There exist a massive number of vulnerabilities in third-party applications and today’s security teams find it challenging to patch these many vulnerabilities with the resources available. Moreover, they often fail to understand which vulnerabilities need to be prioritized. Security teams put tremendous efforts in using vulnerability scanners and patch management tools but such solutions don’t provide comprehensive capabilities and contextualized intelligence needed to measure and reduce vulnerability risk.
According to Forrester’s 2022 Automation And Unification report, only 23% percent of the 339 surveyed security leaders have implemented security toolsets and functions for vulnerability assessment. While 30% of them are planning to implement the vulnerability assessment tools in the next 12 months, 43% of them are interested but have no plans to implement them anytime soon. The percentage of security teams putting tools in place shows that modern-day security teams do not only need just security tools but a holistic approach to address the vulnerabilities they come across.
Gaps in Vulnerability Management
For any organization, effective vulnerability management is essential. However, when it comes to the implementation of vulnerability management, most organizations fail for several reasons. Highlighted below are the vulnerability management challenges that lead to poor cybersecurity if overlooked.
Insufficient Asset Inventory
Organizations can only scan and patch the assets that they know exist. They can’t protect what they can’t see. Modern-day organizations have tons of assets, including massive databases, continuously updating software, shared services, third-party applications, and so much more that open the doors for various attack vectors. If these assets are unknown, they may also be unpatched and potentially vulnerable, creating an effortless entry point for attackers. The absence of a clear and updated asset inventory is a significant vulnerability management challenge.
Vulnerability management teams identify a massive number of vulnerabilities during a scan, and out of those vulnerabilities, they patch some and neglect others. And, if the vulnerability management process is irregular, the number of unpatched vulnerabilities increases. Working with a vulnerability debt makes the situation undefendable. To address the flow of emerging vulnerabilities and timely mitigate them, organizations must follow a continuous approach focused on automated vulnerability identification.
Ineffective Vulnerability Prioritization
From identifying vulnerabilities to blindly patching them is not never the solution. It’s important to calculate the risk first and subsequently, focus on the critical vulnerabilities. Often vulnerability management teams spend their time and efforts on false positives and low-risk vulnerabilities while overlooking critical flaws. That’s why it’s imperative to prioritize vulnerabilities.
Lack of Security Automation
Several processes related to vulnerability prioritization and mitigation are manual. During patching, many of the vulnerability management teams manually track and mitigate vulnerabilities to neutralize any further exploitation. Moreover, with limited integration between different security tools and processes and little to no automation, vulnerability management becomes labor-intensive and inefficient.
Limited Visibility into Vulnerabilities
Many organizations have limited visibility into their historical and current vulnerability remediation activities, resulting in difficulties to understand vulnerability risk and further investigation. Organizations need to have complete visibility into their vulnerability management lifecycle that can help them keep track of vulnerability identification, prioritization, and remediation. Moreover, vulnerability management teams often use multiple tools and methods to identify vulnerabilities, each functioning in its own silo. Without amalgamating all the vulnerabilities from disparate sources into a central platform, it is difficult to gain visibility into them and effectively monitor and remediate them.
Why Better Vulnerability Management is Needed?
It’s important to understand that vulnerability management doesn’t only involve patching and reconfiguring unsecured settings. Vulnerability management is a practice that demands consistent detection and remediation.
Several commercial solutions are available in the market today for vulnerability management. While some just focus on vulnerability assessment, some only perform vulnerability scanning, and others provide comprehensive insights into the entire process of vulnerability management.
On the other hand, complete vulnerability management solutions go beyond providing basic capabilities and add value by integrating with other security functions that help in asset discovery, intrusion detection, threat detection and response, SIEM and log data correlation, and so much more. A cyber fusion center (CFC) is one such solution that brings disparate teams, tools, and processes under one platform, allowing them to function in a collaborative ecosystem. Cyber fusion is the next-gen technology that provides complete visibility into the threat environment, focuses on intelligence-led prioritization of vulnerabilities, monitors all the vulnerability management processes, and automates and orchestrates to reduce effort and improve outcomes. With CFCs, vulnerability management teams can significantly reduce the risk of unpatched vulnerabilities.
