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What You Need to Know to Improve Your Enterprise Vulnerability Management Strategy
Vulnerability management is vital to a robust, proactive endpoint security strategy, enabling organizations to identify and address security weaknesses before they lead to a cyberattack or data breach. The cyclical process involves identifying IT assets and correlating them with a continually updated vulnerability database to identify threats, misconfigurations, and security bugs.
Another important aspect of vulnerability management is determining the urgency and impact of each vulnerability and responding to critical threats swiftly - before they are exploited by adversaries. Despite its significance in establishing and maintaining a strong security posture, too many organizations still fall short in the key area of vulnerability management due to common challenges and roadblocks that will be discussed in more detail below. As a result, more businesses are falling victim to cyberattacks than ever before. Global cyberattacks increased by 38% in 2022, compared to 2021.
In order to protect against the persistent threat that security vulnerabilities pose to any organization, enterprises need an end-to-end vulnerability management and compliance solution that provides 360 degree visibility into their security risk exposure and offers built-in remediation. ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager Plus" from the final sentence of the intro, and change it to read "This article will discuss common vulnerability management obstacles that enterprises face, and explain how an effective vulnerability management and compliance solution can help organizations automate and improve their vulnerability management strategy to defend against damaging security incidents.
Vulnerability Management & Compliance Are Critical Challenges for the Enterprise
Despite the central role that vulnerability management holds in an effective endpoint security strategy, there are common roadblock that organizations face that impede their ability to to reliably identify and fix security loopholes and shortcomings. In most organizations, there are simply too many vulnerabilities across thousands of heterogeneous assets in a distributed network to track manually, and not all of them pose equal risk. With the window between disclosure of vulnerabilities and their exploit by malicious actors shrinking, organizations must be swift in their detection and remediation for vulnerabilities. With limited time and resources and without the necessary risk background to prioritize issues, this is simply unrealistic and unattainable for the majority of organizations without the help of a centralized and automated vulnerability management and compliance solution. Anandraj Paul, Head of Development, Endpoint Security, ManageEngine, states, “Many vulnerability management tools on the market offer patching through a third-party integration, but juggling multiple tools for vulnerability assessment and patch management results in a fragmented and inefficient workflow. Moreover, if an adversary does use a vulnerability to gain access to the network, they will exploit overlooked misconfigurations to laterally move and compromise other machines within the network. To prevent this, every loophole and software vulnerability must be addressed to minimize the attack surface and strengthen security." Linux security expert and LinuxSecurity.com Founder Dave Wreski adds, “While issuing vendor-published patches to affected machines is the ideal remediation option, having a fail-safe plan to fall back on in the case of unpatchable circumstances like end-of-life software and zero-day vulnerabilities is essential to preventing attacks and breaches.”
Security Spotlight: How ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager Plus Meets Our Criteria for an Effective Vulnerability Management Solution
ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager Plus is a multi-OS vulnerability management and compliance solution we love for its ability to meet all of the criteria for effective and efficient vulnerability management, which we will discuss in more detail below. It is an end-to-end vulnerability management tool delivering comprehensive coverage, continual visibility, rigorous assessment, and built-in remediation of threats and vulnerabilities, all from a single console, wherever your endpoints are located. Let’s take a closer look at what makes Vulnerability Manager Plus a great option for organizations looking to improve security without sacrificing convenience.
With the plethora of vulnerabilities that exist in OSes and third-party software, programs and applications (new vulnerabilities are identified every 90 minutes!), organizations need to be able to identify and prioritize real security risks. ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager Plus enables organizations to assess and prioritize vulnerabilities based on exploitability, severity, age, affected system count, and the availability of the fix.
ManageEngine’s vulnerability assessment tool regularly scans your network for vulnerabilities, delivers insights into risk, and helps close the vulnerability management loop instantly with direct remediation from the console. With ManageEngine’s vulnerability assessment capabilities, organizations can:
- Eliminate blind spots and keep track of assets.
- Gain extensive vulnerability coverage.
- Catch vulnerabilities as they appear with continuous monitoring.
- Assess vulnerability risk and prioritize response.
- See what matters most at a glimpse with dashboard widgets (pictured below).
- Leverage built-in patching to ensure swift and accurate remediation.
The dynamic nature of modern IT leads to inevitable security gaps, as IT teams are forced to make constant changes to systems' configurations, and newly introduced systems and software are often left with default, insecure configurations. It is no secret that poorly configured systems pave the way for malicious hackers, but they are also a significant compliance risk, often incurring hefty fines from regulatory bodies. The Center for Internet Security (CIS) Benchmarks provide prescriptive guidance for establishing a secure baseline configuration for assets, but are challenging to meet, monitor and maintain without the help of a solution like ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager Plus.
ManageEngine’s CIS compliance feature helps accomplish and maintain compliance and meet security and audit objectives with over 75 CIS benchmarks by regularly monitoring your endpoints for all applicable CIS benchmarks, instantly detecting violations, and suggesting detailed, corrective actions. The feature allows organizations to easily:
- Instantly group policies.
- Map targets and schedule audits.
- Audit and improve compliance.
