Vulnerability and risk management (VRM) identifies, prioritizes, and addresses organizational risks and vulnerabilities. This article explores how security control management (SCM) can help monitor this more effectively.

What is Vulnerability and Risk Management (VRM) in Security Control Management (SCM)?

Security control management (SCM) allows an organization to enforce security policies across its IT ecosystem. Vulnerability and risk management (VRM) is an essential component of effective security control management (SCM), helping organizations identify and prioritize software vulnerabilities to address them based on their risk.

VRM is especially important in modern business infrastructure, which has become increasingly complex. A robust VRM strategy helps identify and address security vulnerabilities in business IT structure before they cause major problems.

Risk vs. Vulnerability Management in SCM

Vulnerability management requires regularly scanning for weaknesses, categorizing them, and addressing them before malicious actors find and exploit them. For example, this could include using scans to discover outdated or vulnerable software installed on user devices and patching to remove the vulnerability.

On the other hand, risk management takes a more holistic approach. It involves identifying potential threats to the organization, assessing how they affect its bottom line, and helping it develop a risk tolerance and remediation plan. Examples of threats may include cyber-attacks and natural disasters.

Both risk and vulnerability management are required to create an effective security control management (SCM) plan.

Key Features of a Robust VRM Solution

A robust vulnerability and management solution should include several key features, including:

  • Automated assessments to identify and inventory IT assets, users, and applications
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning can synthesize vulnerability data to provide IT leaders and management with a comprehensive view of the threat landscape.
  • A list of prioritized security actions according to the level of risk

Assessment, Prioritization, and Remediation

Before addressing or patching vulnerabilities, conduct a thorough risk assessment and prioritize issues accordingly. This can be done by evaluating the severity and potential impact of each risk and understanding the potential consequences of not addressing them. There are many ways to assess each vulnerability’s potential risk, including vendor advisories, internal security assessments, and threat intelligence feeds.

After assessing the level of risk for each vulnerability, prioritize them according to urgency. One of the most common and effective ways to do this is to prioritize them on a scale that ranges from “severe” to

“significant” to “moderate” to “minor.” Modern VRM tools provide severity rating scales to help an organization understand and prioritize its risk.

“Severe” vulnerabilities should be patched or remediated as soon as possible because these high-risk, time-sensitive vulnerabilities could lead to severe data breaches or system compromises if exploited. In contrast, “minor” vulnerabilities can be addressed with less urgency because of negligible risk or support of non-essential features.

As part of an effective vulnerability management strategy, vulnerability remediation should be planned and tested before being applied. Create backups if a patch causes conflicts and you need to roll back the system. Thoroughly document and report test results to developers. After testing has been carried out, patches should be deployed, monitored, and continuously reviewed.

Using VRM to Meet Audit Requirements

VRM tools can help organizations meet compliance and audit requirements by providing a real-time, continuous assessment of potential vulnerabilities. This means organizations can understand which threats they are being exposed to so they can prioritize addressing the most critical vulnerabilities to improve their security posture.

Using such tools can also help fulfill audit requirements, which typically require organizations to show that they are gathering and analyzing threat intelligence and taking action as a result of finding and understanding these threats.

Implementing VRM Best Practices in SCM

The critical best practices for VRM implementation include:

  • Regular discovery scans ensure that asset reporting is accurate, identify new devices introduced to the network, and assign tasks as appropriate.
  • Regularly scanning assets to identify vulnerabilities that malicious actors could potentially exploit.
  • Prioritizing findings and addressing them according to the level of risk and taking corrective actions.

Above all, it is important to remember that improving business resilience and asset security through security control management (SCM) requires a commitment to continuous improvement within the organization.

Improving Supply Chain Resilience with Security Control Management

Vulnerability and risk management (VRM) helps organizations find potential risks and identify their severity, which is key to improving security.

A one-time assessment is not enough — to maximize supply chain resilience, VRM should be conducted regularly and in real-time.

Learn more about how to adopt robust vulnerability management strategies for improved security posture and risk remediation across assets in your network with CyberMaxx VRM for SCM.