For companies looking to shore up their cybersecurity, vulnerability management tools and practices are some of the most important areas to look into. Some of the more architectural pieces of your framework, like firewalls and network security, might seem like higher priorities. But vulnerability management is less an individual tool than a pervading process that makes all other cyberdefenses operate more effectively. It’s arguably the most important piece of all.
Vulnerability management doesn’t eliminate vulnerabilities; completely wiping them out is impossible. But it does give you the ability to account for and address them as they appear.
Why Your Business Needs Vulnerability Management Tools
Businesses need vulnerability management because vulnerabilities are directly linked to the threats cybercrime poses to any organization. The more vulnerabilities you have, the more risk you face on a daily basis. Vulnerability management’s various tools identify and reduce overall vulnerability, mitigating risk and improving your overall safety and security.
This guide will break down why you need vulnerability management into two main parts:
- The cybercrime threats facing your organization
- How a vulnerability management mitigates them
By the time we’re done, you’ll know how and why most businesses would benefit from an upgrade to their threat management software. But first, you might be wondering whether this applies to your business in particular. So, we’ll start by establishing who needs it.
Which Businesses Need Threat Management Tools?
No company is completely free from risk; given the chance, cybercriminals will attack any company, of any size. While industries like banking and healthcare are among the most attractive targets for hackers, they’re far from the only businesses with vulnerabilities to exploit.
Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) shows the various points of attack that businesses of every industry are susceptible to. Examples that might be surprising include:
- Accomodation and food services – Of 125 incidents, 92 led to confirmed data disclosure. A unique vulnerability in this industry is point of sale (POS) attacks—while down from past years, they were still among the most prevalent vectors of attack.
- Educational institutions – A whopping 819 incidents resulted in at least 228 confirmed data leaks. Phishing is an effective vector of attack given educational service providers’ poor reporting time post-attack, relative to other industries studied.
- Construction – While this industry may be thought of as relatively offline, it’s still victimized by cybercriminals. Of 37 incidents, 25 led to confirmed data leaks. Common vectors of attack included stolen credentials and social engineering.
No matter what industry your company belongs to, nor the size, shape, or character of your business, you’re not immune. Every business needs threat and vulnerability management tools.
The Threat that Cybercrime Poses to Your Business
Vulnerabilities are dangerous not least because they open up additional ways and reasons for cybercriminals to attack your business. While many cybercrime attacks are launched even against companies with ironclad cyberdefenses, vulnerabilities enable crimes of opportunity.
Imagine a car thief walking down a street, not actively looking for a vehicle to steal, but willing to take one if an opportunity presents itself. If there’s a car that’s unlocked or has its windows rolled down, and the keys are in the ignition, this car would be a much more attractive target than all the other, secured vehicles along the road. It might just cause the thief to act.
To cybercriminals, vulnerabilities stick out just like an unlocked car to an auto bandit.
Common Vulnerabilities Facing Most Businesses
In May 2020, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) collaborated with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to prepare an alert on the most commonly exploited vulnerabilities between 2016-2020. Their findings indicate clear patterns in vectors of attack:
- General weakness of cybersecurity measures – In 2020, a plurality of cybercriminal attacks have exploited weak, underdeveloped, or nonexistent cybersecurity frameworks:
- Unpatched virtual private networks (VPN) – VPN usage has spiked during the work from home era. Unfortunately, so have vulnerabilities related to missing VPN patches:
- Specific software vulnerabilities – Many hackers have attacked weaknesses in software used by a majority of companies, including products from Microsoft and Adobe:
- A “use after free” vulnerability impacting Adobe Flash Player
- The “Microsoft Office Memory Corruption Vulnerability”
- Cloud-based vulnerability – As with the uptick in VPN usage, cloud servers have also seen an uptick in 2020. Hasty deployment thereof has led to vulnerabilities like:
- Failure to properly configure recommended Office 365 security settings
Across these routinely exploited vulnerabilities, a common theme is ubiquity. Software or practices adopted by the largest proportion of businesses is likely to be targeted by hackers playing the percentages. But the most popular software is often most popular because it’s the best suited for most businesses. So, these vulnerabilities are a threat across every industry.
That’s why it’s important to account for risks by employing vulnerability management tools.
How Threat and Vulnerability Management Tools Can Help
Vulnerability management tools mitigate risk through assessment and remediation of identified vulnerabilities. These tools may include any technologies and practices that comprise your existing security framework, or new software specifically dedicated to vulnerability management.
According to SANS Institute’s guide to Implementing a Vulnerability Management Process, there are five main steps to effective vulnerability management:
- Prepare for scan – Select the resources and systems that will be scanned, compile all relevant information about them, and configure parameters for the scan.
- Scan for vulnerabilities – Dive into all selected systems and resources and report on all findings related to cybersecurity (presence or absence of security features, etc.).
- Define remediation – Analyze all data uncovered; then, depending on findings (and IT capabilities) develop a plan to address any and all vulnerabilities identified.
- Implement remediation – Implement remediation plan to the best of your ability.
- Recommence scan – After implementation, perform a follow-up scan to determine the success of remediation and ensure that no new vulnerabilities have appeared.
The best way to implement these steps is to bring in professional help. Contracting a managed security provider lets you leverage their vulnerability management and overall cybersecurity tools; the best providers will set you up with tools and processes of your own.
Top Threat Management Software and Best Practices
RSI Security offers a robust suite of threat and vulnerability management services, including various tools and practices to help you identify and address all risks your company is facing.
Highlights of our vulnerability management program include:
- Threat and vulnerability lifecycle management
- Detailed threat intelligence and root cause analysis
- Patch management for compliance and broader cybersecurity
- Internal, external, white hat, and black hat penetration testing
- Website, cloud, and internet of things (IoT) assessment
Our approach to vulnerability management is proactive and comprehensive; we integrate threat assessment and mitigation into the very foundation of your cybersecurity framework.
RSI Security: Professionalize Your Cybersecurity Today!
The team of experts here at RSI Security has over a decade of experience providing vulnerability management services to businesses of all shapes and sizes. But that’s not all! We’re a full-service managed IT and security provider that can help you out with any and all cybersecurity assistance you may need, from architecture implementation to virtual CISO.
Don’t let a vulnerability—or any cybersecurity threat—hold you back.
No matter what industry you work in, you deserve to be safe. Contact RSI Security today to see just how powerful your vulnerability management tools and overall threat management can be!