In addition to providing a higher level of security, vulnerability management helps your company save time and money by reducing the likelihood of cybercrime and breach. For this reason, it represents an important competitive differentiation in the market, ensuring credibility to your brand.
In this article, we will describe eight basic steps to properly address vulnerabilities, not only in terms of hardware and software, but also regarding user behavior. Enjoy the reading!
1. Prepare the processes
Well-designed processes are critical for efficient vulnerability management. In the preparation phase, collect relevant information such as:
- company size;
- number of applications and devices that make up the IT infrastructure;
- locations where customer and employee data are stored;
- information security measures in place (or not).
This first step will allow a comprehensive view of the current status and the tasks that must be performed next.
2. Set responsibilities
The second step is to determine who will perform the previously established tasks. Also, the need to create a team to take care of vulnerabilities must be analyzed. For smaller companies, consider outsourcing some IT services.
3. Map risks
Once responsibilities are defined, it is time to analyze all risks related to software or hardware, especially when they are used for storing or processing sensitive data. It is recommended to fully scan the infrastructure every two months, but the most important elements must be monitored more frequently.
4. Analyze and prioritize
After mapping all risks, set priorities according to the vulnerabilities that must be contained most urgently. This analysis must be performed with the support of other departments, as certain threats can affect several divisions. Categorize threats according to the impact they generate on the business as a whole.
5. Produce and analyze reports
Many vulnerability management issues result from disorganized or unstructured information. For this reason, it’s important to produce manageable reports that provide easy visualization of the progress and the results of proposed actions.
All teams affected by identified vulnerabilities should participate in the development of reports and use them to create or adjust their strategies. In addition, every action that is performed must be properly recorded so that everyone can learn from each incident and avoid new or old failures.
Careful analysis of the reports is also an excellent way to identify areas for improvement in current processes and optimize them over time.
6. Address vulnerabilities in a structured way
Some vulnerabilities may appear again from time to time, so to create specific processes to address them as soon as possible, generating faster response to these incidents and reducing the impact on all affected departments.
7. Adopt performance metrics
It’s impossible to measure the efficiency of vulnerability management without using numbers. Performance metrics is essential to justify investments and is among the main practices.
A very common indicator is the number of vulnerabilities recorded over a given period. But you can use others, such as:
Average time between the disclosure of a vulnerability and its detection.
Average time to patch a vulnerability.
Baseline or golden machine
This indicator helps identify devices that present a higher risk. In this case, a machine is used as a parameter – which is considered the baseline or golden machine.
This machine should be scanned and have all the latest patches installed. The number of vulnerabilities found in it will be used as the basis for a scoring system that will allow comparisons with other devices. This way, the technical team can identify and prioritize machines.
8. Train your team
Most vulnerabilities are the result of human errors. Therefore, it is important to train your team on the pillars of information security and vulnerability management.
By guiding employees on the best way to use devices and software, the collective measures create a human firewall that facilitates threat identification and mitigation.
Managing vulnerabilities is a never-ending task. It’s a continuous improvement cycle that should engage the whole organization, not just IT professionals. And specialized tools make all the difference for it to be an increasingly efficient process.
The Milvus platform, for example, allows you to organize and control the machines of your customers with a series of inventory resources in an intuitive interface. In addition, it has everything your company needs to optimize its help desk system.
Learn more about the intelligent management resources offered by Milvus – they will help increase the productivity of your technical support team through an omnichannel service platform!