Managing vulnerabilities is never-ending challenge. You are constantly staying up to date on the latest news of vulnerabilities, your own system configurations and their changes, patch management and more. Our vulnerability management maturity model reviews the various levels of maturity management and where you and your organization fall within it.
While it may feel difficult to catch up and remain knowledgeable about your system configurations, the latest patches and new vulnerabilities, depending on your organization’s approach, you may be doing better than you think in comparison to others. While every organization must consider its vulnerabilities, how it prioritizes and treats them will determine how vulnerable it will ultimately be.
What is a Vulnerability Management Maturity Model
Our vulnerability management maturity model breaks down maturity by four levels. One being the most basic, up to four, being most advanced. At the lowest levels, we’ll be reviewing consequences for those who may not even have an approach to managing vulnerabilities.
As we move higher, you’ll notice changes in considerations of protecting the network and systems 24/7, satisfying regulatory and compliance needs as a side effect of having a strong security policy, how you’re evaluating configurations and unexpected IP addresses on the network and more.
Vulnerability Management Maturity Model Levels
Level 1: Nonexistent
Level 1 of the vulnerability management maturity model represents a company with no one paying attention to vulnerabilities or worrying about updating. There is little insight or knowledge into reported security issues, latest patches and more. There may be no standing maintenance agreements.
At this level the business is a prime target for attacks, as it does not concern itself with reducing vulnerabilities or even understanding where those vulnerabilities may be within the network and its devices.
Level 2: Beginner
Level 2 still leaves a company in the dark, however, systems may be automatically updating during the week. Things like “Patch Tuesday” might take place, but knowledge about vulnerabilities remains low. There is still very little insight into system baselines and how that relates to the network’s defense and possible attack vectors.
A company at level 2 is only slightly harder to attack than at level 1. It will still find itself operating in the dark and not knowing where its vulnerabilities are.
Level 3: Intermediate
At this level in the vulnerability management maturity model, you have official policies and procedures in place, are checking on possible vulnerabilities and have a cycle to handle them when they arise. Your company is no longer in the dark as to what those vulnerabilities are and how they can affect you, however, there still are deficiencies in addressing them in a quick and efficient manner.
You are meeting your regulatory and compliance standards at this level but not going beyond that. For example, NERC CIP’s 35-day evaluation period for patches can still leave you with a month-long gap of vulnerability if a threat arises the first day after performing it.
Here you are also evaluating vulnerabilities and determining in what order and urgency to address them, and which should be escalated. There are still deficiencies at this level, mostly in response times. When new patches arrive addressing vulnerabilities that fall outside of your regular patching evaluation window, you probably opt to wait to install it rather than addressing the vulnerability immediately.
Level 4: Advanced
Here you reach a robust implementation of vulnerability management. There is now an active system in place, constantly checking for vulnerabilities across the network and then giving guidance on which machines need attention. Those machines are addressed quickly, minimizing time of potential exposure to those known vulnerabilities.
You address vulnerabilities rapidly, and in the interim, find workarounds or other solutions while the vulnerability is in the process of being mitigated. You understand and account for risks to the business. This is a key difference between intermediate and advanced, as your speed at addressing vulnerabilities and sophistication in finding solutions is much better.
Path to a Strong Vulnerability Management Implementation
As you scale the levels of the vulnerability management maturity model, you get closer and closer to keeping the security of your assets as up to date and strong as possible. This, mixed with the Zero Trust model of security will help keep you ready to counter today’s most advanced threats.
The ConsoleWorks platform is ready to help you wherever you stand currently, and ready to help you mature even further. If you would like to discuss what that looks like for you, or to see a demo, you can talk to us here.