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28 Sep 2021

Vulnerability Management: The next step after scanning

So you’ve been running vulnerability scanning throughout your environment for a while now. But is that enough? What have you been doing with that information?

A full proof vulnerability strategy takes a much larger initiative and gives your business a view of your entire attack surface. How? By incorporating an end-to-end vulnerability management service into your cyber security strategy, you’ll be able to minimise your attack surface.


Vulnerability Management: What is it and how is it different from vulnerability scanning?

A vulnerability scan will uncover any security holes  in your network, systems and hardware.

Vulnerability management however is a proactive approach to discovering and remediating vulnerabilities. A good management project will include:

  • Proactive asset discovery
  • Continuous monitoring
  • Prioritisation of risks
  • Mitigation
  • Remediation


The 5 stages of vulnerability management

Unpatched vulnerabilities are an easy gateway for attackers to enter systems. Once they have gained entry, attackers can cause an enormous havoc by stealing data, denying access and accessing critical resources.

A structured VM program includes steps that identify, evaluate, prioritises vulnerabilities and secures your network along the way. Often vulnerabilities can be overlooked, especially when scanning isn’t conducted regularly. But an ongoing process like VM, opposed to a ‘one off’ vulnerability scan ensures thorough analysis to catch vulnerabilities and remediate them from the outset. The 5 key steps in the VM cycle shows how the process reduces cyber risk.

Stage 1: Discover

Asset inventory is an extremely important factor of VM. Many business have complex environments with assets in both the cloud and on-premises, and infrastructure can be constantly changing. That’s why a comprehensive asset discovery should be conducted on an ongoing basis, and each asset should be reviewed upon business impact and risk.

Stage 2: Assess

The second stage consists of assessing the vulnerabilities on the assets, this gives businesses into visibility into the attack surface and any associated risk. This is where depth, breadth and frequency should be carefully balanced as achieving all three consistently can be challenging.

Stage 3: Analyse & Prioritise

The vulnerability assessment will rank the vulnerabilities in order of prioritisation and criticality. The prioritisation allows businesses to gauge which vulnerabilities need to be remediated first and are more likely to be exploited. Overall, vulnerabilities should be prioritised based on business impact and risk.

Stage 4: Remediate

During this stage, remediation will begin based on the decisions made in the analysis stage. Unpatched known vulnerabilities are often the cause of data breaches but also come with its own challenges. The challenge lies in acquiring precise information on which areas to patch in order to gain the full potential of risk reduction.

Stage 5: Review

A detailed vulnerability management program will consistently look for areas of improvement and actively work to identify vulnerabilities. The last stage of the cycle does exactly that, it revaluates all stages and looks for ways to improve for the future, ongoing process.


Finding a reliable Vulnerability Management service provider

Understand your goal

When seeking a provider, you’ll notice that all programs come with an end goal of the ongoing management. Every business has different goals they want to achieve. You might want to minimise risk in your business, improve the overall security or ensure compliance.

Defining a clear goal will not only give your vulnerability management program its purpose, but also help determine which solution will be the best fit to achieve your goal.

Do they have the right capabilities?

Ultimately your chosen provider should present certain capabilities which will ensure that you’re getting the best out of the service. Although the capabilities can be almost common, there are certain abilities that enhances a service.

Vendor license key – Ask your provider if the software license fee is inclusive of all features, or if you have to pay for licenses for various types of assessments. What you choose to select will depend on your final goal.

Asset scanning – Most businesses have a variety of assets, sitting in different locations whether that’s on-site or in the cloud. You may want to consider some assets to direct work into your vulnerability management program. Taking this into account, you may need a solution for different environments or an “all-in-one” solution.

Compliance mandates – Some businesses are obligated to carry out regular vulnerability assessments if they are associated with a compliance mandate or framework. That’s why it’s worthwhile knowing if your potential solution can help you meet those specific requirements.

How prompt are they with updates?­­

You should be kept up to date with the process of updates when your provider plans to schedule this. Consider the two factors of who fast they respond, and new features.

Quick response – Once a vulnerability is uncovered, it’s worth asking your provider how they’ll add that particular vulnerability to the solution, and how quickly.

New features –  Secondly, how often does your provider update the service with any new features and can they rapidly add new IT assets? Don’t forget to ask how long old IT assets are supported for!


OryxAlign Vulnerability Management service

OryxAlign’s vulnerability management service is a fully managed solution that safeguards critical infrastructure from threats, malicious activity and human error. The deep analysis helps businesses understand the full context of each vulnerability, along with visibility on the level of criticality on the affected assets.

Asset inventory

This feature forms a real-time inventory list of what’s sitting within your environment. The asset inventory is useful to flag any vulnerabilities that are the most relevant.

Vulnerability targeting

You’ll be notified of any exploits linked with the vulnerabilities and only be notified with any relevant threats to your environment.

Deep visibility

Our service will give you full visibility into all your assets and their vulnerabilities, even if they’re IT, OT or IoT based.

Priority scoring

Vulnerability Priority Rating (VPR) encompasses vulnerability data with third-party vulnerabilities and threat data. Both combined are analysed with advanced data science algorithm and outputs a severity level with either critical, medium or low. These ratings are based on two main factors, the technical impact and the threat. With the ratings, businesses can improve their remediation efficiency and effectiveness.

If you’re looking to learn to take the next step and learn more about vulnerability management, contact our cyber security experts for a free consultation.

By OryxAlign