Vulnerability Management Life Cycle

16.10.2019 Read
Vulnerability Management Life Cycle

As one of the most important practices of cyber security, vulnerability management is not a one step process. It must keep evolving in accordance with your network’s growth. That is why we will take a closer look at vulnerability management lifecycle in this article. Vulnerability management is one of the pillars of cyber security. It helps your organization to have a stronger cyber security and allows your security team to better handle with potential attacks. Yet the vulnerability management practices are rather involved processes. They include identifying gaps and frequently running tests but there is more. In this article, we will take a closer look at vulnerability management cycle, an important part of vulnerability management practices.

What is a Vulnerability?

In cyber security, vulnerability means a security weakness or inadequacy that lets an intruder to gain access to the valuable data of your organization. In order to call a weakness as a vulnerability, it must contain the three elements that helps cyber security professionals identify and scan vulnerabilities. First of these elements is a system weakness. A system weakness is a deficiency that makes your systems fragile. Through this weakness, an attacker can target your whole network and systems. Second element is the attacker’s ability to access this weakness. If it is possible to admit to this weakness, sooner or later an intruder is going to find their way through it. The final element of a vulnerability is the attacker’s ability to abuse this weakness.

A cyber attacker may employ a tool, a malware or a technique to make use of this crack on the façade of your security. If a weakness contains all of these three elements mentioned above, it is called a vulnerability and it must be addressed as soon as possible by your cyber security team. A vulnerability in your security measures is like a ticking bomb. It can explode anytime, and the worst part is, it might take an awful while before you notice and fix it. SOAR systems available to help security team is to do efficient vulnerability management.

Why is Vulnerability Management Important?

Your security measures are as strong as their vulnerabilities. That is why the vulnerabilities in your security façade must be alleviated before they are noticed by a malicious party. Simply put, vulnerabilities are the openings on your fence. If you don’t treat them, anyone can find their way in through. Moreover, some cyber attackers infiltrate your systems in a stealthy fashion which allows them to go unnoticed for extended periods of time. In other words, someone might steal your vulnerable data or lock you out of your own network before you even notice them. That is why vulnerability management is one of the most important components of cyber security.

What is Vulnerability Management Life Cycle?

Vulnerability management is not a one-time task you get done and then forget. It is a process that takes time and effort in order to be successful. Every day, hackers and intruders come up with new tools and techniques to infiltrate organizations. That is why you always need to be on top of your security measures and their vulnerabilities. As a result, vulnerability management has a life cycle. There are six steps that you need to revisit often. Below you can find these steps and what they refer to.

  1. You need to regularly check your systems and identify vulnerabilities. In order to do so, you need to establish a network baseline and recognize deviations.
  2. Prioritization of the assets. It is no secret that some assets are more valuable than the others. You should classify your assets into units and determine the individual value of these units. Your security protocols must regard this prioritization.
  3. You should assign a baseline risk profile for your assets. Thus you can work your way through threats and risks in regards to the asset categorization and fatality of the threats.
  4. You should categorize and sort the risks that concern your assets. Then you need to develop a security plan,  start malware analysis and illustrate established vulnerabilities.
  5. You need to alleviate vulnerabilities that threat your security but you need to start from most risky, most fatal vulnerability to the least.
  6. After the remediation process, you need to verify that the vulnerabilities have been successfully alleviated.
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