Friday 21st April 2023

BLOG: Automated Vulnerability Scanning: Pros, Cons, and Best Practices

With thousands of vulnerabilities being identified and published each year, it can be challenging for organizations to determine which ones to prioritize for patching or other mitigation efforts. This process can be time-consuming and costly, which is why many organizations have turned to automated vulnerability scanning as a solution. In this blog, we will discuss the pros and cons of automated vulnerability scanning and the best practices for using it effectively.

Pros of Automated Vulnerability Scanning

  1. Scalability: Automated vulnerability scanning can quickly scan large numbers of devices and identify vulnerabilities that need to be addressed.
  2. Consistency: Automated scanning provides a consistent approach to vulnerability management, reducing the risk of human error.
  3. Cost-Effective: Automated vulnerability scanning can be less expensive than manual scanning, which can save organizations money.
  4. Time-Saving: Automated scanning can quickly identify vulnerabilities, reducing the time required for manual vulnerability identification.

Cons of Automated Vulnerability Scanning

  1. False Positives: Automated scanning can sometimes produce false positives, resulting in wasted time and resources spent on non-existent vulnerabilities.
  2. Incomplete Scans: Automated scanning may not detect all vulnerabilities, especially those that require a more in-depth analysis.
  3. No Context: Automated scanning does not provide the context necessary to determine the actual risk posed by a vulnerability.

Best Practices for Automated Vulnerability Scanning

  1. Use Risk-Based Vulnerability Management: Prioritize vulnerabilities based on their severity, likelihood of exploitation, and potential impact.
  2. Regular Scanning: Perform automated scans regularly to ensure vulnerabilities are identified and addressed promptly.
  3. Combine Automated Scanning with Manual Scanning: Use automated scanning to identify vulnerabilities quickly, but also perform manual scanning to ensure all vulnerabilities are identified.
  4. Analyze Results: Analyze the results of the scans to determine which vulnerabilities require immediate attention and which ones can be addressed later.

Orpheus Vulnerability Severity Score (OVSS)

Orpheus has developed the Orpheus Vulnerability Severity Score (OVSS), which uses cyber threat intelligence, machine learning, and other features to give every Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) a score. This enables organizations to filter vulnerabilities on their network by those that are the most serious, allowing them to prioritize vulnerabilities based on their severity. This approach to risk-based CVE management helps organizations determine which vulnerabilities to patch first, enabling them to focus their resources and budget effectively.

Orpheus’s Machine Learning also predicts which vulnerabilities not yet being exploited by hackers will be exploited in the future. This enables organizations to patch vulnerabilities before they are exploited by hackers, stopping risk before it happens.

Automated vulnerability scanning has its pros and cons, but it can be an effective tool for organizations to manage their vulnerabilities. By using risk-based vulnerability management, regular scanning, and a combination of automated and manual scanning, organizations can identify vulnerabilities quickly and effectively. Orpheus Vulnerability Severity Score (OVSS) provides organizations with a way to prioritize vulnerabilities based on their severity, allowing them to focus their resources and budget effectively. By using these best practices and tools, organizations can minimize their cyber risk and prevent cyber-attacks before they happen. To find out more about our approach to risk-based vulnerability management, click here

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