Once the vulnerabilities in your network are identified and assessed, the next step is to patch them to protect against damaging exploits. In order to be effective, efficient and secure, patch Management must be carefully planned and orchestrated. If not, it can potentially cause more harm than the vulnerabilities it is supposed to address!
Vulnerability Manager Plus' inbuilt patch management module helps you customize, orchestrate and automate complete patching while letting you customize every aspect of the patching process. The module gives organizations the ability to:
- Seamlessly patch a heterogeneous, multi-platform IT infrastructure.
- Test, approve and decline patches.
- Automate patch deployment.
- Customize the patch management process with flexible deployment policies
Security Configuration Management
Zero-day vulnerabilities are inevitable, and without a secure foundation created by ensuring ideal security configurations are established and maintained in your endpoints, a single vulnerability could shake your organization to the core. Effective security configuration management involves continually detecting configuration drifts and misconfigurations across various components in your endpoints, and bringing them back into alignment.
ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager Plus facilitates the entire cycle of security configuration management including detecting misconfigurations, categorizing and profiling them, resolving them with built-in remediation, and reporting the final configuration posture, all from a single interface. The solution’s advanced security configuration management capabilities ensure that the security of your network and systems are enforced with complex passwords, least privileges, and memory protection, and are compliant with CIS and STIG security guidelines.
Web Server Hardening
Web servers are the point of contact between a business and its customers, as they deliver web pages to clients upon request and host websites and web-based applications. Since a web server is an Internet facing device, it can also provide an entry point for attackers if not configured properly.
In order to keep pace with industry demands, enterprises must constantly make changes to their server configurations, and making these changes manually often results in dangerous configuration drifts. Vulnerability Manager Plus continuously monitors your web servers for default and insecure configurations, and displays them in the console. With Vulnerability Manager Plus, administrator and IT teams can identify servers whose communications are not secured via Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate for data encryption and decryption to protect them from unauthorized interception. Vulnerability Manager Plus provides a detailed description of the cause, impact and remediation for each server misconfiguration. These critical insights can be used to help set up a secure server that is protected against attack variants including URL manipulation attacks, input validation attacks, denial of service attacks, brute force attacks, session hijacking, clickjacking and source code disclosure, among other threats.
High-Risk Software Audit
The proliferation of different devices and software in recent years - especially post-pandemic - has inevitably put enterprises at risk of unsupported and unauthorized software including end of life software, peer to peer software, and remote desktop sharing software. This software can compromise a corporate network with threats such as information disclosure, malicious code injection and unauthorized access that can damage an organization's security and reputation. Clearly, it is of critical importance to audit such high risk software that may be installed in network systems without administrators’ knowledge. With Vulnerability Manager Plus at your disposal, you can:
- Monitor your network endpoints continuously and detect end of life software, peer to peer software and remote sharing tools present in them.
- Get details on the expiry date and the number of days before software in your network becomes end of life.
- Obtain real-time information on the number of machines that are affected by these software.
- Eliminate these software with just a click of a button from the console.
Zero-Day Vulnerability Mitigation
Though we would all love to patch and put an end to vulnerabilities once and for all, this is not always realistic. In some cases, patches aren't available to fix a flaw, such as with zero day vulnerabilities and some publicly disclosed vulnerabilities. Luckily, ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager Plus can help organizations harden their systems and software against zero-day vulnerabilities and publicly-disclosed vulnerabilities for which no patch exists. Vulnerability Manager Plus allows enterprises to:
- Leverage a dedicated view for zero-days.
- Deploy mitigation scripts.
- Stay up-to-date with the latest patches.
- Get notified about zero-day patches.
- Keep track of OS and application end of life.
With Vulnerability Manager Plus, you can stop waiting around for patches and deploy pre-built, tested scripts to secure your network against zero-day vulnerabilities.
Beyond the Capabilities of Traditional Vulnerability Management Tools
ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager Plus exceeds the capabilities of traditional vulnerability management and compliance solutions in the following critical areas to provide stronger, more reliable protection against security vulnerabilities:
- Executive reports: Review your security posture and make informed decisions with holistic reports.
- Antivirus Audits: Gain insight on antivirus protection across your network systems.
- Deployment Policies: Decide when to patch, what to patch, and how to patch.
- Role-Based Administration: Define roles and delegate tasks to technicians based on enterprise needs.
Final Thoughts on Securing Your Organization Against Vulnerabilities
With the increase in cybercrime and the growing complexity of the modern IT infrastructure, a comprehensive, automated vulnerability management strategy has never been more important for the enterprise. ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager Plus exceeds the capabilities of traditional vulnerability management solutions to improve security, increase visibility, and help businesses meet compliance standards. Anandraj Paul, Head of Development, Endpoint Security, ManageEngine, explains, "There's no silver bullet solution that renders your network impenetrable to cyber exploits. But by constantly reevaluating and strengthening the security stance of your network with Vulnerability Manager Plus, you stand a much better chance against detecting and thwarting cyber trespassers in your network."
Ready to improve your vulnerability management and compliance strategy to ward off cyberattacks and data breaches? We encourage you to download ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager Plus and see for yourself why we recommend it so strongly!