Cybersecurity is a major concern in recent years due to the discovery of new and innovative hacking methods. Cyber-attacks are frequently automated and involve malicious actors searching for and exploiting known vulnerabilities on networks and systems. Unfortunately, today’s security and operations teams have so much to keep up with and not enough time and resources to proactively identify them. This has led to an increase demand to implement vulnerability scanning as core method to identify and remediate issues, hopefully before they happen.
What is continuous vulnerability scanning?
Vulnerability scans are a way of identifying vulnerabilities in an organization’s network or systems before they can be exploited by malicious actors. Continuous vulnerability scanning is the process by which the scanner runs in the background on a continuous basis with no network degradation. The idea is that there is no scheduled time for people to have to be attached to the network or the possibility that your scan misses a ton of assets because someone is traveling or on vacation. Whenever a device is attached to the network it is automatically picked up and scanned.
Continuous vulnerability scans allow for your information to never be more then 24 hours old and enables the organization to respond to rapidly changing threats in almost real-time, and proactively fix vulnerabilities before they are exploited. A great vulnerability management software can help you to prioritize which vulnerabilities are fixed first, based on the severity of the risk they pose to the network.
More efficient use of time and resources
Manual vulnerability scanning is labor-intensive, taking many hours or even days from scanning to assessing and prioritizing vulnerabilities, then moving to remediation efforts. This can impede the success of the vulnerability management process for security teams and makes it much more of a challenge to operate proactively. This means they constantly must deal with the inefficiency, stress, and waste associated with fire-drill responses to critical security vulnerabilities.
Continuous vulnerability scanning can be completed much quicker and more efficiently than manual scanning. This is because continuous vulnerability scanners can scan large networks and systems in a matter of hours, whereas it would take humans days or weeks to manually scan the same number of systems.
Meet escalating security threats
MSPs today know how important security is. If organizations are attacked and have failed security compliance regulations, they can suffer hefty monetary losses, including fines, lost profits, loss of reputation and customers or stakeholders, and more. Yet as each year passes, security threats become more intensive to meet and mitigate:
- More persistent and sophisticated attacks from malicious actors, who utilize automated tools to attempt to breach networks and systems in more stealthy and pervasive ways
- Attack surfaces have expanded thanks to the increasing complexity of today’s IT environments. As these IT ecosystems grow to take on more systems and services, they present a greater surface for cyber-attack, which needs to be protected.
- Public cloud resources are not configured properly, leading to security failures. Cloud security for data and content lies directly with customers, who may believe this lies with their public cloud provider, leading to significant security issues. It is estimated that by 2025, almost all cloud security failures will be the fault of the customer.
Continuous vulnerability scanning enables a much better and more efficient use of resources and teams to mitigate the greater number of threats happening each year.
Enhanced risk management
Continuous vulnerability scanning is consistent and enables teams to understand the efficiency of the security controls in the organization. There is a higher risk of compromise if action if internal company security measures are not configured immediately and properly. The longer it takes to note and fix a vulnerability, the greater the risk to the organization’s network and systems. Accurate vulnerability management solutions allow security teams to move fast depending on the severity of the vulnerability, increase the efficacy of the management program, and improve security posture overall. Vulnerability scanning is also now a requirement of many compliance frameworks, such as PCI DSS, FFIEC, GDPR, HIPAA and GLBA regulations
A major benefit of managing vulnerabilities with automation is cost-efficiency. Overall, reducing the risk of vulnerabilities being exploited by threat actors has short- and long-term savings. Continuous vulnerability scans are simple, ongoing, allows for consistent mitigation of the risk of a data breach which comes with a wide range of costs, including recovery, loss of business, reputation damage, and regulatory fines. Furthermore, it eliminates the human cost of labor of the front end to schedule and monitor these scans.
Businesses with cybersecurity insurance also need to demonstrate they were carrying out regular vulnerability scans to fulfill terms of their insurance responsibilities if a need arises to claim compensation. An automated vulnerability management program delivers peace of mind when this is being done.
Make the most of continuous vulnerability scanning
Vulnerability scanning is an essential part of any organization’s threat detection and prevention program. Ensure security and compliance are top of mind with the vulnerability scanning component of ThreatAdvice’s Breach Prevention Platform. The world-class cybersecurity platform can scan networks for known vulnerabilities and compliance gaps with full reporting against NIST-based standards, to help prevent future data breaches. Get in touch with ThreatAdvice today and keep your business data secure.