Gartner Research

A Guidance Framework for Developing and Implementing Vulnerability Management

Published: 22 June 2017

ID: G00325569

Analyst(s): Augusto Barros , Anton Chuvakin


Vulnerability management, including vulnerability assessment, represents a proactive layer of enterprise threat defense. VM remains very challenging to many organizations, and this guidance presents a structured approach to VM best practices for technical professionals focused on security.

Table Of Contents

Problem Statement

  • Vulnerability Defined
  • Vulnerability Management and Vulnerability Assessment Defined

The Gartner Approach

The Guidance Framework

  • Planning and Scope Definition
    • Create and Refine VM Policy
    • Define VM Process Scope
  • Vulnerability Assessment
    • Establish Objectives, Scope and Architecture
    • Define the VA Operational Model
    • Execute the VA Cycle
  • Remediation and Mitigation
    • Prioritize Vulnerabilities
    • Decide on a Course of Action
    • Remediate
    • Mitigate
    • Define and Manage Exceptions
    • Validate Success and Rescan
    • Enhance Security Monitoring Where Needed
    • Measure VM Activities
    • Seek to Eliminate Root Causes

Risks and Pitfalls

  • Vulnerability Management Alone Is Not Enough
  • It's Not Possible to Immediately Fix All Identified Vulnerabilities
  • There Is No Successful VM Without Effective Communication
  • Insufficient Resources Allocated to Remediation Will Cause Vulnerabilities to Accumulate
  • Fixing Only "High" and "Critical" Vulnerabilities Is Not Enough
  • Broad Exceptions Are Risky
  • Mitigation Without Previous Planning Can Be Disastrous
  • Related Guidance

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