Vulnerability Assessment
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What is vulnerability assessment?

Vulnerability Assessment refers to a continuous process or plan that:

  • Defines what is classified as a vulnerability across the network.
  • Identifies and prioritizes vulnerabilities in the network for remediation, based on greatest impact to risk reduction.
  • Determine remediation actions for vulnerabilities found in the assessment; this often requires a patch to be applied or an asset be contained.
Vuln Assessment for Modern Networks

Learn why Forrester positioned InsightVM as a leader amongst vulnerability risk management (VRM) vendors.

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Why is vulnerability assessment important? Why do you need it?

Comprehensive vulnerability assessment provides security teams with critical insight into weaknesses in their IT infrastructure and overall network. Vulnerability assessment allows security teams to properly manage and patch vulnerabilities that pose risks to the network, protecting organizations from threat actors and the possibility of a breach.

A network breach could have far-reaching consequences, starting with the months (if not years) it may take to identify all affected assets, and extending to the reputational impact to your organization. Vulnerability assessment should be performed routinely to ensure proper security of your network, in addition to penetration tests (more on that later).

Understand risk across your network with vulnerability assessment

Vulnerability assessment is a core operation for security teams, and is usually the best way to get an initial idea of how vulnerable a network is to an attack. Vulnerability assessment is required for many compliance frameworks, such as PCI and HIPAA, and enables penetration tests to be smarter and more targeted as compared to using simple port scans. Most importantly, it’s the foundation of creating a proactive information security program, moving beyond just reactive measures like firewalls.

Actionable vulnerability assessment is key

When conducting vulnerability assessment, what you do with the data is often more important than the data itself. These days, every vulnerability scanner can detect critical vulnerabilities among the majority of OS types and systems. Turning that raw data into actionable intelligence is a bigger challenge; when you get thousands (if not millions) of vulnerabilities after a scan, how do you know where to start?

Vulnerability assessment also touches every level of a security organization. From your CEO’s laptop to intricate SCADA control systems and web servers, it’s important to accurately assess every piece of your network for flaws that hackers can use to break in. This means that scanners need to not only have a breadth of vulnerability coverage, but also the ability to recognize sensitive systems and scan them accordingly without bringing down the network. Since vulnerability assessment covers your entire network, you also need to be able to communicate results and action plans to stakeholders across your organization–from system administrators to CISOs.

How Rapid7 can help

With InsightVM, our industry-leading vulnerability assessment solution as backed by Gartner and Forrester, you can comprehensively conduct vulnerability assessment across your modern IT environment. Our engineering team provides daily vulnerability check updates, so you know you’re always looking for the newest known flaws in your network.

InsightVM focuses on making your data actionable; in addition to CVSS, our Real Risk score looks at exploitability, malware exposure, and vulnerability age to give you a risk score of 1-1000—the most granular in the industry—ensuring that you’re fixing the vulnerabilities attackers are most likely to exploit. This applies to all of the types of assets you’re concerned with, from servers to cloud-based assets to containers.

Additionally, InsightVM vulnerabilbility management platform helps you get the right information to the right people. You can easily create dynamic filters that categorize your systems and assets by owner and responsibility, ensuring that every member of your team gets reports focused on the systems they’re responsible for. Our customizable reporting and dynamic Live Dashboards make it easy for you and management to measure how vulnerability assessment is reducing your risk over time, and where your weakest links are.

Need some reinforcements for your vulnerability assessment program? Rapid7 provides Managed Vulnerability Management for ongoing program development.

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