Vulnerability management is a process that can be implemented to make IT environments more secure and to improve an organization’s regulatory compliance posture (see “How to Develop an Effective Vulnerability Management Program”). The vulnerability management process includes these steps:

  • Policy definition is the first step and includes defining the desired state for device configurations, user identity and resource access.
  • Baseline your environment to identify vulnerabilities and policy compliance.
  • Prioritize mitigation activities based on external threat information, internal security posture and asset classification.
  • Shield the environment, prior to eliminating the vulnerability, by using desktop and network security tools.
  • Mitigate the vulnerability and eliminate the root causes.
  • Maintain and continually monitor the environment for deviations from policy and to identify new vulnerabilities.

The technology provided by vulnerability management vendors can be used to automate various aspects of the vulnerability management process. The four main technology categories are:

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