Most security-conscious businesses would say they carry out vulnerability management, but what that means can differ dramatically from one organization to another. A Vulnerability Management Maturity Model can help you evaluate the sophistication of your team’s processes and identify areas for improvement.

Read on for our Vulnerability Management Maturity Model.

What is Vulnerability Management?

Vulnerability management is the process of identifying, evaluating, prioritizing, and remediating security flaws within an organization’s network, systems, and applications.

The goal of vulnerability management is to ensure that organizations have complete visibility and control of weaknesses that exist within their IT estates on a continuous basis.

The terms ‘vulnerability management’ and ‘vulnerability assessment’ are oftentimes used interchangeably, but they have different meanings. Vulnerability management encompasses the end-to-end process of managing security issues, whereas a vulnerability assessment is a type of IT security test that discovers security issues within an organization’s network.

Why is Vulnerability Management Important?

Vulnerability remediation is an essential part of an organization’s IT security strategy.

Effective vulnerability management helps IT security teams ensure that critical issues are discovered, analysed, and remediated as fast and efficiently as possible. This is critical to minimizing an organization’s attack surface and preventing cyberattacks, which could have devastating consequences for an organization’s data, personnel, and reputation.

Vulnerability management also helps organizations allocate resources more effectively. Not all security vulnerabilities pose the same risk, and many may not even need to be remediated.

Another reason why vulnerability remediation is so important is that an organization’s threat landscape is ever-changing. The cyclical process of vulnerability remediation helps security teams assess and measure their security posture on a continuous basis so that there is very little opportunity for critical issues to be left unaddressed.

What is the Process of Vulnerability Management ?

Vulnerability Management starts with the discovery of security issues and concludes with validating whether remediation has been successful, before repeating continuously.

  1. Discover: Identify threats and vulnerabilities within your organization’s network by carrying out regular penetration tests and vulnerability scans.
  2. Consolidate: Centralize your threat and vulnerability assessment results in one place. Vulnerability management systems can make this process effortless.
  3. Assess: Analyse your security issues in line with cyber threat intelligence, such as exploit databases, to establish their severity, the likelihood that they will be exploited, and the impact they could have on your organization.
  4. Prioritize: Assign severity scores to your vulnerabilities in line with your analysis, and other factors such as resource availability.
  5. Remediate: Carry out your vulnerability management program to resolve vulnerabilities in line with your organization’s priorities.
  6. Re-assess: Verify whether your remediation efforts have been successful. Ultimately, your vulnerability management remediation process should reduce business risk.
  7. Visualize and improve: Continuously improve your vulnerability management strategy; resolve any bottlenecks and ensure compliance with your organization’s service level agreements. For example, could you reduce your time-to-remediate (TTR)?
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Vulnerability Management Maturity Model

Vulnerability Management Maturity Models can serve as useful guides for organizations to consider the effectiveness of the vulnerability management processes and identify how they can be improved.

Below, we have summarized four different stages of a Threat and Vulnerability Management Maturity Model.

Level 1 – Vulnerability Scanning

  • Vulnerability scanning is conducted
  • Remediation is approached on a case-by-case basis
  • Little data analysis or remediation tracking
  • Teams operate in silos

Level 2 – Prioritized Vulnerability Management

  • Issues are prioritized according to risk
  • Remediation is conducted in spreadsheets
  • Basic data analysis and remediation tracking
  • Reliance on manual data handling

Level 3 – Vulnerability Management Program

  • A comprehensive vulnerability management program
  • Threat intelligence is referred to
  • Cross-functional collaboration
  • Advanced data analysis and remediation tracking

Level 4 – Next Generation Vulnerability Management

  • A continuous process
  • Data from different assessments are centralized and integrated for sophisticated analysis
  • Processes are streamlined, coordinated, automated, and seamlessly tracked
  • A real-time understanding of the threat landscape
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Vulnerability Management Maturity Model Tools

A vulnerability management solution can make it effortless to ensure your processes are robust as possible, meeting Level 4 of the Vulnerability Management Maturity Model.

For example, a vulnerability management platform could aid in prioritizing, delegating, reporting, tracking, and collaborating on the remediation of cloud vulnerabilities.

Prism Platform is our vendor-agnostic platform that helps you implement modern and effective vulnerability management programs, reducing mean-time-to-remediate by up to 61%.

Vulnerability Management Maturity Model Rootshell
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Next Generation Vulnerability Management Maturity Model with Prism Platform

Prism logo working with Rootshell on Cloud Vulnerability Management Maturity Model

Here are just some of the ways Prism Platform makes it effortless to implement the top level of a threat assessment and vulnerability management maturity model.

  • Centralize security issues: Prism is vendor-agnostic, so you can use it to consolidate results from any vulnerability scanner or penetration testing vendor. Managing all your cloud vulnerabilities in one place, as well as non-cloud issues makes it seamless to continuously analyse, prioritize, and manage all issues across your estate.
  • Intelligence-driven prioritization: Prism’s industry-leading Daily Exploit Detection alerts you to exploits for your issues on a daily basis, so you can gain the context needed to prioritize most effectively.
  • Streamline remediation: Prism modernizes vulnerability management programs and makes it easy for teams to deliver fast and effective remediation, by reducing manual processes, integrating with ticketing systems, and much more.
  • Real-time alerts: Prism ensures you have real-time insight into your threat landscape, by providing you with live updates from tests and continuous cyber threat intelligence alerts tailored to your digital estate.
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