The Hacker’s Eye View: Understanding How Cybersecurity Vulnerability Is MeasuredTo measure vulnerability in cybersecurity, consider using different options since standard KPIs may not always be applicable. There are several metrics available that can be used as below:
- Mean Time to Detect (MTTD) – How quickly can you identify any suspicious activity?
- Mean Time to Resolve (MTTR) – What measures are taken once an attack has been identified?
- Average Time Between Failures – Frequency of identified incidents and gauging previous attempts.
- The number of Prior Attacks and their Success Rate – Number of times security breaches you suffered, and level of access acquired.
- No. of Users/Devices – Multiple users or devices access your system might make a breach more plausible. Checking the unidentified devices on your network or any previous employees’ credentials that need to be deleted.
Why Conduct a Cybersecurity Vulnerability AssessmentInvesting in a cybersecurity Vulnerability Assessment can help in so many ways, such as:
- Identifying potential security risks and securing your IT environment.
- Providing an understanding of all the devices connected within your enterprise.
- Facilitating upgrades for existing ones as well as future assessments.
- Additionally, defining the level of risk will enable you to make decisions regarding how much budget to allocate towards cyber-security.
- Outweigh risks associated with data protection.
How To Conduct a Vulnerability AssessmentThe following steps ought to be taken as a part of an effective Vulnerability Assessment:
1. Asset DiscoveryChoosing what you want to scan is not always as easy as it seems, so you must first make that decision. One of the most prevalent cyber security issues organizations faces is having no insight into their digital infrastructure and linked devices. Some of them are:
- Mobile Devices: Smartphones, laptops, and other comparable technologies are purposefully designed to enable frequent disconnection and reconnection from various remote locations, including the office and employees’ homes. This feature facilitates seamless communication and information exchange, allowing employees to remain connected to their work regardless of location.
- IoT Devices: Internet of Things (IoT) devices are integrated into the corporate infrastructure, yet they may primarily rely on mobile networks for connectivity. This presents an opportunity for companies to leverage IoT technology to enhance their operations. Still, it also requires careful consideration of the potential challenges and risks associated with mobile network connectivity for IoT devices.
- Cloud-Based Infrastructure: Cloud service providers offer a simplified process for rapidly deploying new servers without requiring the direct involvement of IT personnel. This capability can significantly reduce the time and resources needed for scaling up computing resources while enabling companies respond quickly to changing business demands.
2. Asset PrioritizationNow that you know what’s hiding in your system. The next question is, can you afford to conduct a Vulnerability Assessment on everything? We all strive for a perfect world where we can regularly assess all systems, but unfortunately, vendors charge per asset. But don’t let budget constraints hold you back. Prioritization is the key to securing your most critical assets and ensuring your company’s safety. Don’t take chances with your security – prioritize and protect with confidence. Here are some suggestions of areas you would want to give priority:
- Web-facing servers
- Customer-facing software
- Databases with confidential information
- Open ports & active services
- Software releases
- Configuration parameters
- Severity: A vulnerability scanner can help you assess and plan for potential weaknesses in your system. Giving each issue an appropriate severity label helps prioritize which needs addressing first to minimize risk. But don’t forget about other vulnerabilities, as hackers can often combine several mild ones for malicious purposes. Utilizing a reliable scanner will also ensure ongoing monitoring with suggested timelines for improvements or repairs where needed.
- Vulnerability Exposure: Remediating security vulnerabilities requires advanced planning and prioritization. Start by targeting internet-facing systems since they may be exploited more easily, then focus on any employee laptops storing vulnerable software or sensitive data that could potentially harm your business if accessed illegally.