assessment of business risk
  • Prescriptive fixes to address the security issues in a manner integrated with the enterprise workflow

The Bottom Line

Despite hundreds of security products and billions of dollars a year in cybersecurity spend (expected to reach $170 billion by 2020), breaches are in the news every day.

Cybersecurity is a tough problem because organizations have a massive and exponentially growing attack surface. There are myriad of ways by which networks can be breached, and it is very hard to keep up with the attackers.

If you want to “up your vulnerability management game,” next gen vulnerability management is the way to go. This puts cybersecurity risk and acumen at the heart of your vulnerability defenses. It also gives your security teams and risk managers a huge advantage as they work to identify, fix, and close vulnerabilities before they can be exploited and do harm.

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