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How Digital Transformation Impacts Vulnerability Management Programs… and the Solution
Jessica Amado, November 20th, 2023

Global digital transformation is rapidly changing the way businesses operate. This has led to a significant increase in the attack surface, which organizations must protect. However, this can be a daunting task for organizations that are still using traditional vulnerability management tools and processes.

In this article, we will discuss the impact of digital transformation on vulnerability management and explore what a modern and automated vulnerability management solution looks like. We will also provide some resources that you can use to learn more about vulnerability management in a digitalized environment.

 

Disruptive Forces Call for Change

The technological landscape for enterprises is constantly changing and progressing. New disruptive technologies are emerging and quickly becoming an essential part of every network and security stack. So far, this has included the arrival of cloud environments, SaaS applications, microservices, APIs, and IoT devices, to name a few, with more new technologies and innovations on the horizon.

These new capabilities have revolutionized the way businesses operate, allowing business scalability, flexibility, and innovation in a cost-effective manner. However, the increasing complexity and scale of technological infrastructure have also summoned more cyber-attacks. 

It’s not just about the volume, though. These attacks are also more sophisticated and technologically advanced than ever. Therefore, enterprises are now dealing with an expanded and complex attack surface that is challenging to protect.

Organizations are constantly trying to find new and adequate ways to face these risks. One of the main strategies is by deploying a wide range of testing tools across all these new technological domains. These tools are intended to help them identify, prioritize, and mitigate the most serious risks. However, the volume of security findings is overwhelming, making the output unmanageable.

This staggering pile of results and sequential tasks increases the risk of IT burnout. IT professionals are under pressure to stay ahead of cyber threats and risks. They are constantly monitoring for threats, patching vulnerabilities, and responding to incidents. The pace and high stakes of the nature of their work lead to stress, fatigue, and, ultimately, burnout.

 

The Habitual Nature of Traditional Vulnerability Management

Why is the vulnerability management process so chaotic and stressful? Many would agree that vulnerability management is lagging behind the digital transformation revolution. The majority of vulnerability management teams still rely on outdated or semi-manual tools for managing their cyber threats and vulnerabilities. Spreadsheets, for instance, which were once a popular tool of choice for data management, are still being used to track and manage vulnerabilities. Task management solutions, such as Asana, while excellent for managing projects, are not designed to handle the complexities and nuances of vulnerability management.

This reality makes sense, to a certain extent. Organizations have a natural tendency to build processes and systems, ingrain them in the company culture, and gradually evolve them. Change is slow. Sticking with what we know is comfortable, even if it’s not the most efficient or effective solution.

 

The Need for Security Innovation

However, with rapidly accelerating technological advancements and an ever-evolving threat landscape, this habitual approach is no longer sufficient. Instead, there is a pressing need to rethink our approach to vulnerability management. The tools and processes that served us in the past may not be up to the task today. Instead, enterprises need vulnerability management solutions that are agile, automated, adaptable, and easily manageable.


What should a vulnerability management solution look like?

A helpful vulnerability management solution should offer a unified view of disparate risk information, providing a thorough overview of the organization’s security posture at any given moment.

In addition, the solution should support and encourage collaboration between the team members who handle and manage the different technological components, helping overcome the organizational silos that sometimes characterize organizations

Finally, the solution should enable the organization to oversee and manage the entire process, ensuring its continuity, accuracy, and efficacy.

Other departments already enjoy similar solutions for their domains, with tools like ServiceNow, Jira, and HubSpot. These tools have streamlined processes, enable enhanced collaboration, and encourage increased productivity. Vulnerability management also deserves a similar platform as a means for answering a similar pain.

 

Where Do We Go from Here

Testing and patching used to be enough for managing vulnerabilities. This is no longer the case. Businesses can no longer just keep up – they need to stay ahead. An expanded attack surface calls for a comprehensive digital platform and processes that follow best practices to manage the results of these tests.

Investing in digital tools for vulnerability management is not a luxury. In today’s digital era, it’s a necessity. Just like other domains have benefited from digital transformation, it’s time for remediation operations to enjoy the same. This will enable them to swiftly and effectively respond to emerging vulnerabilities at scale. By adopting a more agile, automated, and adaptable approach to vulnerability management, organizations can better protect themselves from cyberattacks in a digitalized environment.

To learn more about streamlining remediation operations, click here.






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