Last updated at Wed, 29 Nov 2017 21:31:20 GMT

Industry-best practices dictate that companies should keep software up-to-date as part of maintaining a healthy security posture. Yet many companies struggle with vulnerability management, especially when it comes to vendor and third-party software.

Third-party vulnerability management is often a balance between ensuring that critical bugs get reviewed and applied quickly, while reducing the risk of downtime due to a potentially unstable patch. When it comes to managing a complex vendor vulnerability management process, security orchestration and automation can help.

By connecting notification mechanisms with your existing communication and patch management tools, security orchestration empowers teams to automate their organization's vulnerability management processes.

Challenges Managing Vulnerabilities for Organizations

Historically, vulnerability management has become challenging to implement for many security operations teams, and mostly due to piecing together systems and performing many repetitive tasks. For example:

Cross Functional Team Communication

Depending on the vendor software affected, the security, IT, operations, development, and business leadership may all play a part in vulnerability triage and remediation.

Wrangling all of the necessary stakeholders and ensuring tasks happen within an SLA timeframe is a time-consuming project management job in and of itself.

Too Many Vendors

Companies that demand the best-in-class tools are working across a variety of vendors. Monitoring the security advisory lists manually can get overwhelming quickly for a security or IT engineer.

Many Moving Parts

In complex enterprises, tools and process vary from team-to-team. It’s not unlikely to see different internal tools for communication alone. You’ve bought several solutions to automate vendor patch management for your various use cases.

This means your IT and applications operations teams use entirely different systems for applying patches. How do you unify a vendor vulnerability management process given all of these moving parts?

'One Size' Fits All Automation Does Not Fit

All organizations are different. Along with unique network and software stacks, each company will prioritize vendor software risks differently depending on business use. Because of this, your third-party vulnerability management process must be specific to your organization, which means you’re building the automation yourself, or not automating at all.

Security Orchestration and Automation: A Plane for Your Vulnerability Management Processes and Tools

With orchestration and automation, you can monitor an endless number of security advisory feeds, making sure that your IT security team is on top of any new security advisory notifications for software that pertains to their environment. And with the right solution, you can quickly shape any automation to your organization’s specific needs.

Conserve Your Workforce's Time

By automating project management work that a human would normally coordinate, orchestration and automation can save your security team’s precious time -- enabling them to work on higher value, strategic tasks.

Meet Compliance Drivers and Respond Reliably

With security automation, vulnerabilities are responded to efficiently, within SLAs required by compliance and business drivers, ensuring that no vulnerabilities fall through the cracks.

Don't Just Notify, Remediate

By integrating with your patch management solutions, you can orchestrate a process from notification to remediation. By automating each and every security advisory that comes in, you’ll ensure that critical issues are being handled, even if your security team is pulled off to handle another high-priority threat.

Automate Effortlessly

Managing third-party vulnerabilities doesn't have to take up so much time and energy from your team. With security orchestration and automation, you can streamline your current processes, ensuring vulnerabilities get caught and patched, AND allowing your team to focus their valuable time where they're needed most.