Why is Vulnerability Management Important?

Why is Vulnerability Management Important?
Why is Vulnerability Management Important?

Do you know what vulnerability management is and why it’s important? As the cyber landscape continues to change, risks are increasing – and you need to expand your cybersecurity program to include vulnerability management to minimize the weaknesses throughout your network.

A vulnerability is a weakness of an asset or group of assets that one or more threats can exploit. It could be a workstation, server, software program, firewalls, apps, plug-ins, operating system, legacy components, or other data or sources. Left undiscovered, these vulnerabilities heighten the likelihood of a cyberattack infiltrating your network and operating systems.

Third-party vendors up and down the supply chain are also on high alert and increasingly at risk.

Ransomware attacks have evolved, and zero-day vulnerabilities, which are flaws in the software, hardware, and firmware that are unknown or have not been patched or fixed, have only increased.

Why is Vulnerability Management Important?

Why You Need Vulnerability Management

Vulnerability management uncovers deeper, company-wide security vulnerabilities that can wreak havoc throughout a network.

Recent internal stats bear out that every customer and vertical market can be at risk. Over 94% of Defendify customers with internal vulnerability scanning activated had a vulnerability discovered at the time of their first scan.

Many vulnerabilities occur because humans write code, and errors are a natural part of the process. Inside every organization, there is a complex interaction between software programs, operating systems, data sources, and employees. For example, open-source tools are often developed as side projects and not always maintained, and it can be unclear if open-source tools or code are being used within software.

The likelihood of a cyberattack increases exponentially with the absence of a plan that effectively allows organizations to maintain an updated asset inventory, implement a documented process for patch management, and manage remote devices.

What Tools to Use to Discover Vulnerabilities?

Two important but very different tools to include in your vulnerability management strategies and cybersecurity solutions are penetration testing, also known as ethical hacking and vulnerability scanning. While they have striking differences, they work together to discover the inherent weaknesses of an asset or group of assets. Both work in tandem to identify vulnerabilities – taking different approaches.

Ethical Hacking (Penetration Testing)

Ethical hacking is a manual process performed periodically. An ethical hacker or a ‘white hat’ is someone outside your organization who works to penetrate your network as a criminal to assess how easy it is to infiltrate.

Periodic ethical hacking is used to simulate an attack and test defenses. It can determine if a vulnerability is exploitable – and what you need to do to close this open threat. Ethical hackers provide documentation and reports on vulnerabilities throughout your organization’s assets, including software and devices accessing the network.

Vulnerability Scanning

Vulnerability scanning is an automated process. A vulnerability scan identifies Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs), or publicly known vulnerabilities, in a company’s network, server, and operating systems. Scan results may identify out-of-date software or hardware and even IoT devices (e.g., security cameras, printers, or even coffee machines) that still have default passwords.

Where Can the Vulnerabilities Be Found?

There are two baseline scans to locate and expose vulnerabilities: external and internal. External vulnerability scans are public-facing assets run from outside the network and specifically work to uncover firewalls, servers, or web applications that could be exploited. Internal vulnerability scans originate inside the company. Once a report is generated, an organization can take these results and remediate any findings, beginning with the critical risks and then working to medium and low.

These frictionless, automated processes don’t burden the IT department. They check for unpatched or out-of-date software, hardware, malware on a company device, and even unauthorized plug-ins. In addition to vulnerability management, your cybersecurity plan should include employee training as a first defense and policies that employees can’t install a plug-in or leverage loT devices without administration approval.

How Do You Handle a Known Vulnerability?

Finding a known vulnerability allows you to take positive, next steps to increase your cybersecurity. Here’s what you can do with the data from a vulnerability scan:

  • Use it to institute a remediation plan or management planning program document.
  • Apply patches in a reasonable amount of time.
  • Implement a plan for dealing with legacy systems, for example, an end-of-life server or operating platform
  • Document any ongoing, accepted risks to prioritize vulnerability management and protect your network.

The Ideal Vulnerability Management Solution: Network Vulnerability Scanning and Ethical Hacking

Cybersecurity protection needs to be comprehensive and address new and emerging threats and vulnerabilities. It’s a continuous, all-encompassing process that needs to be well managed and thorough, rather than focus on a single-point solution.

Taking steps to provide vulnerability management is an important part of a comprehensive cybersecurity plan. Integrated into a holistic cybersecurity solution, network vulnerability scanning, and ethical hacking are your allies for a safer, more secure network, assets, and operations.

These tools, combined with assessments and testing, policies and training, and detection and response will lower your vulnerability and help you prepare proactively for new cyber-risk challenges.


Get in Touch with Your Vulnerable Side – of Your Network.

Defendify is challenging you to get in touch with your vulnerable side (no, not the emotional kind you get while watching Hallmark movies) by uncovering data security vulnerabilities throughout your company-wide networks that can expose them to multiple threats vectors.

We’re giving away free cybersecurity tools and a chance to win one of four gourmet food packages (to help you get through all of your vulnerabilities!)

The challenge takes place during the month of February and two winners will be randomly selected on March 1, 2022 and notified by email.

See how it works

Vulnerability Challenge

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