3 Rules for Risk-Based Vulnerability Management

risk-based vulnerability management
Consider risk-based vulnerability management to be able to confidently visualize, analyze, and measure cyber risk in real-time while reducing your cyber... Read More

Consider risk-based vulnerability management to be able to confidently visualize, analyze, and measure cyber risk in real-time while reducing your cyber exposure. 

risk-based vulnerability management

I was reading an article recently where the author said that he was presented with the question, “Why bother focusing on vulnerabilities at all?” The point they made was that you can be:

  • Not patched and hacked
  • Patched and not hacked
  • Not patched and not hacked
  • Patched and still hacked (via social engineering, phishing, zero-day or an asset not covered by your VM program)

I understand his frustration, but it’s always better to be prepared. Cybriant obviously recommends covering your bases as much as possible to reduce your threat landscape.

The modern attack surface has created a massive gap in an organization’s ability to truly understand their cyber exposure.

The larger the gap, the greater the risk of a business-impacting cyber event occurring.

Traditional Vulnerability Management is no longer sufficient. Risk-based vulnerability management extends vulnerability management by covering the breadth of the attack surface (IT, Cloud, IoT/OT) and provide a depth of insight into the data (including prioritization/analytics/decision support).

We help security leaders answer the following questions:

  • Where are we exposed?
  • Where should we prioritize based on risk?
  • How are we reducing exposure over time?

Security leaders should be prepared to take traditional vulnerability assessment and vulnerability management to the next level. Use the results from your assessment and remediate your issues to reduce your risk.

Risk-Based Vulnerability Management

Vulnerability scanning (especially done continuously) is an important part of your overall security strategy. If you are scanning, say – only for compliance reasons – but not taking action on the issues, what’s the point?

With a risk-based vulnerability management program, you are able to take the logical next step to reduce your threat surface by focusing on the top priorities for remediation.

If you are using internal resources to scan, sometimes the report is difficult to understand. This is a huge benefit of working with Cybriant. We’ll help customize the reports, so you are easily guided through how to remediate any issues.

By using a risk-based vulnerability management approach, you will save money by fixing only the highest priority vulnerabilities and time by being able to focus on the remediation steps.

Remediation is Key

In a risk-based vulnerability management program, the vulnerability scans need to run continuously. With eyes on your systems at all times, you’ll be alerted to issues as they are presented. Therefore, you’ll be advised on how to fix them faster.

This is why remediation in a risk-based vulnerability management program is key.

According to the article I previously mentioned:

Vulnerability assessment has absolutely no security value … unless you utilize the results to reduce your risk.

Vulnerability management done without significant thinking about remediation priority may in fact also be pointless (vs the labor spent).

However,”risk-based” vulnerability management does deliver real security value – as long as you actually practice it!


Therefore, Cybriant uses a risk-based vulnerability management approach.

By offering continuous vulnerability scanning plus remediation advice, you’ll have a complete risk-based vulnerability management program easily.

Performing only a single vulnerability scan each year or quarter puts organizations at risk of not uncovering new vulnerabilities.

The time between each scan is all an attacker needs to compromise a network. With continuous scanning, our security experts automatically have visibility to assess where each asset is secure or exposed.

Prioritize Risk

Patching is time-consuming and expensive! So, how should you handle it? You know you need to patch. The answer is risk prioritization. If you have 1000 known vulnerabilities, the best option is to “Patch Smarter.”

If your organization is able to prioritize the top 100 highest risk patches, then focus on those. We use this process internally with our risk prioritization program. Our ticketing system will alert you to only those issues with the priority level that you define.

By using risk prioritization, our security experts have the skills to understand exposures in context. They will prioritize remediation based on asset criticality, threat context, and vulnerability severity. Our reporting will help you prioritize which exposures to fix first, if at all, and apply the appropriate remediation technique

Unknown Assets

The greatest challenge for many security teams is simply seeing all the assets in their environment. Adversaries now have a much larger attack surface to probe and attack you across – and those adversaries can see everything and will attack you wherever they find a weak link.

It’s not just that the attack surface is expanding. It’s that legacy tools aren’t sufficient to cover it.

Vulnerability management (VM) tools were often deployed for compliance reasons – to cover just the assets in scope for specific regulations. Then security teams realized VM provides a value proposition around risk/visibility and started expanding the scope to cover all traditional IT assets.

But technology has leapfrogged those tools. We live in a world of cloud, DevOps (containers and microservices and web apps), and IoT/OT. Your organization needs an approach that is flexible enough to cover the entire modern attack surface, as well as expand and contract with it as changes occur.

The bottom line is that legacy tools and approaches simply don’t get the job done today.

Consider risk-based vulnerability management with Cybriant. You’ll get real-actionable results on a regular basis.

Risk-Based Vulnerability Management

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