5 Steps to Performing Better Vulnerability Assessments

Performing a vulnerability scan once a year just to meet a compliance requirement isn’t enough to secure your network. To improve your security posture and make the most out of these scans, try following the 5 steps to better vulnerability assessments.

  1. Asset discovery

While this step seems straight forward, the reality is, there can be many devices attached to your digital infrastructure.  Some of these complications come in the form of mobile devices, IoT devices, and cloud-based services. In a larger organization, It is sometimes hard simply to keep track of what different teams are putting online, or changing, at any given point due to the pace of change.

  1. Asset priority

Once you have discovered what you have, you need to prioritize the most important devices to your business.  This prioritization will allow you to decide what devices you want to scan, and which devices might need remediation first.  You may decide that your most important assets are those customer facing applications, Internet facing servers, and databases with sensitive information. 

  1. Vulnerability scanning

Now that you have prioritized your assets, it is time to start scanning for vulnerabilities.  The vulnerability scans are designed to detect known security weaknesses, such as misconfigurations, outdated software versions, or open ports and running services. 

  1. Analyze results and begin remediation

Once the scan is completed, you will get a report of all the found vulnerabilities.  This part of the process can be onerous, especially with the amount of vulnerabilities found.  The key is to take a risk-based approach to remediation.  Specifically, you’ll want your report to rank in order the most severe vulnerabilities to the least severe.  You will also want to rank based on asset priority. For instance, a low vulnerability on a high priority asset might deserve more attention than a high ranked vulnerability on a low priority asset.  With a risk-based approach, additional information about assets—such as the type of asset and the asset’s location—gives you better insight into what needs to be fixed right now. Remediation tasks are prioritized and performed with a more rational approach, leading to higher efficiency in implementation, better security for your systems as you address actual risks, and an improved ROI on your initial assessment—and any subsequent vulnerability management activities you undertake.

  1. Continuous security

Now that you have completed your assessment, the job of cyber security isn’t completed.  Cyber security is an ongoing process, and part of that is ongoing vulnerability assessments. Vulnerability management is an ongoing, never-ending process. Continual monitoring of your environment is part and parcel of managing your risks. While that might sound like it could take more time, in the end, it is actually more effective to spend time remediating one or two small risks on a daily basis than to devote days or weeks of work to remediating vulnerabilities after you allowed them to pile up for six or 12 months after your last scan.

Now that you know the steps you need to take, consider hiring an Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP) to help make this task easier on yourself. Hiring an MSSP who are experts in vulnerability and remediation management can help you automate these tasks as well as bring in the expertise required to help you determine the right remediation strategy.  Contact Uzado today to learn more about how we can help you with your vulnerability and remediation management.