BeyondTrust

Security in Context: The BeyondTrust Blog

Welcome to Security in Context

Bringing you news and commentary on solutions and strategies for protecting critical IT infrastructure in the context of your business.

Prioritizing Vulnerability Assessment and Remediation Steps: A New Users Guide to Getting Started – Part 2

Posted February 22, 2011    Morey Haber

The odd part about writing weekly blogs is the amount of discussions that start internally, with clients directly, and sometimes through straight blog comments. After writing “A New Users Guide to Getting Started” article, my team indicated several really good ideas for a Part II follow-up blog. Simply, just getting started with vulnerability management is not enough. Assessing vulnerabilities, remediating them, and doing it again week-after-week, month-after-month, is not enough for good security practices. Taking that data and representing it in meaningful ways to security professionals and management is a fundamental component of assessment in a unified vulnerability management lifecycle.

To begin the second step in the process, I would like to demonstrate the value of historical trending and analytics using key reports to help prioritize effort. This would require a month or more of scan activities and could be used to validate historical efforts and help optimize allocation of resources moving forward.  First, look at the example below of a vulnerability summary report filtered by severity for critical vulnerabilities:

This highlights the vulnerability summary by severity month-over-month, the number of open critical vulnerabilities, their average age open (identified), and most importantly the average time in days that it took to remediate them (the vulnerability has been verified fixed). This same data can be plotted to illustrate that the internal processes for vulnerability management  are (or in this sample case, “are not”) working correctly:

A second example of how a new user needs to address vulnerability management problems is by showing the change in vulnerabilities month-after-month. This is shown below in a vulnerability delta report:

As you can see from this sample, a new program was implemented in July, but remediation efforts did not start until November. The peak number of vulnerabilities found in the organization occurred in December 2010 and only after refining the process and performing more remediation activities in January 2011, did the total number of vulnerabilities actually decrease. This data also highlights the ability to drill into monthly VA data to see which vulnerabilities have been added or removed.

Vulnerability management for the new user is not only about scanning for vulnerabilities and reporting them, it is also about establishing a repeatable and reliable process for assessing and remediation of vulnerabilities month-after-month. The business needs to measure the results from this process and these reports (from Retina Insight) enable more than just unified vulnerability management, they enable the business to prove a return on investment for mitigating the risk and manage compliance. All new users should consider how their new processes are actually working and being measured.

Tags:
, , ,

Leave a Reply

Additional articles

{c4eae211-3ca2-4f8e-b2b9-6df0e970aab1}_g.markhardy

The “insider” threat. Is it real, or is it being blown out of proportion?

Posted March 4, 2015    G. Mark Hardy

A lot depends on whether or not you’ve been compromised. And therein lies the problem. Cyber threats are often ignored until they cause some damage, at which point management looks for people to blame and gives all kinds of attention to fixing the problem – until the next crisis in accounting or warehousing or staffing comes along.

Tags:
, , ,
webinar_chalk

Webinar March 4th: Recreating the Carbanak Breach & Techniques for Mitigating Similar Attacks

Posted March 3, 2015    Lindsay Marsh

Join BeyondTrust Research and Development team for an in-depth live webinar that will explore the attack vectors used in the Carbanak Bank Breach and share successful mitigation techniques needed to prevent this type of attack.

Tags:
, ,
VMware Hardening Guidelines-img3

How to Audit VMware ESX and ESXi Servers Against the VMware Hardening Guidelines with Retina CS

Posted February 27, 2015    BeyondTrust Research Team

Retina CS Enterprise Vulnerability Management has included advanced VMware auditing capabilities for some time, including virtual machine discovery and scanning through a cloud connection, plus the ability to scan ESX and ESXi hosts using SSH. However, in response to recent security concerns associated with SSH, VMware has disabled SSH by default in its more recent…

Tags:
, , , ,