Vulnerability Management: A Key Component of Penetration Testing Programs

0% read

Related Articles

Understanding the Difference Between DAST vs. SAST for Application Security Testing What is Vulnerability Management and Why is it Important? What is Penetration Testing as a Service (PTaaS)? What is Federal Risk and Authorizations Management Program (FedRAMP)?

Why is Vuln Management Necessary?

The number and severity of cybersecurity breaches continues to increase. The average cost of a data breach in the U.S. has gone up steadily from $5.4M in 2013 to $9.44M in 2022. The most popular target business sectors are financial, SaaS/webmail and social media, comprising more than 50% of all reported attacks. A favorite method of attack has been to exploit IT security vulnerabilities. And 25,277 new common IT security vulnerabilities and exposures (CVEs) were identified worldwide in 2022, up from 20,171 in 2021.

Organizations today operate in a hyper-connected world. We load software applications, run programs and process information in the cloud, use networked devices and work with myriad vendors and third parties, presenting a greatly expanded attack surface for cybercriminals. They search your systems for misconfigurations, out-of-date or unpatched software, weak credentials and other holes in your security that make your systems vulnerable to attack. So it makes perfect sense to identify and address those vulnerabilities before they can be exploited by a bad actor. 

Vulnerability management is a critical component of a comprehensive cybersecurity program. It is a regular process for identifying, assessing, and addressing cyber vulnerabilities across an organization’s attack surface. 

Beyond protecting against cyberattacks, vulnerability management is an effective tool for achieving regulatory requirements and demonstrating compliance to frameworks such as the Payment Card Industry (PCI) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) security standards. Vulnerability management results and reports can also be used to help formulate patch programs and plan for attacking patch backlogs.

Vulnerability Management Programs and Penetration Testing

Automated vulnerability management tools only take you part of the way to protecting your organization against a cyberattack. They are a viable initial step in determining your cybersecurity posture. A comprehensive cybersecurity process should include penetration testing, or pentesting, performed by experienced security researchers who apply human intelligence to probe systems and simulate cyberattacks. 

Penetration testing can determine if any identified vulnerabilities are false positives, not exploitable and therefore not requiring further action. Most importantly, penetration testing can also identify additional weak spots and other security risks not identified in a vulnerability scan. And pentesting can provide insights into what damage can be done to your organization if a vulnerability were to be exploited by a cybercriminal. 

Manual penetration testing is performed by security researchers who can identify, continuously evaluate and prioritize the most critical and exploitable vulnerabilities in your organization. Get actionable metrics on vulnerabilities found and analysis on which are most severe. Review stats from the testing performed and receive patch efficacy data. With Synack’s pentesting platform, you can even consolidate your vulnerability management process through your existing tools, such as ServiceNow and JIRA, through integrations. 

The Need for Vulnerability Management

Organizations’ attack surfaces are becoming more complex and cybercrime continues to increase. Every organization with a digital presence, whether simple or complex, needs to protect against the risk of cyberattack. And the best way to prevent an attack is to identify all of the vulnerabilities that exist across the organization’s attack surface through vulnerability management programs that include manual penetration testing. 

To learn how Synack’s vulnerability management programs can help protect your organization against cyber threats, go to https://www.synack.com/solutions/vulnerability-management.

Learn more about the Synack Platform

Contact Us