Continuous Vulnerability Management Is a Must
Face it. Your IT systems may be secure today, but what about next week? Granted, as stated by the Center for Internet Security (CIS), you and your team members must operate in a constant stream of new information—software updates, patches, security advisories, threat bulletins, and more. But as you know, attackers have access to the same information and can leverage gaps between the onset of new knowledge and remediation.
A threat actor may discover and exploit a critical vulnerability in your environment. You’re on the clock when it comes to patching your systems, and risks increase before a patch is available. And once it is, the longer it takes to patch the more vulnerable you are to potential exploits.
If you don’t treat vulnerability management as an ongoing process, your infrastructure is exposed because hackers can find, weaponize, deploy, and attack it faster than your team can patch the vulnerability.
CIS Basic Control #3: Continuous Vulnerability Management
The first six of 20 CIS controls—known as the basic controls—provide essential cyber hygiene. The first two of those basic controls are the inventory and control of hardware assets and software assets, respectively. The third control is continuous vulnerability management. It’s described by CIS as the effort to “continuously acquire, assess, and take action on new information in order to identify vulnerabilities, remediate, and minimize the window of opportunities for attackers.”
Without question, continuous vulnerability management should be part of every organization’s security practice, yet the time and manual work involved from when a vulnerability is first identified to when a software update deploys is challenging.
For example, how many days does it take your IT team to map Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) to patches, then research, test, and roll out patches? And how do you prioritize them? Researching known issues from blog posts, vendor documentation, and other sources to determine the reliability of patch updates is yet another time-consuming activity. Prioritizing patches can also increase risk if pushing out critical patches is the current rule of thumb rather than those that are actively exploited. Deciding which patches to prioritize, test, and roll out can extend the vulnerability management process.
Improve the Experience of Continuous Vulnerability Management
Security solutions from Ivanti streamline the process from identifying, classifying, and addressing vulnerabilities to avoid threat actors exploiting gaps between security vulnerability reports and remediation. Your IT team will no longer spend hours manually working through scan reports provided by the security team to translate CVEs into software updates.
Deduplicating and researching CVEs to figure out what needs to be done to resolve each vulnerability can take anywhere from five to eight hours each time your team performs the process. Since most exploits happen within 14 to 28 days of updates being made available, every day of delay leaves attackers more time to gain a foothold.
Using an automated CVE-to-patch import capability in Ivanti patch solutions, you can streamline the process from hours to minutes. Whether you’re using vulnerability assessments from Rapid 7, Tenable, Qualys, BeyondTrust, or another vendor, Ivanti solutions map the patches that relate to those CVEs and build a patch list of updates that you can quickly approve or publish for remediation in your environment. Meanwhile, you’ll improve the experience of your IT teams who previously struggled to make sense of security reports under time pressure.
Without Ivanti, deciding which patches to prioritize, test, and roll out can extend the process. With Ivanti, you can also take advantage of our Patch Intelligence tool that combines patch data from Ivanti’s third-party patching catalog with patch reliability and security metrics. You can:
- Optimize the rollout of important updates by gaining insights that would take time and effort to discover otherwise.
- Gain visibility into issues reported by the vendor for a patch or a group of patches, or identified by Ivanti in bulletin information located with associated CVEs and patches.
- Extend insight into the issues experienced across Ivanti customers through anonymized peer data that reports back whether customers had to roll back the patch.
- Determine reliability of updates and the confidence level in rolling out quickly.
- Identify patches that will require more testing, fast-track patches that have a high probability of success, and help prioritize testing and what can be deployed immediately based on threat scores and reliability ratings and roll out to optimize patch cycles.
Whether you’re patching endpoints with Ivanti Patch for SCCM, Ivanti Patch for Endpoint Manager, or are patching the data center with Ivanti security solutions, you’ll improve the experience and productivity of IT teams that previously spent many hours researching, deduplicating, and preparing a patch group of updates manually.
View our new infographic and see how fast you could be exploited without continuous vulnerability management.