Vulnerability assessment

Vulnerability assessment - ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager Plus

Are you a diligent IT admin with your hands glued to your system, eyes riveted on the monitor? Are you constantly probing the internet for new threats and categorizing discovered vulnerabilities in a vain attempt to prevent your organization from falling victim to a cyberattack? Well, you may be biting off more than you can chew.

New vulnerabilities are identified every 90 minutes. But don't panic; ManageEngine has the solution. Vulnerability Manager Plus brings you a smart, comprehensive vulnerability analysis that saves you time and effort by helping you prioritize where to focus first.

Watch the video below to have a quick glance at the Vulnerability Manager Plus console and see how it works.

How to do Vulnerability Assessment with ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager Plus

Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about vulnerability assessment.

What is a vulnerability assessment (or vulnerability analysis, to be more precise)?

A vulnerability assessment is the process of identifying, evaluating, and classifying security vulnerabilities based on the risk they present to your enterprise, so that you can narrow down to the most threatening ones for timely risk reduction. It is a proactive approach towards endpoint security, providing your organization with insights on what vulnerabilities are more likely to be exploited, so you can quickly patch the worst flaws before they lead to a breach.

Why do you need a vulnerability assessment tool?

According to a recent Forrester Global Security Survey, "49 percent of organizations have suffered one or more breaches in the past year, and software vulnerabilities were the largest factor in those breaches." On top of this, vulnerabilities have skyrocketed in recent years. A heaping 22,022 security vulnerabilities were found in 2018, emphasizing the importance of vulnerability assessment efforts in organizations.

Sadly, no security team possess the resources or time to deal with every single vulnerability manually. Even if you did, you need to address the most serious ones first, because not all vulnerabilities pose equal threat to an organization. Now imagine if you had a vulnerability assessment tool that provided the background information you need; this would help you see what's likely to be exploited and what's not, so you can address the urgent flaws first.

Benefits of vulnerability analysis:

  • Early identification of imminently exploitable threats that require little to no user intervention.
  • Putting the vulnerabilities in context to understand their priority, urgency, and impact.
  • Prioritizing response such as patching / mitigation workarounds.
  • Avoiding hefty fines for not conforming to cybersecurity compliance and regulations like HIPAA and PCI DSS.
  • Patching might interfere with the on-going operations of the business. With a vulnerability assessment software, you can draw distinctions between what's likely to be exploited and what's not, so that you can put off patching less critical issues the cost of fixing which would out weighs its risk.

How to assess security vulnerabilities- vulnerability assessment checklist:

Most vulnerability assessment tools provide common metrics such as severity ratings and Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) ratings to assess security vulnerabilities. However, to truly understand the risks posed by a vulnerability, you need to look beyond those basic metrics.

You should take the following checklist into consideration while performing a security vulnerability analysis:

  • Has an exploit been publicly revealed for the vulnerability?
  • How long has the vulnerability been lurking in your endpoints?
  • How difficult it is to exploit the vulnerability?
  • Has the vendor released a patch for the vulnerability?
  • Have you employed a vulnerability assessment tool to extract meaningful insights from gathered scan data?
  • Does your vulnerability assessment tool offer any mitigation controls in the event that a patch isn’t available?
  • Do the affected assets include databases and web servers that hold critical data and perform crucial business operations?

If you're trusting your organization’s security to vulnerability assessment tools, make it a rule to see if your current solution helps you meet the above vulnerability assessment checklist—otherwise you run the risk of joining the densely populated club of cybercasualties.

Ward off looming danger with Vulnerability Manager Plus' vulnerability assessment capabilities.

Vulnerability monitoring and assessment view - ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager Plus

"Fix everything!" has become an old-fashioned notion. Instead, Vulnerability Manager Plus preaches the new gospel, "Pinpoint, prioritize, and patch!" Attackers have a better idea of what works and what doesn't. It's high time you learn, too. Grab Vulnerability Manager Plus now to conduct the same vulnerability assessment that hackers do, and stay ahead of their malicious efforts.

Vulnerability analysis steps.

Vulnerability analysis steps comprise of asset discovery, vulnerability scanning, assessment, and vulnerability remediation.

Eliminate blind spots and keep track of your assets.

Eliminating blind spots is the key to an efficient vulnerability assessment. As soon as it’s up in your network, Vulnerability Manager Plus automatically discovers your Active Directory and workgroup assets. Enterprises that scale up quite often need not worry, since new assets will be discovered once they're added to the network. Leveraging endpoint agent technology, you can keep tabs on your systems, servers, laptops, virtual machines, and workstations irrespective of their location.

