Technology vulnerabilities are an unfortunate side effect of innovation. Each time software companies push new updates, there is a possibility of weaknesses in the code. Unfortunately, hackers exploit these vulnerabilities, which can lead to security breaches. The software makers address these vulnerabilities with security patches, but the cycle continues with each new software or hardware update.
It's estimated that about 93% of corporate networks are susceptible to hacker penetration. Despite this alarming number, not all organizations prioritize assessing and managing these network weaknesses, which could result in poor vulnerability management and breaches. Surprisingly, 61% of security vulnerabilities in corporate networks are over 5 years old!
These unpatched vulnerabilities in software code can be exploited by many types of attacks, including ransomware attacks, account takeover, and other common cyberattacks. Whenever you come across the term "exploit" when reading about a data breach, that's an exploit of a vulnerability. Hackers write malicious code to take advantage of these loopholes, which can allow them to elevate privileges, run system commands, or perform other dangerous network intrusions.
To reduce the risk of these attacks, you can put together an effective vulnerability management process. It doesn't have to be complicated! Just follow the steps we've outlined below to get started:
Step 1: Identify Your Assets - Identify all devices and software that connect to your network, including computers, smartphones, tablets, IoT devices, servers, and cloud services.
Step 2: Perform a Vulnerability Assessment - Have an IT professional scan your systems for any known vulnerabilities using assessment software.
Step 3: Prioritize Vulnerabilities by Threat Level - Rank the vulnerabilities based on severity and your business needs.
Step 4: Remediate Vulnerabilities - Remediate vulnerabilities according to the prioritized list. This may mean applying an issued update or security patch, upgrading hardware that may be too old for you to update, or ringfencing an application or device from others in the network.
Step 5: Document Activities - Document the vulnerability assessment and management process. This is vital for cybersecurity needs and compliance.
Step 6: Schedule Your Next Vulnerability Assessment Scan - Regular vulnerability assessments are necessary as developers continuously update their software. This cycle of assessment, prioritization, mitigation, and documentation should be ongoing to fortify your network against cyberattacks.
Don't wait until it's too late! Take the first step towards effective vulnerability management by scheduling a vulnerability assessment today. We can help you fortify your network against attacks.