What Is Risk-Based Vulnerability Management?

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A study by Positive Technologies revealed that 84% of companies have high-risk vulnerabilities on their external networks. Risk-based vulnerability management (RBVM) can remedy these network flaws and their associated threats, so your business data remains safe.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of RBVM, and how you can optimally implement this process to secure your IT infrastructure.


What is Risk-Based Vulnerability Management?

Risk-based vulnerability management is a cybersecurity process that first identifies and then remedies significant vulnerabilities that put your organization’s IT at the most risk. By proactively detecting and then fixing your system flaws and their associated threats, you can enhance your IT security and reduce the risk of your business data being exploited.


The Benefits of Risk-Based Vulnerability Management

When you choose risk-based vulnerability management for your organization, you not only detect and alleviate your greatest internal and external vulnerabilities, but you also enjoy a variety of benefits. Through RBVM, you gain the continuous protection of your data, enhanced efficiency, as well as advanced insights.


Continuous Data Monitoring and Protection

The threat-hunting capabilities offered by risk-based vulnerability management tools protect your sensitive data by continuously monitoring your IT environment. This ongoing monitoring ensures new vulnerabilities are detected early so they can be effectively and quickly patched.

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Enhanced Efficiency

Your business IT process will become more efficient through risk-based vulnerability management as many aspects of the risk vulnerability assessment process are automated. This gives you and your security team the chance to focus more of your free time on other critical business tasks.


Advanced Insights

Risk-based vulnerability management solutions will provide you with internal information about your IT systems. You can use this rich data to make informed cybersecurity decisions that can help you proactively fight threat actors.


What Increases Your Risk of Vulnerability?

Any weakness or error in your internal information systems is a cyber security vulnerability. These internal control flaws can be exploited by cybercriminals so they can enter your networks and gain unauthorized access to your data.

Some of the most common vulnerabilities that pose a risk to your IT networks include:

  • Unrestricted upload permissions
  • Broken algorithms
  • Unencrypted data
  • Missing website SSL
  • Out of date operating systems
  • Unsegmented networks
  • Reliance on untrusted inputs
  • Unpatched applications
  • Untrustworthy URL redirection
  • Weak passwords

One of the most efficient ways to remedy these vulnerabilities is through carrying out risk-based vulnerability management by an IT professional.


How to Implement Risk-Based Vulnerability Management

A University of Maryland research study revealed that, on average, a cyber attack occurs every 39 seconds. Risk-based vulnerability management can help remediate vulnerabilities and reduce your risk of losing valuable business data to these frequent cyber-attacks.

Risk-based vulnerability management follows a lifecycle to detect the most critical vulnerabilities that are posing a risk to your business.

There are five main steps to the vulnerability management lifecycle:


1. Discover

In the first step, you have to organize your assets and host details — such as operating systems and open services — so you can accurately detect vulnerabilities. You need to process and analyze your IT infrastructure data to gain a better understanding of potential vulnerabilities, threats, and the attack behaviors and motives of hackers.

This asset discovery and organization helps ensure your vulnerability detection and remedying solution integrates seamlessly with your current IT architecture.


2. Prioritize and Assess Assets

After your initial discovery, you need to prioritize business-critical assets and assign a value to them based on their importance. In this step, you will have to assess and scan your IT infrastructure, and determine a baseline risk profile so you can eliminate risks based on the threat of vulnerability and asset criticality.

Machine learning and artificial intelligence are heavily utilized in this stage of a risk-based vulnerability management program. These intelligence applications streamline the automation of risk assessment tasks, so you get the vital information you need to start remedying critical vulnerabilities without facing unnecessary delays.

Risk of Vulnerability

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To ensure the most critical risks are dealt with first during the risk-based vulnerability management process, you need to prioritize vulnerabilities based on their risk level, probability, severity, and urgency.

The Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) and National Vulnerability Database (NVD) are used to assess vulnerabilities and calculate their threat level. CVSS scores range from 0.0 to 10.0, and the NVD applies a qualitative severity rating to the CVSS score of either low, medium or high. The more urgent, probable and severe the vulnerability risk is, the higher the score will be.

Many different factors are used in determining the score. For instance, the magnitude of the threat is often calculated by multiplying the financial cost by its probability, and when measuring urgency, matters such as the time of year, consumer demands, and staff availability are all taken into consideration.


3. Report

Once you have completed your vulnerability assessment, you will have to cross examine your security policies with the level of business risk your assets pose. You will then document a security plan according to your findings. During this phase, you will describe known vulnerabilities as well as monitor suspicious activity.


4. Remediate

In the fourth step you can move on to actually fixing vulnerabilities based on their business risk. Each vulnerability will require a different solution based on the particular network flaw and threat-risk they pose.

Some vulnerabilities can be remediated by improving data encryption and fixing broken algorithms, while others will require more intricate security processes. Vulnerability remediation requires a significant amount of technical skill and IT knowledge and is best left in the hands of skilled cybersecurity and IT professionals.


5. Verify

In the last step, you need to conduct follow-up audits to verify the elimination of threats and confirm the remediation of vulnerabilities.

You need to make sure your risk-based vulnerability management solution is effective. Are the tools you are using effectively detecting vulnerabilities on time and providing end-to-end visibility for all intended endpoints? The more effective the tools are, the more secure your information technology architecture will be.

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Reduce Your Cybersecurity Risk Vulnerability Threat with Redpoint Cybersecurity

If you are looking for a way to reduce your IT vulnerability — Redpoint Cybersecurity can help. We have locations across the United States and are the only 24/7 managed detection and response service that addresses endpoint, cloud, and email security.

Our skilled team of over 30 cybersecurity experts works to provide you with the highest level of cybersecurity protection, so your data remains safe, and your business continues to thrive.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about our managed cybersecurity services.


Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

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