First of all, what exactly is an IT vulnerability? Software is constantly being updated to keep up with new innovations and technologies, but many times these updates have weaknesses in their code. These are vulnerabilities that hackers exploit. It becomes a race for software makers to fix these weaknesses with a security patch before too much damage is done. Unfortunately, many small businesses are lax in their patch management and are unaware of the vulnerabilities created when patches aren’t installed.
IT Vulnerability Assessments
Unpatched vulnerabilities in software code are easily penetrated, leading to many types of cyberattack, including ransomware attacks and account takeovers. To see if your business is at risk, you should hire an IT professional to conduct a vulnerability assessment using special software that will scan your system for any known vulnerabilities.
Prioritize Vulnerabilities by Threat Level
Usually, there will be more than one vulnerability, with some being more severe than others. Many assessments use the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS), which categorizes vulnerabilities with a rating score from low to critical severity. You’ll work with the IT specialist to then determine the severity of each risk by your own business needs. For example, if certain software is only used occasionally on one device, it may be considered a lower priority.
Remediate vulnerabilities according to the prioritized list. Usually, this involves applying an issued update or security patch. But it may also mean upgrading hardware that is too old to update.
Another form of remediation may be ringfencing. This is when you “wall off” an application or device from others in the network. A company may do this if a scan turns up a vulnerability for which a patch does not yet exist.
Confirm the Fixes
Once you’ve remediated the weaknesses, you should confirm the fixes, and if possible, increase the advanced threat protection settings in your network.
Schedule Regular IT Vulnerability Assessment Scans
Once you've had a round of vulnerability assessment and mitigation, you’re not done. Vulnerability management is an ongoing process. Developers are continuously updating their software and each of those updates can introduce new vulnerabilities into your network. In fact, in 2022, there were over 22,500 new vulnerabilities documented. Because of this, it is best practice to schedule regular vulnerability assessments.
Get Started with a Vulnerability Assessment
Let Oakland Solutions LLC help you take the first step towards effective vulnerability management. We can assess your weaknesses and help you fortify your network against attacks.
Give us a call today to schedule a vulnerability assessment.