Robust vulnerability management is essential to risk mitigation and maintaining a healthy security posture. Yet cloud-based systems and software adoption have drastically changed the vulnerability landscape. As a result, organizations are steadily growing the cache of digital assets needed for day-to-day operations, fueling data sprawl and limiting IT and security team visibility to sensitive company data.
As teams add new SaaS solutions to their ever-expanding tech stack, they unintentionally perpetuate data sprawl, create data silos, and expose the business to software security gaps and vulnerabilities. Third–party software vulnerabilities ranked third on IBM’s 2002 Cost of a Data Breach Report. According to the report, these incidents cost businesses approximately $4.55M USD last year and took 284 days (on average) to identify and contain.
On the vendor side, software development has been subject to security guidelines, but loosely regulated — until now. In March, the Biden-Harris Administration released its National Cybersecurity Strategy, emphasizing secure development practices to mitigate software vulnerabilities and ensure accountability. This directive is a significant step toward hardening the software supply chain; however, IT and security teams remain responsible for vulnerability management, risk mitigation, and reporting across the third-party software and tools they use.
Vulnerability scanning and penetration tests are a critical component of both hardware and software-based vulnerability management. But a bi-annual or quarterly cadence won’t cut it, especially as government oversight, industry regulations, and board directives increase pressure on teams and IT and security leaders to better define what the business’s vulnerability management metrics and risk profile looks like.