What is Vulnerability Intelligence and why do you need it?

Cybersecurity threats are at an all-time high, with global distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks predicted to surpass 15 million by 2023. Why? Well, in short, the barriers to entry for attackers are getting lower.

 

To avoid reputational and financial damage, businesses must be proactive about preventing hacks. We talk frequently about the importance of good scanning technology to identify vulnerabilities, and effective prioritisation to ensure the timely remediation of the most critical and high risk ones. A key part to this process is the use of up-to-date vulnerability intelligence – something RankedRight has built into its platform – and this guide will walk you through how it works. 

 

What is vulnerability intelligence?

Vulnerability intelligence is a category of threat analysis designed to produce actionable information about IT vulnerabilities that put businesses at risk. A vulnerability refers to a hardware or software flaw that may offer cybercriminals access to sensitive information, allow them to tamper with vital business operations, or help them carry out attacks.

 

Typically, vulnerability intelligence is compiled by a range of bodies, including public and governmental organisations, security vendors and software providers. The intelligence they collect may include historical data, criticality ratings, information about exploitative practices, potential fixes, and any other data that may support a risk assessment. 

 

Why do you need vulnerability intelligence? 

1. Vulnerability intelligence lays the groundwork for effective remediation

When a vulnerability has been identified in a particular system or piece of software, developers will respond quickly by creating a patch for the system’s users to put in place to protect themselves. Unfortunately, it’s not always the case that users can install the update quickly enough to avoid attack. 

 

In fact, in the case of the infamous WannaCry ransomware, despite a patch being released for the vulnerability in 2017, some hackers were still finding unpatched systems three and a half years later

 

This is where vulnerability intelligence can be invaluable as it gives you access to information about publicly known vulnerabilities and points you towards relevant patches.

 

There’s nothing more frustrating than knowing you could have avoided a ruinous cyberattack. Vulnerability intelligence can help you understand the latest hacking trends and establish an effective patch management programme. 

 

2. You can adopt a targeted security approach

Many IT security teams are still using CVSS (Common Vulnerability Scoring System) to determine the severity of the vulnerabilities identified within their network. However, as our guide to CVSS explains, this is not an effective tool and could cause more damage than good. 

 

Vulnerability intelligence, on the other hand, offers deep and granular data about data security threats, supporting IT teams in their efforts to rank vulnerabilities according to severity and urgency. As such, you can create a targeted line of defence to block the most prominent cybercriminals first.

 

3. Vulnerability data makes cybersecurity easier to understand and allows you to draw information from a single source

Collecting information about security risks from a range of sources can be time-consuming, confusing, and ineffective. Depending on where you find your data, you’re bound to come across conflicting or inaccurate reports at some point or another.

 

By investing in comprehensive vulnerability intelligence (or using a platform which has it built in), your team can reduce confusion and focus their energy on applying security protections rather than verifying information about new threats.

 

After all, IT infrastructures can change frequently, particularly as they grow more diverse and geographically dispersed. Did you know, for example, that companies use 34 third-party apps on average? By investing in the right security intelligence, you can mitigate the risks that come with outsourcing so many tools and operations.

 

4. You can use vulnerability intelligence in conjunction with other security data and tools

Integrating vulnerability intelligence with prioritisation technologies is one of the best ways to protect your business from all angles. It will help empower your decision making to ensure you are putting the most critical and high risk vulnerabilities to the top of your remediation team’s list. 

 

Thanks to partnerships with companies such as vFeed, Inc. and our own intel gathering capabilities, RankedRight is able to enrich its users’ scan data with the most up-to-date vulnerability intelligence to inform their decision making and give them better control over how to prioritise their risks. This ensures they are better equipped to respond to advanced threats that could seriously harm their business’ ability to operate.

 

How do you buy vulnerability intelligence?

As we mentioned above, there are a number of organisations that will give you regular access to the most up-to-date vulnerability intelligence for a monthly fee. But then you have the challenge of ensuring it integrates with your other vulnerability management systems. RankedRight already works with several vulnerability intelligence providers to ensure users get a seamless prioritisation solution enriched with all they need to make the best decisions.

 

Why not get in touch with us today for a demo to see how it could support your vulnerability management efforts?

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