Vulnerability Management 101: Key Steps and Strategies


Cyberattacks can affect endpoints, workloads, and systems; however, these vulnerabilities can be reduced using a vulnerability management system. As a rule, a security team will utilize a vulnerability management system to locate security holes, after which they will employ many methods to patch or lessen the severity of those holes.

Using threat intelligence and a firm grasp of IT and business operations, a good threat and vulnerability management system will prioritize risks and address vulnerabilities as soon as practical. In this post, you can better understand the vulnerability lifecycle management system.

What Is the Distinction Between a Weakness, a Risk, and a Danger?

International Organization for Standardization defines a vulnerability as “a weakness of an asset or collection of assets that one or more threats can exploit” (ISO 27002).

Dangerous things are those that can exploit a vulnerability.

When threats exploit weaknesses, they offer dangers. It’s the amount at stake if the discovered vulnerability is exploited by malicious intent.

An Overview of the Four Phases of Vulnerability Lifecycle Management System

When planning a vulnerability management strategy, there are several steps to consider. If incorporated into your management routine, these procedures may increase your security. You also help ensure any discovered security issues are fixed correctly. Let’s dive into the vulnerability lifecycle management system.

Step 1. Recognize Weak Spots

As an initial step in risk management, pinpointing potential system vulnerabilities is essential. The first step in discovering vulnerabilities is deciding what kind of vulnerabilities you seek.

In this step, you’ll narrow your search using vulnerability databases and threat intelligence reports. Scanning for vulnerabilities and compiling a list of vulnerable parts is common in patch management.

Plus, you’ll draw up a detailed diagram of your infrastructure to show where everything is, how it can be accessed, and what safeguards are already in place. The resulting road map can be used to facilitate vulnerability assessment and repair.

Step 2. Assessing Weaknesses

The next stage is to evaluate how dangerous the system flaws are that you’ve found. This analysis will help you prioritise where to put your efforts regarding security.

Fixing the most severe vulnerabilities first can reduce the risk of an attack and improve system security overall. Several approaches exist that can be used to estimate how much damage could be done if an exploit were carried out, all of which could be factored into the final score.

The Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) is one example (CVSS). Several academic databases and cybersecurity professionals use this standard method. The CVSS vulnerability score is determined by the vulnerability’s fundamental characteristics, temporal characteristics, and impact on your systems. Since CVSS risk ratings are static, it’s essential to round them out with information from other sources like threat intelligence and your company’s risk profile when setting priorities.

Step 3. Fixing Security Flaws

Repairs can be made when a prioritised vulnerability management system is in place. Now is the time to take precautions, such as increased surveillance or limiting access to dangerous areas. This can buy you valuable time before vulnerabilities are successfully exploited, allowing you to implement remedies or significantly bolster security.

Once the security holes have been patched, ensure they’re fixed. Penetration testing is handy here because you can see your patch’s effectiveness. And it can help you secure the patching process and doesn’t leave any fresh security gaps.

Step 4. Sharing Vulnerability Information

While it may seem useless to report vulnerabilities that have already been patched, doing so could help you improve your defences and responses in the future. Responsible behaviour, and the fulfilment of rules, often necessitate keeping track of security holes and the dates they were patched. Using it to predict the future is also a plus. For instance, if you find evidence of a persistent attack, you can use your patch logs to establish a timeline and location for the possible incursion.

Reporting on your plan for vulnerability management will provide valuable data for evaluating the efficacy of subsequent efforts. This allows for more effective future work and avoids introducing new vulnerabilities.

Methods for Establishing a Reliable Vulnerability Management System for Managing Vulnerabilities

It may take some time, and it’s unlikely that your first attempt to develop a vulnerability management system will succeed. Using the following best practices for vulnerability management, you may establish a solid foundation for your software and minimise the tweaks it will eventually require.

Regularly Test for Security Holes

Regular penetration testing is one of the best techniques to ensure your system is secure and does not add any new vulnerabilities. These checks can help ensure that newly revealed vulnerabilities are found and fixed promptly, provided that modern methods and tools are used.

Additionally, penetration testing can assist security teams in learning more about the tactics used by attackers and give an unbiased assessment of how well your defences are working. In turn, this can assist security teams in better responding to attacks by giving them a more solid foundation for resource allocation decisions.

Tally up All the Hardware and Software in Your IT Infrastructure

It is crucial to have an accurate tally of your resources and parts during the identification and testing phases. Not doing so increases the likelihood of missing security holes and leaving your systems unprotected.

Having a complete inventory can help you avoid unpleasant surprises. It may also provide you with a chance to organise your home. While compiling your list, you may encounter some relics that no longer serve a purpose. By getting rid of these stale assets, you can lessen your responsibility load and maybe even boost performance in the system with little to no further work on your part. However, this is challenging to accomplish only through network scans due to the prevalence of off-network assets like laptops and mobile devices in the modern workplace. One of the essential steps in mitigating exposure is acquiring the resources necessary to identify and evaluate these assets.

Keep up with Threat Intelligence

It is crucial to be aware of the vulnerabilities, how they are being exploited, and the solutions that may be implemented to fix them. All these details are within your purview to ascertain. This approach, however, is highly inefficient, and risks are likely to be missed. The information already accumulated by security communities should be used instead.

Information and best practices on potential threats, including threat intelligence feeds, forums, and databases, can be found everywhere. These avenues are beneficial for supplementing smaller security teams with the specialised knowledge they might otherwise lack.

Create Data Visualisation for Instructional Purposes

While it’s impossible to secure your systems completely, you can take steps to reduce exposure to threats like user-introduced flaws. You can’t eliminate user permissions, but you can teach them how to spot, mitigate, and report threats.

You can do this, for example, by making charts and graphs out of your vulnerability data. This can educate people on the origins of security flaws and how to protect themselves. Risk mitigation is crucial since it shows what’s at stake if systems are compromised, and it can also help illustrate the risks’ seriousness.

Scanning, patching, and validating may not always be the best approach to the vulnerability management system. When applying patches to mission-critical infrastructure, system availability may be impacted. Further, some varieties of networked devices may require unsupported software running on long-since-retired OS versions for which security updates are no longer available. If the business effect or necessity prevents patches from being applied on time, further security measures must be in place to safeguard such systems against attacks.


Vulnerability management systems rely on a solid foundation, and embracing a fair policy for managing threats and vulnerabilities is essential for conforming to a wide range of regulations and standards. With the help of an efficient threat management system, businesses can protect their infrastructure, methods, and data from the ever-increasing number of cyber threats they face.