Getting Started with the Risk-based Vulnerability Management Approach

Getting Started with the Risk-based Vulnerability Management Approach

Managing cybersecurity vulnerabilities is enough to make anyone feel under siege. In recent years there have been anywhere from 30-40 new vulnerabilities released daily, which means that security teams have been inundated with new threats and prioritization challenges.
The fact that legacy vulnerability management (VM) products can no longer keep up with expanding attack surfaces makes the situation even more dire. The bottom line is that defenders are under siege and poorly served by the tools at their disposal.

Risk-based vulnerability management is designed to help resolve this problem by giving beleaguered defenders the modern capabilities they need to deal with swarms of vulnerabilities. Let us take a closer look at how a risk-based vulnerability management tool works and why they provide a significant edge over legacy options.

If You Can’t Visualize Risk, You Can’t Win

When using legacy vulnerability management tools, you are limited by what your scanner can see — and in many cases, that means missing vulnerabilities that are present in highly dynamic cloud and hybrid environments.

While these older VM products were well adapted to traditional on-prem IT set-ups, they are simply too limited to provide a deep view of the modern attack surface.

Additionally, critical context is missing. While older VM products can use CVSS scores to show you the severity of a vulnerability, they are often blind to risk. That creates a dangerous situation because vulnerabilities often grow riskier over time.

Defenders need risk-based patch management to ensure effective prioritization. After all, sometimes the most severe security gaps present little or no threat to an organization’s “crown jewel” assets. A vulnerability that scores lower, on the other hand, may quickly present enormous danger. Cyber security risk assessment tools (or cloud security risk assessment tools), can provide the missing context that is so critical to smart vulnerability risk prioritization.

Just how effective is this approach? Gartner predicts that organizations using risk-based VM will suffer 80-percent fewer breaches compared to organizations that do not use risk-based VM by 2022.

This means that it is imperative for IT teams to get the tools they need to manage vulnerabilities in a way that reflects the real challenges they face.

And that brings us to XM Cyber.

How XM Cyber Provides the Market’s Most Advanced Risk-Based VM Solution

XM Cyber technology helps defenders deal with the daily deluge of vulnerabilities by helping them identify and remediate the exposures that really matter. To do this, they need a clear understanding of risk.

XM continuously scans systems and networks to identify exposures from exploitable vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, poorly managed credentials, and risky user activities — all the usual suspects for attackers to leverage against you. Our platform then simulates attacks toward your most sensitive assets looking for all possible exploitable attack paths. This provides a list of exposures that are not ranked merely by severity, by the risks that are present.

Our platform then provides context-sensitive least-effort remediation advice — which means VM teams will no longer waste precious time fixing the vulnerabilities that do not truly matter.

By providing access to a cyber risk score, users can quickly grasp the risk-level present and the ultimate threat level to their systems, networks, and business-critical assets.

XM Cyber technology runs safely in production with no risk of disruptions and extends the power and value of other security tools running in parallel by providing critical context that would otherwise be absent. The XM Cyber platform secures your cloud and hybrid environments, prioritizes remediation to vulnerabilities based on risk, identifies unknown and undiscovered attack paths, and ultimately significantly reduces risk across your entire organization.

The Takeaway

Legacy VM tools are no longer enough to prioritize effectively. They leave defenders at the mercy of thousands of new vulnerabilities each year without providing them the full picture for smart prioritization. Yet they can still be used as part of a layered approach that includes critical attack context and risk evaluation.

XM Cyber provides this by showing you where security gaps exist and how they can be exploited to steal your most valuable assets. For a truly powerful security posture in an era of dynamic changes and expanding attack surfaces, risk-based VM is an absolute must.

Watch our 3-minute demo. To start your XM Cyber free trial, click here now.

Tobias Träbing is Technical Director EMEA at XM Cyber


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