Tuesday 24th August 2021

BLOG: Why Vulnerability Management Crucial to Managing Third-Party Cyber Risk & How Orpheus Cyber Can Help

The current cyber threat landscape means that taking a pre-emptive and proactive approach to vulnerability management is imperative. Every new vulnerability presents security risks to organisations and cybercriminals are constantly searching for vulnerabilities in server software and end-user software. It is important to put a process in place to identify and address vulnerabilities quickly and continually. Risk-based vulnerability management is the process of identifying, evaluating, treating, and reporting on security vulnerabilities in systems in order to reduce vulnerabilities across an attack surface by focusing on the risks they pose to an organisation. Finding vulnerabilities helps to understand vulnerability risks with threat context and provides insight into the potential impact these vulnerabilities pose on an organisation.

Ranking the criticality of the vulnerabilities is essential. How vulnerabilities are ranked is determined by the prospective harm, loss and damage they can cause. Predicting the likelihood of a CVE being exploited in the future is also an important factor. A vulnerability with a severe impact that is unlikely to be exploited can be prioritised differently from one with a high likelihood of exploitation. Data sensitivity is another factor to be considered when ranking vulnerabilities. Encrypted data would be ranked lower than data that can be accessed.

Managing vendor vulnerabilities is a key part of vulnerability management but can be a challenging area. Organisations may be dealing with third-party vendors with systems and protocols that are not secure, or systems and protocols that do not align with those of their own, and as a result, will not have any control over the way data or other procedures are conducted. This area highlights the importance of organisations working alongside their vendors in order to make sure their measures are of a good standard to protect everyone’s data.

The most effective way to protect a network is to utilise automated software to detect threats and then segregate them. Network scanning is an automated computerised process, it continuously scans a network for active devices connected to the network. The software identifies the connected devices and the associated user of the device to establish whether there is a threat present. Network scanning is used in combination with other automated processes that sees users perceived as a threat. Network scan analysis searches for unnoticed indications of a security breach.

Additionally, patching software vulnerabilities is crucial. When a vulnerability is detected in third-party software, the software vendor determines if a patch is available. If the vendor is unaware of the vulnerability, it will take time to come up with a patch. However, this process is often automated with patch management software.

Organisations are at risk of financial ruin, even to the extent of bankruptcy and a damaged reputation if they do not have an active vulnerability management process. Vulnerability management should be a priority for businesses of all sizes not just for large organisations.

Orpheus Cyber can help with vulnerability management using Orpheus’ proprietary Machine Learning to predict which vulnerabilities not yet being exploited by hackers will be in the future. Even with an industry-leading team and budget, it isn’t possible to patch every vulnerability that is discovered.

Prioritising those which pose the greatest threat, and have the greatest impact is the best place to start. We have used our expertise in threat intelligence to help organisations prioritise their vulnerability management giving each vulnerability a score, so you know what to focus on next. By understanding the tactics and goals of threat actors we enable more effective vulnerability management.

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