Today’s business environment constitutes highly connected devices, security products, applications, and users, significantly increasing the complexity and the attack surfaces. To take advantage of this scenario and use this advantage when exploiting their victims, attackers continuously develop and reinvent sophisticated and intrusive attack techniques. Consequently, cyberattacks have become highly targeted and pervasive.
It is just a matter of “when” an organization comes under cyberattacks in such a situation.
Cybercriminals often go for low-hanging fruit and exploit publicly disclosed vulnerabilities that are less complicated and require fewer resources, in general. Therefore, it is critical for an organization to manage risk by timely detecting and to mitigate various vulnerabilities in their infrastructure, essentially vulnerability management.
Vulnerability management is a proactive process of finding, classifying/prioritizing, and fixing security vulnerabilities to create a less attack-susceptible environment. It is a continuous process that involves:
• Identification and classification of assets
• Vulnerability assessment
• Risk classification and prioritization
• Patch evaluation
• Pre-test the patch
• Approve of the patch
• Deploy the patch
• Re-scan and verify that patches are deployed and functioning correctly
Looking at the recent trends in cyberattacks, cybercriminals actively target small businesses as those organizations are more prone to cyberattacks. Because the small businesses have the lesser ability (could be due to the budget and/or lack of skilled cybersecurity resources) to keep up with the current security threats and trends. Thus, such businesses need to develop vulnerability management strategies to remediate risk proactively.
Some of the strategic considerations in vulnerability management for small businesses are as follows.
• Reduce product clutter
As the network grows, organizations tend to add more products to their security stack in the hope of creating a cyber-resilient environment. However, these added devices are the seed to creating a complex business environment, which is the source of vulnerability. With complexity, the number of vulnerabilities increases.
Thus, the first step to manage vulnerabilities is to identify all the devices in your infrastructure, identify their capabilities, and retire those products that are no longer required. You will be amazed to see that there could be multiple devices with similar features, and removing the redundant will surely enhance the security posture.
• Deploy advanced vulnerability management tools
Employ vulnerability management tools with automation capability to minimize manual management, maximize accuracy, and dynamically remediate vulnerabilities faster.
Various vulnerability management tools scan assets for vulnerabilities and prioritize vulnerabilities based on the severity of the risk and the threat to the business. Then, it automates the mitigation process to fix the vulnerabilities timely. Overall, small businesses should deploy vulnerability management tools that fix the vulnerabilities from start to finish.
Security for Everyone (S4E) is one of the most trusted and affordable security solutions for vulnerability management. S4E provides a repository of more than 500 free cybersecurity assessment tools to meet different needs. These tools can effectively help to prioritize vulnerabilities and the application of patches. Moreover, S4E understands the technology and automatically prioritizes and performs security assessments without needing technical expertise.
• Red team and blue team exercise
The red team and blue team together can measure the performance of security controls. While the red team focuses on penetration testing and vulnerability assessment, the blue team assesses the capability of controls to counter attacks.
S4E consists of certified professionals who deliver excellent penetration testing services to help both red and blue teams achieve their targets.
Moreover, S4E also provides services to test IoT and mobile applications. IoT and mobile devices are the prime reason for an increase in vulnerabilities in an organization that raises severe security concerns such as data privacy, identity theft, and security breaches. So, assessment of such devices is an essential component of vulnerability management by both the team.
• Continuous monitoring
Continuous monitoring is a proactive approach to manage vulnerabilities and risk. As vulnerabilities can be introduced at any time, organizations should be vigilant and stay ahead of attackers to secure assets. In this effort, organizations should
• visualize critical assets and all path that lead to the assets,
• conduct threat hunting and identify threats,
• conduct a vulnerability assessment to identify and mitigate business-critical vulnerabilities
Organizations can utilize a wide range of assessment tools readily available from S4E to hunt for vulnerabilities and fix them before attackers can do any harm.
• Create a security attitude and security culture
Security is everyone’s responsibility.
If an organization is built up in a culture where employees think security is the IT department’s issue, then there is a problem. The organization cannot thrive and create sustainable security in such an environment. Because humans are the weakest link to security, and an organization can only be as secure as its weakest link. Thus, it is vital to change the attitude towards cybersecurity, and when it comes to security, everyone should be held accountable.
For this, cybersecurity awareness training is critical. S4E is equally committed to providing training and education needed towards building organization-wide security. With quizzes and social engineering attack scenarios, employees will be able to understand real-world issues and apply such learning in everyday duty.
Finally, all businesses need to enforce vulnerability management policy to avoid the possible repercussion of cyberattacks and reduce potential financial, reputational, and compliance damage. We are aware that managing all these risks is difficult, and that's why we are here. Days in secure.