Catch vulnerabilities as they appear with continuous vulnerability monitoring.

There's a chance that you might fail to take timely action when you perform manual or scheduled vulnerability scans. Every time a new device or software enters your network, your organization is exposed to new vulnerabilities. Imagine if luck conspires to allow attackers to take advantage of your weakness during this lapse! To deprive them of this benefit, you need to perform continuous vulnerability monitoring to identify and resolve new vulnerabilities as they emerge. Since Vulnerability Manager Plus utilizes agent-based scanning, it scrutinizes your endpoints every 90 minutes for new vulnerabilities without disrupting your network operations.

Leverage actionable insights with the vulnerability assessment dashboard.

See what matters most at a glimpse. These intuitive infographics are tailored to direct your attention to the most alarming areas in your network so you can easily distinguish the low-hanging fruits and respond to those first.

Vulnerability Severity Summary: Trust the severity ranking.

Severity summary to perform vulnerability analysis based on vulnerability severity ratings.

Don't dismiss the importance of severity rankings; they're the universal vulnerability risk assessment standard. The Vulnerability Severity Summary helps you track the number of vulnerabilities you need to resolve for each severity level, providing better visibility over how many critical vulnerabilities, like the easily exploitable remote code execution (RCE), elevation of privilege, and wormable vulnerabilities, are left unaddressed in your network.

Zero-day vulnerabilities: Know what you're dealing with.

The only tool for vulnerability assessment that provides a dedicated chart for zero-day vulnerabilities

One of the most crucial aspects of a security vulnerability assessment is how effectively your vulnerability assessment tool keeps you informed of zero-day vulnerabilities. Zero-day vulnerabilities are the easiest targets for hackers since they are made known to the public or exploited in the wild before the vendor is able to release a patch to fix the flaw, so it's critical to ensure they don't get buried among the trifles. Vulnerability Manager Plus, along with a zero-day count chart, gives you an isolated view of zero-day vulnerabilities in your network so you can identify them promptly and either patch them or use an alternative mitigation measure available while waiting for a fix from the vendor. Take a look at how you can mitigate zero-day vulnerabilities with Vulnerability Manager Plus.

Vulnerability Age Matrix: A stitch in time saves nine.

vulnerability assessment tool providing visibility into vulnerability age and severity

When it comes to vulnerabilities, time is the name of the game. The time between the vulnerability announcement and the exploit code disclosure has considerably shrunk in recent years. The longer you wait, the longer you leave your network wide open to attacks.

Critical vulnerabilities can often be exploited automatically without any user interaction, so these flaws have to be resolved immediately. Vulnerabilities categorized as important are more difficult to exploit, but should nevertheless be remediated within 30 days. Any vulnerability considered lower than critical or important should be remediated within 90 days.

The Vulnerability Age Matrix delivers a consolidated view of the age and severity of vulnerabilities, so you can focus your attention on vulnerabilities that need to quashed before the deadline. You can either choose to view the vulnerability age from the day it's published or from the day it's discovered in your network. You can also use the filter to display only vulnerabilities that have public exploits.

Vulnerabilities Over Time: The fewer, the better.

Vulnerability assessment software representing vulnerability trend- ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager Plus

Think of vulnerabilities like holes in a ship. Individually, these holes might not pose a big issue, but eventually their combined effects may end up sinking your entire organization. A quick glance at the vulnerability trend can give you an idea of how well your vulnerability management efforts are paying off. Track your vulnerability assessment progress and stay on top of vulnerabilities. How secure would you feel if you could just bring the number of vulnerabilities close to, if not to, zero?

High Priority Vulnerabilities: Where your primary focus should be!

Table displaying imminent threats after analysing vulnerabilities based on vulnerability assessment checklist - ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager Plus

Vulnerability Manager Plus automatically curates a list of vulnerabilities that are on the verge of exploitation. This list takes various risk factors into account, such as how easily exploitable a vulnerability is, its severity, age, and patch availability. This table helps you ensure that you haven't left out any essentials in your vulnerability assessment process.

Treat your security flaws with integral vulnerability remediation.

With vulnerabilities automatically correlated with their respective patches, you can deploy patches right away to the prioritized vulnerabilities. Vulnerability Manager Plus also empowers you with a separate patch management module for orchestrating your regular patching schedules to keep your network free of vulnerabilities. But what about the zero-days and legacy software? These mitigation solutions offered by Vulnerability Manager Plus come in handy even in case of unpatchable holes.

What are you still waiting for? Run a vulnerability assessment now with a free, 30-day trial of Vulnerability Manager Plus, and reinforce your cyber resilience to save yourself from joining the densely populated club of cyber casualties.