Gartner Research

Vulnerability Management Practices and Vulnerability Assessment Technology

Published: 20 March 2012

ID: G00226987

Analyst(s): Eric Maiwald , Anton Chuvakin


Vulnerability assessment (VA) plays a critical role in enterprise vulnerability management (VM). Tools are only now being expanded to cover in-depth security configuration assessment (SCA), large-scale vulnerability prioritization, and new cloud, mobile, and virtualization environments. This document focuses on today's VA technology challenges and practices in complex, large-scale IT environments.

Table Of Contents

Summary of Findings


  • Vulnerability Defined
  • VM Life Cycle
  • Key Customer Questions
  • VA/SCA Tool Use Cases
    • Key Use Cases
    • Other VA/SCA Use Cases
  • VA/SCA Core Capabilities
  • Scanning Models and Methods
    • Agent-Based vs. Remote Assessment
    • Vulnerability Identification Methods
  • Vulnerability Scanning in New Environments
    • Virtualization Approaches
    • Public IaaS Approaches
    • Mobile Approaches
  • Large Deployment Architecture
    • Scanning Architectures
  • Vulnerability Prioritization
    • Prioritization Method Summary
    • Recommended Prioritization Methods
  • Remediation
    • Remediation Trends
    • Automated vs. Manual Remediation
    • Automatic Actions
  • Reporting, Dashboards and Metrics
  • Remediation and Reporting Exceptions
  • Vulnerability Data Integration
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Policy and Process First
  • Perform Network Inventory and Asset Discovery
  • Scan All IP Addresses
  • Use Authenticated Scanning Wherever Possible for Higher Accuracy on the Internal Network
  • Perform Internal and External Assessment
  • Build a Process for Vulnerability Prioritization
  • Integrate VA Data Into SIEM, IT GRC and Other Systems
  • Integrate With Existing Workflow and Ticketing Systems
  • Perform Remediation Safety Testing
  • Automate and Operationalize Remediation
  • Secure Systems That Contain Vulnerability Data

The Details

  • Asset Discovery
  • Dynamic Assets
  • Identifying Vulnerabilities
    • Scanning Mechanisms
    • Vulnerability Checks
    • Scanning View
  • Differences in Vulnerability Scanning for the PCI DSS Compliance Use Case
  • Case Study: How a Large Organization Performs VM
    • Periodic Scan Definition
    • Ad Hoc Scans
    • Scan Management
    • Scan Data Analysis
    • Remediation Workflow
  • Vulnerability Standards

Recommended Reading


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