What is a vulnerability management tool?

We’ve all been there—spending hours upon hours helping our organizations avoid breaches and defend against attackers. But despite all the time and energy security professionals pour into this effort, attackers still find their way into complex environments and manage to extract valuable data, often through software vulnerabilities.

A vulnerability management tool is vital to the security of any organization. Defenders must be able to enumerate vulnerabilities with a low number of false-positives and drive those vulnerabilities to resolution.

Regardless of where you are in your VM journey, if you are looking to get more time back in your day and focus on other tasks, we can help. Below, we explain our two offerings—InsightVM and our Managed Vulnerability Management Service—so you can make an informed decision about which is right for you.

What is InsightVM?

InsightVM is our primary vulnerability management tool that evolved from Nexpose, our on-premises tool. InsightVM provides end-to-end visibility of your entire environment, including your cloud, containerized, virtual, and remote infrastructure, so you can confidently understand the risk of your entire ecosystem.

At Rapid7, we think about vulnerability management at its basic level as being all about CPR. No, not the life-saving technique, but an acronym we use here for Collect, Prioritize, and Remediate.

InsightVM starts by collecting information to take an in-depth inventory of every characteristic of each asset in an environment. This includes things such as the running operating system and its version, all the additional software and services running, other asset characteristics, and metadata. InsightVM then takes an inventory of known software and their versions and compares it to a database of registered vulnerabilities from MITRE’s CVE database. Based on this, InsightVM is then able to identify which assets contain vulnerabilities.

After collection, InsightVM prioritizes these vulnerabilities. The CVSS score is the industry standard for vulnerability scoring, but it is inefficient to effectively prioritize risk based on the unique needs of each business. With InsightVM, each vulnerability is assigned a Real Risk score, which goes beyond the CVSS score by incorporating factors such as how long the vulnerability has existed, whether there are any known malware kits or exploits, and the importance of the impacted asset to the business. Having this in-depth score allows you to truly understand where your riskiest assets are, providing you with the ability to know what needs to be remediated ASAP and what can be put on the back burner.

Finally, that brings us to remediation, aka the actual steps we need to take to alleviate these vulnerabilities. Without fixing the issues, the process isn’t complete. InsightVM takes a solution-based approach, providing IT and development teams with the necessary steps (in the tools they use) in order to mitigate the vulnerability, and in turn, the risk it poses. This makes the traditionally tedious and time-consuming task of remediation more efficient, allowing you to now refocus your time and energy on other aspects of your security program.

After all of this, you’ll want to communicate your progress and success—and rightfully so! InsightVM has exceptional reporting capabilities, making it effortless to prove ROI to executive stakeholders.

Learn more about the features of InsightVM.

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What is Managed Vulnerability Management?

At Rapid7, we’ve helped organizations with vulnerability management for over a decade by developing the leading vulnerability management solution in the marketplace. But we also recognize that for some teams, powerful technology is not always enough.

Our Managed Vulnerability Management Service takes all the power of InsightVM—including reporting, cloud configuration, and container assessment—and layers on top the expertise of Rapid7 professionals and tailored recommendations to offload day-to-day operations, helping you manage, execute, and optimize your vulnerability management program. This lets you allocate people, time, and resources to other areas, while still reducing your risk exposure and strengthening your overall security posture.

Along with your personal Security Advisor, our team will handle the configuration, scanning, and reporting for you so that your team doesn’t have to spend extra time getting trained or offloading other important initiatives. We will stay on top of communication with your team so that your program continues to move forward even when your resources are constrained. Managed VM experts act as an extension of your team, and your top priorities are theirs. But to be clear, our team will focus on communicating to you what needs to be done and help to stay on track to more effectively and efficiently reduce the attack surface and manage risk. Meanwhile, remediation will be in the hands of your IT team.

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When to choose InsightVM

Now that you understand the importance of having a vulnerability management tool and the difference between Rapid7’s two offerings, you may be wondering which is better for your specific needs. InsightVM requires a bit more time and attention from your end, so here are four indicators InsightVM will align better with your security team’s needs:

  1. Your team may vary in size, but you are familiar with comprehensive vulnerability analysis and keep it top of mind.
  2. Your team has the resources to allocate toward maintaining the solution.
  3. You’ve got big plans for your program, and automating manual and repeatable processes will help you focus on the bigger picture.
  4. You have management’s buy-in and need a solution that will help you make measurable progress toward organizational risk management goals.

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When to choose Managed VM

So, now you might be thinking, “Hmm, InsightVM doesn’t seem like the exact fit for me, but I am still looking for a vulnerability management tool.” If that’s the case, Managed VM may be a better solution for your growing security needs. Here are six indicators that this may be the case:

  1. You’re a lean security team splitting time across various security operations.
  2. Your team is newer to the vulnerability management field
  3. Your team’s time and resources are limited.
  4. You feel like your program has been treading water and could use some guidance in terms of measuring and reporting risk effectively.
  5. You do not have established remediation processes.
  6. You need help proving the value and ROI of vulnerability management, especially since security has long been an afterthought for management.

Next steps

Vulnerability management is the cornerstone of every modern security program. With that said, getting started with a vulnerability management solution doesn’t have to be intimidating. Whether you’re an army of one securing a few hundred assets, or a superhero squad protecting a global enterprise, Rapid7 is your trusted partner in advancing securely. To get started with one of our industry leading tools, reach out to sales@rapid7.com.