Networks, data, and digital infrastructure are all essential assets to any enterprise today. Yet, many organizations are still stuck in the mindset of viewing these things as being secondary to their main lines of business. While this is certainly an easier, more comfortable way of thinking about critical corporate assets, it’s not in anyone’s best interest — well, other than cyber criminals.
In today’s world, threats don’t sleep. If you have something of value, someone out there wants to take it from you. Unfortunately, this is incredibly difficult to defend against in the digital realm. There can also be substantial costs associated with data breaches. A recent study from IBM found the average costs associated with a data breach in the United States comes to around $8.64 million, and takes around 280 days for containment.
While the headline price tag should certainly stand out to corporate stakeholders, the amount of time breaches go undetected can massively impact the damage. This is where vulnerability management comes into play. Organizations that want to fight back against nefarious online forces need to go the extra mile for protection.
Here are the main elements of vulnerability management.
Full Visibility and Control All the Time
You’re not going to be effective in stopping threats to your networks and other digital assets without the right tools for the job. Vulnerability management helps enterprises keep both eyes on security, without having to sacrifice resources and personnel.
These features need to be incorporated into a successful vulnerability management protocol:
- Discovery of all users and devices connecting to enterprise networks
- Ability to parse through and track issues across hybrid cloud landscapes
- Centralized visibility through enhanced monitoring management dashboards
- Constant tracking across the board, all the time
- Penetration testing to see if the vulnerability management is really working
- Patch management to keep devices and networks secure and compliant
Nothing is going to be secure if you’re not keeping track of each and every device. This can allow devices to be compromised without sounding any alarms and lead to situations in which software becomes a potential attack vector because it is outdated. It’s essential to vulnerability management that you have a full, uninterrupted picture of what’s happening with your digital assets and infrastructure at all times. Without this, you might be doing a good job of cybersecurity, but it’s never going to be good enough.
Leveraging Technology for Security
The number of cybersecurity attacks is ever increasing. While email still remains the most prevalent path for delivery of malware and other dangers, threats are always evolving. For instance, IoT devices are increasingly being targeted by incoming attacks. In order to keep networks and assets secure, organizations should leverage technology to their advantage.
Machine learning is one kind of tech that’s helping vulnerability management adapt to new threats. It can help enterprises collect and analyze data about network functionality and attack surfaces that would never be possible otherwise. Deploying vulnerability management with machine learning capabilities can greatly improve overall security.
Free Up IT
The IT department is going to be more or less running the show when it comes to cybersecurity. There are a few things to consider when adopting a vulnerability management protocol for your enterprise in terms of making IT operations run more smoothly. First, vulnerability management done well is going to supercharge your IT department. This should give them greater capabilities to actually stop threats before they become breaches.
Beyond that, successful deployment of vulnerability management should free up time for your IT team to work on other things requiring their attention. This is especially true for organizations that opt to hire a third-party vendor for vulnerability management services. There’s often a cost incentive for doing this upfront, which can be magnified if their cybersecurity experts can help deflect incoming threats.
Overall, there’s no excuse for enterprises today to skimp on vulnerability management. This is an essential piece of running a business and needs to be treated on the same level as products and services themselves. Without solid vulnerability management, nothing else can function the right way.