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Vulnerability Management and Why You Need It (Updated)
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You may think that digital software and platforms are perfect because we don’t see anything wrong with it at a glance. However, in the backend of software and websites, there are weaknesses that could pose a huge risk to your business.
These digital weaknesses are called vulnerabilities. Much like how your physical business needs risk management in place your digital software requires vulnerability management too. In today’s article, we’re going to discuss what vulnerability management is and why it’s crucial that you have it.
What is Vulnerability Management?
Companies utilize the internet to connect with clients, business partners and to use digital resources & tools to complete tasks. However, there are many risks involved when connecting your company’s network to the internet.
Cybercriminals can use unsecured networks as a means to steal your sensitive information or deliver malware onto your devices. Furthermore, these criminals can view your online activity and even use up your internet data by hacking your Wi-Fi password.
All of this can be done because there are weaknesses in your network such as unreliable antivirus and firewall protections. Additionally, you’ll be susceptible to attacks if your servers aren’t private. To prevent cybercriminals from hacking into your company’s system you must have vulnerability management.
The process of vulnerability management is identifying potential threats, evaluating them, eradicating them and then reporting these flaws to the developers of the software you’re using. It’s the constant maintenance of digital systems to prevent breaches in your network.
Who is at Risk?
Any company that utilizes the internet to operate its business will be at risk of cyberattacks. It doesn’t matter what size your business is or which sector you fall under, you’ll be at risk if you don’t have proper vulnerability management.
Vulnerability management is not a once-off task. New vulnerabilities are discovered all the time, so your systems need constant inspections, scans and maintenance to prevent cybercriminals from hacking into your system.
Why You Need Vulnerability Management
Vulnerabilities in your network are a gold mine to the cybercriminal because it results in unauthorized access to your system and sometimes you won’t even notice the breach. When a cybercriminal has successfully hacked into your network he or she will start searching for information that will make them money such as the following:
- Personal information of clients and employees
- Bank account details
- Healthcare details
- Confidential business files
The criminal can subsequently sell the information they’ve found, on the black market. Another scenario includes holding your information for ransom by using ransomware. This is a type of software used to encrypt and lock your digital information so you can’t access it until you pay the criminal a hefty fee.
You don’t want your information to be sold or held for ransom. This will cost you a lot of money and potentially ruin your business. This is why it’s crucial that you implement vulnerability management for every software package you’re using on all your company’s devices.
With third-party assessments becoming more common, being able to demonstrate that you have a vulnerability program in place is a good way to demonstrate to your business partners that you are taking good care of your system and their data.
Furthermore, cyber-attacks are always advancing and becoming more sophisticated. Therefore there must be a consistent change in cybersecurity to counteract hacking technology.
How Does Vulnerability Management Work?
Since vulnerability management isn’t a once-off task it can be difficult to keep up. However, vulnerability management can now be automated to safeguard your systems consistently. So how does it work? Here are the steps to vulnerability management.
Asset Discovery or Scoping
Identify which devices are connected to your network at all times such as laptops, SmartPhones and PCs. Keep a record of all known devices connected to the network. Uncover unused or unknown devices on your network and remove them.
Scan all your devices (assets) for vulnerabilities and based on the results prioritize which of these weaknesses need to be fixed first.
Unfortunately, you can’t fix all the vulnerabilities at once. That’s why you should attend to the vulnerabilities that are of the highest priority and then work your way down the list. This method will assist you in working in a systematic way so that you’re not overwhelmed by the work.
You can fix vulnerabilities by patching up weak spots in your systems and making changes to your software. Most software has regular updates that will install automatically to fix buggy systems and to patch up weak areas on the platform.
Staying in the Loop
Fortunately, vulnerability management dashboards give you regular reports on areas of your network that need tending to. These reports are given to trusted personnel such as CEOs, IT managers, auditors and more.
Repeat, Repeat and Repeat again
As mentioned before new vulnerabilities are developed every day because networks and technology are always changing. Therefore you’ll need to conduct regular checks on your networks and repeat the process all the time.
Since vulnerability management must be done on a regular basis, it can be extremely time-consuming to do it manually. So you’ll need an automated system to assist you. The system you pick must have safe and reliable technology & it must have regular updates.
Automated systems are faster and much more affordable than manual system management.
Select a solution that changes with your business. As your company grows you’ll require more stable and secure systems. Your vulnerability management platform must be able to complete tasks no matter how big your company gets over time. Contact our team to find the right solution for your company as it continues to grow.