Vulnerability Management Calls For Cyber Fusion
By combining these capabilities, a Cyber Fusion Center delivers what vulnerability management teams really need—instant access to all relevant vulnerability intelligence, complete threat visibility into the vulnerability management process, and seamless security orchestration and automation of any process, including audit.
For vulnerability management teams, cyber fusion is the next-gen technology that helps them identify, prioritize, and respond to a vulnerability based on organization-specific risk, thereby drastically reducing their manual efforts. It’s high time vulnerability management teams consider adopting a Cyber Fusion Center solution to cement high-risk vulnerabilities.
A Cyber Fusion Center solution provides essential capabilities—intelligence-led prioritization and advanced security and orchestration capabilities—that buttress effective vulnerability management and minimize the risk of unpatched vulnerabilities.
Connects the Dots
A Cyber Fusion Center solution provides the capability to connect the dots between vulnerabilities, incidents, malware, assets, and threat actors, enabling vulnerability management teams to collect contextual intelligence on complex threat campaigns, track attackers’ trajectories, and discover latent threat patterns. Unlike conventional threat response platforms, a Cyber Fusion Center solution allows vulnerability management teams to focus on all kinds of threats including vulnerabilities, providing a holistic view of the threat landscape and covering every aspect of threat response.
Vulnerability Intelligence Sharing
The highest-risk vulnerabilities are widely exploited today. The exchange of threat intelligence between organizations through information sharing communities (ISACs/ISAOs) is a core component of the Cyber Fusion Center that drives faster and more accurate identification of the vulnerabilities with the highest risk.
Vulnerability intelligence sharing must be bi-directional. If an organization detects a vulnerability, it can share that information with its partners, peers, vendors, and key stakeholders, helping everyone mitigate third-party risks. On the other hand, an organization can also receive threat intelligence from an information sharing community about an actively-used exploit in its industry or geography. This way vulnerability management teams can share real-time early threat warning advisories for malware, vulnerabilities, threat actors, and attack campaigns with different stakeholders and business units. Also, they can evaluate the organization’s risk and accordingly take actions.
Moreover, based on their criticality, intelligence on vulnerabilities can be circulated internally and between organizations. Vulnerabilities with high CVSS scores are most alarming and should be automatically escalated or shared with security leaders, while low-risk vulnerabilities can be shared when required based on locations, industries, and individual roles.
Responding to vulnerabilities as quickly as possible is one of the major concerns of vulnerability management teams, therefore they need a solution that can automate time-consuming threat response processes in real-time. While many SOAR tools claim to offer comprehensive orchestration and security automation, most are limited to integrations with specific tools or vendors. A Cyber Fusion Center solution provides true orchestration and no-code playbook building, enabling vulnerability management teams to automate time-consuming processes. The orchestration of multi-stage patching processes significantly saves time and supports automated audit tracking, ensuring a clear and complete record of all the activities. Often fully-automated patching is considered a risk, but many organizations leverage a Cyber Fusion Center solution to automate their remediation steps.
Monitoring and Reporting
Both CISOs and vulnerability management teams must be aware of the extent to which a vulnerability has been exploited. Often CISOs aren’t alerted about high-risk vulnerabilities until it’s too late. Vulnerabilities with high CVSS scores should be reported to CISOs and other team members as soon as they are identified. Whereas, lower impact vulnerabilities can be handled by vulnerability management teams without further escalation. However, such a process is time-consuming. A Cyber Fusion Center provides greater monitoring of the vulnerability management process and its outcomes. It automates threat alert sharing and aggregation in real-time, helping vulnerability management teams achieve round-the-clock situational awareness on threats and vulnerabilities as they occur. Organizations must strive to gain situational awareness by sharing real-time threat alerts with their security teams based on their role, industry sector, and geography. This will help them inform their peers about the third-party application vulnerabilities being exploited, better understand the vulnerabilities, and timely patch them and provide mitigation measures.
Automated Vulnerability Management with Cyware
Cyber fusion capabilities provide accurate vulnerability risk assessment, eliminate false positives and no-risk vulnerabilities, more consistent remediation, fewer opportunities for human error, prioritize response to high-risk vulnerabilities, fully-automated audit trail, reduced manual burden on teams, and significantly reduced vulnerability risk. These benefits can place any organization’s security posture at the forefront.
Download this whitepaper to learn how cyber fusion improves vulnerability management. To learn more about vulnerability management with the cyber fusion center, book a free demo today!