Black Hat Asia 2017: Threat and vulnerability management is a foundational technique that every security professional should embrace. Here's why.
Threat & Vulnerability Management: Knowing You’re Secure
What are my vulnerabilities? What threats am I exposed to? Where are they? How can I mitigate them? How can I measure how secure I am?
These are fundamental questions virtually every CISO or IT Security manager asks. Answering these critical questions is essential to the viability of any organization, and failure to have a comprehensive understanding of the cyber risks to which your organization is exposed will result in catastrophic consequences.
Having a deep and current understanding of vulnerability and threat exposure is foundational to the security of any enterprise. In other words, vulnerability and threat assessment is as critical as any currently deployed security technology, including the firewall.
Unfortunately, few organizations are capable of measuring their cyber risk exposure in an accurate and thorough way. Evidence of this is provided by the recent IDC IT Security MaturityScape Benchmark Report, which indicates that 84% of companies surveyed across APAC are either ad-hoc or opportunistic in their overall security practices.
By establishing a detailed threat and vulnerability management (TVM) program organizations can better understanding and measure their risk exposure from active threats and vulnerabilities,
There are five key elements to any TVM program:
● Asset Discovery – finding all assets that exist within the infrastructure.
● Threat Detection – finding indicators of compromise.
● Vulnerability Detection – finding weaknesses in all assets within the infrastructure.
● Threat and Vulnerability Analytics – leveraging a platform that is capable of consuming, processing, prioritizing, communicating and tracking threat and vulnerability data.
● Threat and Vulnerability Mitigation – systematically leveraging TVM data analytics to apply appropriate remedies to detected threats and vulnerabilities.
Most importantly, TVM program must be executed on a continuous basis. Your infrastructure is constantly changing. If you’re not executing your TVM program in a way that can track these constant changes, then you will miss significant data points and events that could have a major impact on your cybersecurity posture.
So, what does all this tell you? Simply put, a properly implemented TVM program describes your overall risk profile, and how that profile may be improved over time. These metrics can be reported to senior management to illustrate how secure the business is as a whole. The same metrics, presented in a different way, can be given to technical staff so that necessary technical steps can be taken to reduce the present level of risk. TVM also provides the ability to identify active threats that are present within your infrastructure, threats that could be exposing you to data theft, undesired surveillance or even complete infrastructure shutdown.
Threat and Vulnerability Management is a foundational technique that every security professional must embrace in order to know what is secure, what is not secure, and where attention needs to be focused for improvement. It provides tools to report to all levels within the organization accurate security metrics and necessary remediation activities. Without such measurements, you will never know how secure you really are – or aren’t.
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