Vulnerability management - ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager Plus

What is vulnerability management?

Vulnerability Management is the process of proactively identifying vulnerabilities and threats in an IT ecosystem, validating their urgency and impact based on various risk factors and responding to looming threats swiftly with appropriate remediation.

What we'll cover


Why vulnerability management is important

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 that, a whopping 22,316 new security holes were disclosed in 2019, and over one-third of them had an exploit available, emphasizing the need for vulnerability management in organizations.

Additionally, industry regulations such as the Center for Internet Security’s Critical Security Control emphasize continuous vulnerability assessment and remediation and lists it as number three in the top ten security controls.

Read on to learn how ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager Plus simplifies vulnerability management efforts, and helps organizations achieve optimum security.

ManageEngine's vulnerability management program

Vulnerability Manager Plus, a prioritization-focussed threat and vulnerability management solution, features an arsenal of security capabilities such as vulnerability assessment, patch management, security configuration management, web server hardening, port auditing, and much more. It's a strategic solution for your security teams, providing them with continuous visibility on risks to their infrastructure and actionable insights on how best to remediate them.

Vulnerability management process

Let's look at the Vulnerability Manager Plus' step-by-step vulnerability management process

Vulnerability management process- ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager Plus

Vulnerability discovery

Agent-based technology to gain uninterrupted visibility into your distributed IT

A single vulnerability has the potential to bring your entire business down. Bid adieu to blind spots. Leverage advanced, multipurpose agents to gain uninterrupted visibility into laptops, desktops, servers, workstations, and virtual machines across your entire global hybrid IT environment, irrespective of whether they're within the corporate boundary or beyond. What's more? You can even manage assets within a closed network like a DMZ.

Since the agent resides on the client machine, it performs continuous vulnerability scanning to identify and resolve new vulnerabilities as they emerge, without any restrictions on the scan window or disruption to your network bandwidth.

Enterprises that scale up often need not worry. Since Vulnerability Manager Plus is constantly in sync with Active Directory, new assets will be brought under scrutiny as soon as they enter your network, leaving no opportunity for new threats to go unnoticed.

Comprehensive scanning for thorough vulnerability management

Vulnerability management isn't limited to faulty pieces of codes in software per se. With a constantly-updated threat and vulnerability database, Vulnerability Manager Plus allows you to:

  • Detect known and emerging vulnerabilities in Windows OS and related applications, third-party applications, database servers, and web servers.
  • Superintend missing patches in Windows, Mac, and Linux and over 350 third-party applications.
  • Scan for security misconfigurations such as weak passwords, browser misconfigurations, insecure plugins, poor logon authentication settings, disabled Data Execution Prevention (DEP) and Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR), default built-in accounts, open shares, poorly configured logon settings and account lockout policies, poor firewall and antivirus statuses, and legacy protocols, etc. Explore the extensive list of misconfigurations that you can resolve with Vulnerability Manager Plus.
  • Look after web server configuration flaws like distributed denial-of-service (DDoS)-related misconfigurations, unused web pages, misconfigured HTTP headers and options, directory traversal, expired SSL/TLS, and cross-site scripting.
  • Gain continuous visibility over the ports that are active in your remote systems, and sniff out instances that are activated by malicious executables.
  • Oversee the status of endpoint antivirus solutions to see if they're up and running with the latest definition files.
  • Monitor endpoint firewall rules and verify that connections to unsecured ports are blocked.
  • Spot high-risk software such as peer-to-peer and remote desktop sharing software.
  • Stay on top of legacy software that has reached end of life (EOL) or about to reach EOL.

Vulnerability assessment

There's a famous saying that if you run after many hares at once, you won't catch any. This applies to vulnerability management as well. Vulnerability scans usually returns a large chunk of data. But not all vulnerabilities pose equal threat to an organization.

If the goal of vulnerability management is risk reduction, it's essential to understand the urgency and impact of vulnerabilities to prioritize response to issues that need immediate attention to keep the risks under control at any given point of time.

To truly understand the risk posted by the vulnerabilities, you need to look beyond traditional severity ratings and CVSS scores. For a sophisticated analysis, risk factors such as exploitability, asset criticality, vulnerability age, and patch availability must be taken into account to understand the impact and urgency of vulnerabilities.

By classifying and presenting the discovered vulnerabilities in a meaningful way, i.e, in the context of the above risk factors, and by providing actionable insights to mend loopholes, Vulnerability Manager Plus alerts you about the most alarming areas in your network, so that you can respond as needed and maintain network security.

The Vulnerability Manager Plus web console features a score of interactive dashboards that provide you all the vulnerability intelligence you need in the form of infographics, trends, and other filters to help you make informed decisions.

