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Your Ultimate Guide to Vulnerability Management

shattered glass against background
Image by Ruwad Al Karem from Pixabay

The digital age, while groundbreaking, comes with a hefty price: technology vulnerabilities. Whenever new updates roll out, sneaky weaknesses can emerge, and hackers are quick to exploit them. Software developers then create security patches to fix the issue, and the cycle continues. With 93% of corporate networks exposed to potential cyberattacks, managing these vulnerabilities is more important than ever.

Sadly, many organizations underestimate the importance of vulnerability management, and as a result, face devastating breaches. To make matters worse, 61% of corporate network security vulnerabilities are over 5 years old. Ransomware attacks, account takeovers, and other cyberattacks all capitalize on these unpatched loopholes.

To protect your network, follow our simple yet powerful vulnerability management process.

The Vulnerability Management Process: Easy as 1, 2, 3 (and 4, 5, 6)

Step 1: Discover Your Digital Treasure Trove

First, uncover all the devices and software that you'll need to assess, including computers, smartphones, tablets, IoT devices, servers, and cloud services. Vulnerabilities can emerge in operating systems, cloud platforms, software, and firmware, so it's crucial to have a comprehensive inventory of your network assets.

Step 2: Unmask Hidden Weaknesses

Next, call in an IT professional to perform a vulnerability assessment using specialized software, possibly even including penetration testing. They'll scan your systems for known vulnerabilities and compare software versions to vulnerability databases. This way, you'll know exactly where your security might fall short.

Step 3: Rank Your Risks

Now it's time to prioritize your vulnerabilities. While many vulnerability assessment tools use the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) to rank risks from low to critical, you should also consider your business's unique needs. Focus on fixing the vulnerabilities that pose the greatest threat to your operations.

Step 4: Seal the Gaps

Once you have your list of prioritized vulnerabilities, it's time to remediate. Apply patches, update hardware, and, if necessary, ringfence vulnerable devices or applications. Don't forget to double-check that your fixes are effective!

Step 5: Keep a Record

Make sure to document your vulnerability assessment and management process for both cybersecurity and compliance purposes. This information will be crucial in case of a future breach and can help inform your next vulnerability assessment.

Step 6: Stay Vigilant

Vulnerability management is an ongoing process, so keep up the good work! With over 22,500 new vulnerabilities documented in 2022 alone, it's vital to stay on top of regular vulnerability assessments. Remember: assessment, prioritization, mitigation, and documentation are your keys to a fortified network.

Take the First Step Toward a Safer Network Today

Ready to strengthen your network's defenses? We're here to help. Give us a call to schedule a vulnerability assessment and start your journey toward effective vulnerability management.

Article used with permission from The Technology Press.

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