Legacy vulnerability management tools can no longer keep up with the expanding attack surface. Now is the time to focus your remediation efforts on the vulnerabilities that pose the greatest risk to your business.
There’s a growing understanding among security professionals that legacy vulnerability management tools simply aren’t cutting it anymore. Between the expanding attack surface, the growing number of vulnerabilities, and the increasing speed and complexity of cyber threats, you simply don’t have the time or resources to remediate everything. And since more vulnerabilities – roughly 1,500 every month 1 – are continuously discovered while you’re busy dealing with others, it’s easy to feel like you’re losing a frenzied game of Whac-A-Mole.
What you really want to do is focus on what matters most. That means finding the vulnerabilities that pose the greatest potential risk to your organization, and then determining which of them reside on your most critical assets. After all, it’s that combination—vulns with the highest risk, residing on your most important assets—that makes them your highest priority.
Of course, that level of focus isn’t possible if you’re using legacy vulnerability management tools. To succeed, you need to evolve your VM program to embrace a risk-based approach.
The pitfalls of legacy vulnerability scanning
You can’t protect what you can’t see. If your scanner can only assess traditional IT assets, you’re missing any vulnerabilities that are present in the most dynamic aspects of the modern attack surface—including those residing in cloud, operational technology (OT) and container environments.
Legacy scanners also lack any degree of insights into the vulnerabilities they uncover; while they are extraordinary tools for finding vulnerabilities in traditional on-premise IT environments, that’s the full extent of their limited powers. Using these tools results in a flat CSV file that simply lists the organization’s vulnerabilities, with no context, color, or additional analysis of any kind.
In addition to an expanded set of tools, organizations need to update their VM policies and procedures to keep pace with evolving cyber threats. For example, scanning once a month or less means that you’re basing decisions on old, outdated information. And prioritizing remediation efforts forces you to make critical decisions in the dark, without any sort of context or color.
Getting started with a risk-based approach
Risk-based vulnerability management may seem complicated, but it can be a relatively painless migration if you know what to expect and plan accordingly. And once you’ve implemented it, you can reap myriad long-term benefits. This includes providing your team with the ability to prioritize the vulnerabilities and assets that matter most, proactively managing the organization’s cyber risk, and making strategic decisions rather than waiting until a security event occurs and then shifting into panic mode.
Now is the time for organizations to get ahead of the vulnerability overload problem. By 2022, Gartner forecasts that organizations that use risk-based VM will suffer 80% fewer breaches than those that don’t.2 That’s why Tenable is hosting a special webinar later this month, How to Evolve to Risk-Based Vulnerability Management, to help you navigate this brave new world. I’ll be joined by Tenable Chief Security Strategist, Adam Palmer, to discuss:
- How to discover and map every asset across your entire attack surface to eliminate blind spots
- The importance of frequent scanning, dynamic discovery of new assets, and continuous assessment of known assets
- Why it’s so essential to prioritize your remediation efforts in the context of business risk, and how to add that context without getting buried in more data
- How to proactively address the vulnerabilities that pose the most risk while minimizing disruptions from new vulnerabilities and zero-day exploits that gain media attention
Stop relying on outdated methods that are failing you and creating more work for the team. Instead, get on the path to implementing a risk-based vulnerability management strategy to maximize the team’s efficiency while reducing risk. Want to learn more? Sign up for our webinar below to learn what’s required to succeed.
1. Figure is based on data from the U.S. National Vulnerability Database, which recorded 17,313 new vulnerabilities in 2019.
2. Gartner, "A Guide to Choosing a Vulnerability Assessment Solution," April 2019