Vulnerability management dashboard

Gain a bird's-eye view of your network security posture, see what matters the most through various graphs and matrices, analyze vulnerability trends in your network, and track how well your vulnerability management efforts are paying off. Receive constantalerts on the top 10 vulnerabilities in your network and much more.

Vulnerability management program dashboard: ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager Plus

Dive in to learn how you can utilize vulnerability assessment dashboard to better orient your vulnerability management process.

Security Configurations management dashboard:

Equip yourself with the Security Configurations management dashboard, built exclusively to track and combat misconfigurations in systems and servers, and audit firewall, antivirus, SSL, and BitLocker statuses. Learn more.

Security Configurations management dashboard: ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager Plus

Individual system view

Furthermore, you'll be able to get a clear picture of the security overview of individual systems from the detailed resource view that pops up when you click on the system name.

security assessment - individual system view

A dedicated zero-day vulnerabilities section provides exclusive visibility into vulnerabilities that are exploited in the wild as well as those that are disclosed without a patch in place, so that they don't get buried among the non-critical vulnerabilities.

Learn more about the factors that Vulnerability Manager Plus takes into account in its vulnerability management process.

Vulnerability remediation

Unlike most vendors that rely on third-party integration to close the vulnerability management loop, built-in remediation capabilities for all discovered threats and vulnerabilities are baked into Vulnerability Manager Plus. Vulnerabilities are automatically correlated with patches, so that you can easily administer patches to critical vulnerabilities first.

Vulnerability Manager Plus empowers you with a separate patch management module to automatically handle every aspect of patching, from downloading and testing to deployment. Learn in detail about Vulnerability Manager Plus' patch management process.

Unfortunately, not all software vulnerabilities can be addressed by patches. For zero-day vulnerabilities, legacy software, and business-critical applications—for which updates are either not available or can't be approved—Vulnerability Manager Plus provides alternate workarounds to mitigate the likelihood of being exploited.

On top of this, you can deploy appropriate security configurations to misconfigurations, and bring them back under compliance. Vulnerability Manager Plus also offers security recommendations for configuration files that help you in securing your servers against many attack variants.

Vulnerability reporting

All your vulnerability management efforts are essentially futile if you can't evaluate and understand your progress. Vulnerability Manager Plus offers a massive library of executive reports, granular report templates, and customizable query reports that you can use to scrutinize your network security, communicate risks, track progress, and report on security regulations to executives.

These reports are available in different formats, including PDF, CSV, and XLSX. You can either generate reports on-demand or schedule them to be sent directly to security executives, administrators, and enterprise risk management teams with just a click from the console.

There's no silver bullet solution that renders your network impenetrable to cyber exploits. But by constantly reevaluating and strengthening the security stance of your network with Vulnerability Manager Plus, you stand a much better chance against detecting and thwarting cyber trespassers in your network.

To see the tool in action yourself, download a free, 30-day trial now.

Frequently asked questions on Vulnerability management:

What is a vulnerability?

Vulnerabilities are faulty piece of code in a software that causes it to crash or respond in ways that the programmer never intended. Vulnerabilities can be leveraged by hackers to gain unauthorized access to, or perform unauthorized actions on, a computer system.

What is an exploit?

Exploits are automated scripts or sequences of commands that attackers use to manipulate vulnerabilities to their advantage. Exploit takes advantage of the vulnerability to break into the system and delivers the payload, which could be malware with instructions to disrupt system functions, steal sensitive data, or establish a connection with the remote hacker's systems.

What are the risk factors needed to assess vulnerabilities?

For a sophisticated analysis, risk factors such as CVSS scores, severity ratings, exploitability, asset criticality, vulnerability age, and patch availability must be taken into account to understand the impact and urgency of vulnerabilities. Explore more about the role of these risk factors in the vulnerability assessment process.

What is the difference between vulnerability assessment and vulnerability management?

Vulnerability assessment is a part of the vulnerability management cycle that helps qualify the risks presented by vulnerabilities based on various risk factors, so that you can prioritize response to issues that are of serious consequence and need immediate attention to keep the risks under control at any given point of time.

What is the difference between vulnerability management and patch management?

Vulnerability management is a cyclical process of identifying, assessing, remediating and reporting vulnerabilities and threats in a network. Vulnerabilities and threats require a different response depending on the type. Software vulnerabilities in a network are usually remediated by applying patches, the practice of which is called patch management. In that sense, patch management is an integral part of vulnerability management.

Who uses a vulnerability management program?

Modern enterprises are rooted in technology and often rely on applications and browsers to carry out business processes. In order to prevent their systems and the data stored in them, such as personal end-user information and customer payment information, from being breached and to prevent denial of service attacks and unauthorized exploits, organizations conduct regular and thorough vulnerability management process to ward off any threats and vulnerabilities.