ESG research on cyber risk management, which involved 340 cybersecurity professionals, revealed that 40 percent felt tracking patch and vulnerability management over time was their biggest challenge.
The traditional approach to patch and vulnerability management
Traditionally, these processes involve dedicated tools operated by different teams.
The security team employs vulnerability scanners to identify vulnerabilities in endpoints and shoots a ticket to the IT or remediation team with vulnerability details and required action items to fix them. IT administrators utilize patching tools to sweep the network for missing patch details, and they compare those findings with the data sent by the security team to correlate the patches required to resolve the vulnerabilities. Then they proceed to download patches from vendor sites, test them for stability, and deploy them to their production environment. Another round of scanning is performed by the IT team to ensure the vulnerability is thoroughly fixed, and the remediation status is sent to the security team, requiring the latter to perform additional validation to close the vulnerability management loop.
Notice anything wrong with that approach? Though it gets the job done, it’s far from efficient. Here are a few reasons that’s so and also why you’ll be better off with an integrated patch and vulnerability management solution.
Increased delay in remediation:
Juggling multiple tools for patch and vulnerability management results in a siloed, inefficient workflow, adding complexity, creating redundant scans, widening the gap between vulnerability detection and patching, and dramatically slowing down the process of remediating risk. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that organizations, in general, take more than a couple of months to close a discovered vulnerability. An edgescan stats report reckons it to be 67 days.
With the gap between vulnerability disclosure and exploit code availability having shrunk in recent days, organizations have to be swift in their remediation. A Ponemon Institute study indicates that 60 percent of breaches in 2019 were due to unapplied patches, ones that were readily available but not deployed.
Patch and vulnerability management should be approached as a unitary process. Instead of jumping between different tools to execute one task, an integrated patch and vulnerability management solution provides all the teams working on the task with unified visibility and better tracking from detection to closure—from a central location. This also eliminates the need for redundant scans. A single scan would fetch all the vulnerability and patch information and automatically correlate them, helping to accomplish direct, swift remediation.
Lack of accuracy:
Point products don’t interface well with each other, increasing the likelihood of potential disparity in data between integrated solutions. In other words, all the required patches may not get deployed completely and critical vulnerabilities could remain unaddressed. A unified solution streamlines all interdependent tasks from one console, eliminating any possible room for error.
Piling up management challenges:
Deploying and implementing multiple tools, and training staff to use them, can be clumsy and time-consuming. Besides, running multiple tools at the same time can impact network bandwidth consumption. Adding to this challenge, installing multiple agents strains system resources and affects their performance. All these ordeals can be cut short if you use an integrated solution.
Difficulties in scaling:
There are also difficulties in scaling those separate tools to support more devices in the long run. The modern IT landscape is extremely dynamic; it’s characterized by the frequent addition of assets, connections with new partners, and the like. An instance of one of the agents not being installed in any of the new assets could introduce further complications in the workflow and leave behind several security gaps.
Increased security budget:
Let’s cut to the chase: the deployment and maintenance of separate tools for patch and vulnerability management will cost you two times as much. It’s as simple as that. Further investments include dedicated training sessions on each product for new staff.
To do away with all these woes, your best bet is to invest in ManageEngine Vulnerability Manager Plus, a completely integrated patch and vulnerability management solution that utilizes a single interface and a single agent to facilitate the detection, prioritization, and closure of vulnerabilities, all from one location.
Vulnerability Manager Plus’ risk-based vulnerability management capability allows IT admins to prioritize response to high-risk vulnerabilities based on exploitability and impact. Admins can remediate vulnerabilities across an environment of any size by deploying the latest patches in no time with the product’s built-in patching functionality. Meanwhile, its automated patch management capability keeps Windows, macOS, Linux, and over 350 third-party applications up-to-date by allowing IT admins to automate and customize the entire cycle of patching—from detecting missing patches, downloading them from vendor sites, and testing them for stability to deploying them to all endpoints irrespective of their whereabouts.