Security Vulnerabilities. Why Do We Need Vulnerability Management and Assessment?
According to researchers, the number of published vulnerabilities in 2020 has grown up to 40% in comparison with 2019. Cybercriminals constantly try to find a loophole in your system. If they find a vulnerability, they will try to exploit it. You should be aware of different types of vulnerabilities to protect yourself and your business. First of all, you need to discover a vulnerability and after that secure every part of your system where it was found. You need to do this before a cybercriminal will exploit it. But what is a vulnerability and how to protect yourself? Today we will try to get it sorted.
What Is a Vulnerability?
There are a lot of definitions of the term as far as it is used in different fields. But in a security sphere, a vulnerability is any weakness, flaw, or error in a software system, which can be exploited, i.e. cybercriminals can gain unauthorized access to the system and do everything they want to. It is essential to understand, that every software has vulnerabilities and there is no way to identify all of them. Some vulnerabilities could never be discovered or discovered after years of use. Every known vulnerability is brought under the CVE list by MITRE, where you can find different vulnerabilities with:
- CVE – ID.
- Date and time of publication and last editing.
- References and description of the vulnerability.
- Directly and indirectly affected products.
- Severity rating, if available.
Thanks to the CVE list you can prevent system failures, provide an assessment of vulnerabilities, and other different things to protect your system. But this brings up the question – should known vulnerabilities be publicly disclosed or not. Some experts say that all vulnerabilities should be publicly disclosed immediately. They believe that it could help to protect software and force the setup of patches for security purposes. The other side thinks that immediate disclosure will lead to the exploitation of these vulnerabilities by cybercriminals. They suggest providing information only to small groups to prevent exploitation. Every position has its own advantages and disadvantages. You should know that it is a very common thing to search for vulnerabilities and exploit them for both cybercriminals and testers. Some companies have their own teams to test IT security as a part of vulnerability management and assessment. Moreover, some corporations and enterprises have bounty programs to reduce the risk of a data breach. It is a very useful practice to prevent the exploitation of vulnerabilities that you have and do not know about them.
Vulnerability vs Threat
Also, you should distinguish the difference between a threat and vulnerability. A threat is something that potentially can violate the system. Moreover, a threat is an outside danger, but vulnerability is the one from the inside of your system. Remember, that every software has vulnerabilities. Some of them have low risk and can not be exploited, but some of them are very dangerous. That is why it is crucial to indicate every vulnerability which you have. A vulnerability management program can help you with it.
What Is Vulnerability Management?
Vulnerability management is generally identified as the process of identifying, classifying, remediating, and mitigating security vulnerabilities. The essential part of vulnerability management is a vulnerability assessment. It includes vulnerability scanning and penetration testing. You need to know that vulnerability assessment should be done frequently. As far as every day someone is finding a new vulnerability, it is very important to search for them in your system. Vulnerability management has 4 stages:
- Identify vulnerability. Here you can see the existing vulnerabilities.
- Evaluate vulnerability. Here you can see whether the identified vulnerability could be exploited and figure out the level of risk.
- Remediate vulnerability. Here you need to update the system to remove as many vulnerabilities as you can.
- Report vulnerability. All vulnerabilities and the way you patched them should be recorded for different compliance procedures. It would be very helpful for the audits you must comply with.
A vulnerability management program is a must-have thing in your business. It should be a continuous and cycle practice to be sure that your organization is protected.
What Is a Vulnerability Assessment?
A vulnerability assessment is a systematic review of a system for vulnerabilities. Thanks to it you can protect your system from unauthorized access and data breach. This process could be manual and automatic. There are 5 different types of vulnerability assessment:
- Network-based scans.
- Host-based scans.
- Wireless scans.
- Application scans.
- Database scans.
Also, you should not confuse vulnerability scanners and penetration testing. Scanners are fully automated and only seek vulnerabilities and report potential exposures. A penetration test is manual and exploits weaknesses in the system. Both methods are connected and scanning your system for vulnerabilities is very effective.
One of the most important and vulnerable parts of your business is information. Databases are a key target for cybercriminals because they often contain sensitive data. This sensitive data may be financial information, it may contain intellectual property, corporate secrets, or personally identifiable information. You should always be aware of a lot of types of vulnerabilities, which can be exploited in your system. Here we want to show you a top of the most common vulnerabilities. A more detailed explanation of them you can find in our article about the most common database security vulnerabilities. Now we just rank some of them for your information:
- Deployment failures;
- Broken database;
- Data breaches;
- Stolen database backup;
- Denial-of-Service (DoS);
- SQL injections, etc.
There is just a shortlist of the most common vulnerabilities. In the last years, one of the most popular vulnerabilities was a DoS attack. Cybercriminals can shut down a machine or network using this method of attack. After that, database users can not retrieve any information from the database which makes it useless. It’s worth noting, that a DoS attack could be counterattacked.
Vulnerability Assessment for a Database
You should always remember that databases also have vulnerabilities that can be exploited. To keep your database safe you can use a database vulnerability scanner. Database security researchers constantly analyze different databases trying to find new ways of hacking them. When they succeed in doing that, information about new vulnerabilities is immediately shared with the database security community and database security patches are issued. Below are the public resources which you can use to increase the protection level of your databases:
- CVEs database.
- CIS Benchmarks.
- DISA compliance.
We can help you to protect your data with our DataSunrise Vulnerability Assessment. It informs you about all known CVEs for the databases included in your DataSunrise configurations. You can get the latest information about available database security patches and apply them to increase the security level of your database. Moreover, our vulnerability scanner can check if your protected databases comply with the requirements of CIS and DISA. If you do not comply with some requirements, our scanner will help you to correct and update your system. We care about your business and want to protect all your sensitive data. Use our software to protect every piece of your information.