GRC Viewpoint

Nearly 35% of Cyber Security Experts Say Prioritizing Vulnerabilities is a Tough Task

A recent survey by ESG Research is an eye-opener for the cyber security industry as nearly 35% of participants said they find it an arduous task to prioritize or identify the most critical vulnerability. Often, the experts have to encounter hundreds of vulnerabilities together, and considerable amounts of time and research goes into the process of identifying the vulnerabilities and prioritizing them based on the given criteria. 

An important observation here made by experts is that it is not always that enterprises always successfully link the actual data on the flaws with the risks associated for the business.

It is virtually unrealistic to analyze and focus on all the vulnerabilities. What is strategically possible is to identify the ones to urgently tackle. It may take considerable amount of time but investing resources on identifying the most susceptible flaws is critical to effective risk management.

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Besides prioritizing vulnerabilities, several other factors get involved such as improper or easy passwords, inactive accounts or dormant users. Consequently, prioritization of vulnerable flaws can become a tough task. Also, the approach undertaken by an enterprise equally matters. 

For instance, the possibilities of vulnerabilities being analyzed and judged based on how intense they are may not always be recommended. Instead, the risk factor need to be given more emphasis in such cases. Often, the possible impact of the risks stemming from the vulnerability might be considered. 

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To explain it better, let’s consider a fact. Consider a common scenario, where there are some weak points discovered by security experts that are easily susceptible. However, further analysis revealed that the possible risk is minimal to nil as far as critical assets are considered. In such cases, a vulnerability with great impacts to critical assets or enterprises should be dealt with as a priority. Seemingly, these flaws may appear to be tough to crack. 

What Could be the Solution?

Data analytics is undoubtedly the most trustworthy option here. Advanced data analytics tools should be employed in the process of vulnerability prioritization and management. 

The vulnerability scanning-based data should be subjected to in-depth analysis using the most advanced data analytics tools. The following aspects may be the tools; known exploits, threat actors, history of susceptibilities, CVSS score and the value of the critical asset. 

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