Why Do You Need Ongoing Vulnerability Assessments?

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[ This article was originally published here by Indusface.com ]

There are over 40,756 open vulnerabilities in applications – according to Indusface AppTrana, August-September 2022.

90% of all vulnerabilities are exploitable, even by attackers with little technical knowledge or skills.

Given the circumstances, you need to build and maintain a sound security posture. And an ongoing vulnerability assessment process is vital to your security puzzle. 

What Does an Ongoing Vulnerability Assessment Entail? 

The typical vulnerability assessment process includes these 5 steps:

  1. Vulnerability identification to unearth the comprehensive list of vulnerabilities in the IT environment.
  2. Vulnerability analysis process wherein vulnerabilities’ root cause, source, and impact are identified and analyzed.
  3. The risk associated with each vulnerability is identified based on its severity score.
  4. The security gaps are closed through patching, virtual patching, configuration, debugging, etc.
  5. Re-evaluation is done to check the improvement status.
  6. The vulnerability assessment process ends with reporting and documentation.

This risk-based vulnerability assessment process cannot be an isolated, one-off event as the threat landscape constantly evolves and new vulnerabilities are discovered every day.

To keep your risks limited to tolerance levels and protect your assets, you must regularly perform vulnerability assessments.

Further, regular penetration testing and security audits need to augment the VA process.

Ongoing Vulnerability Assessment Process: Why it’s the Key to Your Sound Security Posture? 

Offers Insights into the Risks 

To build a solid security posture, you need to know where you stand regarding risks. As a function of vulnerabilities and threats, risks keep fluctuating over time. Regular vulnerability assessments offer real-time insights into your organization’s risks, enabling you to take the necessary action quickly.

Unearths Vulnerabilities, Misconfigurations, and Security Weaknesses

Using diverse tools, techniques, and technology, the vulnerability assessment process helps unearth all the security vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, weaknesses, and gaps in the IT infrastructure.

The vulnerability assessment tools leverage the power of intelligent automation to usher agility, speed, accuracy, and flexibility into the scanning process. They can conduct deep, intelligent scans across the IT infrastructure while automatically discovering and adding new areas to crawl. The best tools can test for existing and emerging threats that target your IT infrastructure.

Automated scanning tools are typically augmented with regular manual penetration testing by trusted security experts. This helps you identify logical flaws, misconfigurations, and unknown vulnerabilities that scanners may miss.

Finds the Cracks in the Armor 

Through ongoing risk-based vulnerability assessments, you can continually evaluate the strength of your security defenses and promptly detect cracks in the armor – on the human, network, application, and systems fronts. This way, you can instantly take steps to strengthen your defenses and ensure that your data, mission-critical assets, and infrastructure remain protected. It helps you maximize the efficiency of your security systems.

Helps Understand the Potential Impact of Vulnerabilities 

The vulnerability assessment process does not stop with identification. It includes vulnerability analysis and prioritization. When the process is ongoing, you will get an insight into the following:

  • Exploitability of different vulnerabilities
  • How could they be exploited?
  • The impact of attacks

So, you can keep hardening your security posture.

Creates an Updated Inventory of Assets 

The attack surface is ever-expanding with several moving parts, shared services, third-party components, and software. You can create and keep updating your asset inventory with an ongoing vulnerability assessment process. The automated vulnerability assessment tools make this process quick, accurate, and efficient.

So, you can gain real-time visibility into your attack surface and identify the areas of exposure.

Enables Prioritization of Business-Critical Assets 

Ongoing vulnerability assessments also tell you about the position and condition of each asset/ system/ device connected to the network, its purpose, and related systems. Based on this, you can prioritize and put more effort toward business-critical assets.

Empowers Smarter Decision-Making and Strategy Formulation 

From real-time, actionable insights to thorough reporting and documentation, an ongoing vulnerability assessment equips you to:

  • Make the right decisions at the right time
  • Prepare solid incident response plans
  • Formulate robust strategies
  • Ensure strong security controls

You are not basing your strategy and decisions on dated information and reports but the latest insights. This helps strengthen your security posture.

In Conclusion

Vulnerability assessment processes enable you to know your risks and alleviate them, thus, hardening your security posture.

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