Today’s business world is increasingly driven by e-commerce and the cloud, which means it requires a proactive approach toward vulnerability management. After all, your company’s data—as well as your customers’—remains at risk to cybercriminals, which places the onus on you to protect your technical infrastructure, whether located on-premises or with a cloud-based service provider.
In this blog post, we provide a high-level overview of vulnerability management and why it’s critical for modern businesses. Additionally, we’ll look at a few threat and vulnerability management best practices aimed at successfully implementing a vulnerability management policy.
Why vulnerability management matters to the business
Before looking at a few vulnerability management best practices, here is a quick summary of why vulnerability management is vital for today’s cloud-driven business. Four main areas highlight the overall importance of successfully implementing a thorough vulnerability management policy at any organization.
At the top of this list is security. Any company adopting vulnerability management gains an improved capability to monitor and remediate threats to their technical infrastructure, including hardware and software. As noted earlier, this enhanced protection includes both on-premises assets and those hosted with a cloud-provider.
Additionally, a boost in system uptime ultimately leads to happy customers and an improved bottom line. Leveraging a top-notch vulnerability management tool, like Rapid7 InsightVM, that integrates with a company’s patch management system is a wise approach for improving uptime. It helps ensure the business’s software assets are protected from an ever-changing threat landscape and aren’t knocked offline by nefarious activities.
Regulatory compliance is another important consideration for any business, but especially those organizations in the financial, healthcare, and government sectors. For some of these companies, implementing vulnerability management is simply a requirement. Failure to adopt a vulnerability management policy potentially leads to costly fines and reputational damage to the company in question.
Finally, innovative product development separates industry leaders from those companies merely in the game. A robust approach to vulnerability management ensures new software features get implemented with security as a focus. Vulnerability management helps to better align the different software and IT Operations team to improve the development process.
The right threat and vulnerability management best practices for your company
When adopting vulnerability management, it’s important to set clear expectations for the different teams at your organization. Employees simply perform better when inspired by a set of clearly defined goals. With everyone on the same page, protecting the organization’s technical assets is accomplished in an efficient fashion.
As part of this approach, craft organizational agreements for each team. These are essentially the internal equivalent of the service-level agreements seen throughout the technology industry. It’s a best practice that keeps different teams working cooperatively toward one common goal.
Collaboration between teams is a hallmark of a successful organization
Fostering teamwork is critical in the fast-paced business world. It’s one of the reasons for the growing popularity of DevOps as a software development methodology. As such, it’s critical to get teams to work together efficiently when adopting vulnerability management at your company.
One aspect of this focus on teamwork involves standardizing the terminology used across the different technology teams in the organization. For example, the Security team may refer to software errors as “risks,” while the IT Operations team refers to them as something to be patched. While a minor issue, it illustrates that using different jargon for the same thing might lead to confusion and inefficiency when adopting vulnerability management.
A best practice to handle this situation is to ensure each technical team uses the same data sources and terminology when sharing documentation and following organizational agreements. Also consider taking a DevOps approach by creating one advisory team made up of senior-level employees from throughout the IT department.
A disaster recovery process also needs to be part of the equation
Establishing a disaster recovery process as part of any vulnerability management policy is a smart idea. In fact, some companies move in the opposite direction, including vulnerability management as part of their existing disaster recovery program. Either way, it’s critical to have a formalized program to handle any type of disaster affecting a business’s technical assets, such as a large-scale hacking attack.
Having the means to quickly restore the company’s software and other technical assets becomes essential during any disaster. In fact, it needs to be a key part of any list of threat and vulnerability management best practices.
How InsightVM can help your vulnerability management program
As a best-of-breed vulnerability management solution, InsightVM analyzes any IT environment, identifying vulnerabilities while highlighting the greatest risks to the business’s technical infrastructure. Your organization also benefits through the alignment of traditionally siloed teams as a result of InsightVM’s common language and terminology.
As the source of intelligence for the entire corporate technical infrastructure, InsightVM ensures security, high availability, and superior performance. Reach out to Rapid7 to see how InsightVM can make a positive impact on your organization.