With a $5.75 billion valuation in 2016 and projected growth in excess of $20 billion by the end of 2027, the demand for the global security and vulnerability management market has never been higher — with soaring growth still to come. As businesses require next-generation security measures to integrate cloud-based services and mobile devices, the prediction, management, and eradication of vulnerabilities are of paramount importance.
If your business isn’t thinking about its vulnerabilities and how to address them, it’s time to start. Vulnerability management software or consulting services from a skilled cybersecurity firm are great options to consider. Both will help make you aware of holes in your current security policies or defenses and help you understand the challenges posed by your specific platforms.
A Threat on the Rise
This is a critical time for the information security industry. 2017 was the worst year on record for breaches and hacks. An exponential increase in ransomware usage — estimated at 160,000 attacks in 2017 — includes a sizable number of ransom denial-of-service (RDoS) attacks, a new form of attack that threatens to make websites inoperable until a ransom is paid.
The Online Trust Alliance (OTA) noted that simple steps, such as regularly updating security software, could prevent an overwhelming majority of these breaches. A staggering 93% of breaches could have been avoided by taking proper cybersecurity precautions. Furthermore, the OTA found that 15% of all hacks were due to a lack of proper security software. Regular monitoring and patches offered by updated vulnerability management software could provide a significant, cost-effective security strategy.
Goals of Vulnerability Management Software
Vulnerability management software primarily identifies threats to your business’ network and removes them before they can wreak havoc on your internal systems. Most forms of vulnerability management software provide automated tests and constant monitoring to secure your network further; the ultimate function of such software is to find weaknesses before a nefarious agent finds and exploits them.
You may also outsource vulnerability testing to a company that performs vulnerability assessments or penetration testing, which can let you know your areas of weakness and where you should be focusing your cybersecurity efforts.
Whichever route you choose, the mere detection of threats is not enough. You must use the information gleaned from your vulnerability management efforts to take action.
Challenges with Cloud Security
Cloud-based environments experience threats in ways similar to traditional data centers, but the specific medium of the cloud creates new challenges. Some of these considerations include: unauthorized access related to on-demand self-service, compromised Internet-accessible APIs, incomplete data deletion, a loss of stored data, and a compromised cloud service provider supply chain.
You may already be taking advantage of cloud technology. As your company migrates critical data to cloud storage, remember to create and utilize best practices for cloud security. Examples of these include:
- Source code control systems
- Plans for decommissioning and/or multiple cloud source providers
- Multi-factor user authentication
- Assigned user access rights and related access policies
- Consumer-managed access keys
- Data backup processes
- On-premises monitoring
- Collaboration with cloud source provider(s) to create a response team for security incidents
To assist in this endeavor, the federal government provides a standardized approach for cloud security via its FedRAMP program. The expert-driven Cloud Security Alliance posts frequent updates to provide valuable outreach to the information security community.
Remote devices further challenge your vulnerability management software in ways that other devices connected to your local network do not. Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report chillingly notes a 54% increase in mobile malware variants over the previous 12 months.
Integration is key for vulnerability management. You should integrate mobile device management (MDM) auditing and data agents with your existing vulnerability management solution. MDM includes the capacity for remote wipes, encryption, and passcode protection. Easily installed agents collect vulnerability data and protect endpoints from vulnerable applications such as Flash or Java, while reporting information back to central management about all devices not actively connected to a secure VPN (i.e. any device using cloud access).
Beyond recognition, remediation, and prevention techniques, vulnerability management software has adapted to better protect enterprises from evolving attacks by hackers. Some use scanless discovery analysis that checks repositories of data rather than every node, including cloud-based assets and mobile devices. Threats to your business are prioritized by the software, which codes them into high-density or high-risk vulnerabilities and matches them with context-specific remedies.
Vulnerability assessment software can simulate attacks using multiple vectors on the network, providing insight as to the likelihood of future attacks, potential damage to assets, and strategies to ameliorate those threats. With daily threats numbering in the thousands, your organization cannot afford to be a step behind cybercriminals. Make the solid decision to embrace next-generation vulnerability assessment software.
Have you recently upgraded your vulnerability assessment software?
Sentek Cyber is a trusted firm with a wealth of experience spanning multiple industries. We would love to find out more about your company and your specific needs. Contact us today to start a conversation.