Gartner Research

A Guidance Framework for Developing and Implementing Vulnerability Management

Published: 23 October 2019

ID: G00410271

Analyst(s): Augusto Barros , Michael Clark , Anna Belak


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

Table Of Contents

Problem Statement

  • Vulnerability Defined
  • Vulnerability Management and Vulnerability Assessment Defined

The Gartner Approach

The Guidance Framework

  • Prework
    • Define VM Process Scope
    • Define Roles and Responsibilities
    • Selecting Vulnerability Assessment Methods and Tools
    • Create and Refine VM Policy and SLAs
    • Identify Asset Context Sources
  • Assess
    • Identify Assets
    • Scan for Vulnerabilities
  • Prioritize
    • Defining the Prioritization Method
    • Use a Risk-Based Vulnerability Management Tool to Advance Prioritization
  • Act
    • Remediate
    • Mitigate
    • Accept Risk
  • Reassess
    • Validate Success and Rescan
  • Improve
    • Evaluate Metrics
    • Eliminate Underlying Issues
    • Evolve Processes and SLAs

Risks and Pitfalls

  • Existence of Unreported Vulnerabilities
  • Trying to Fix All Identified Vulnerabilities
  • Ineffective Communication
  • Insufficient Remediation Resources
  • Fixing Only “High” and “Critical” Vulnerabilities
  • Conceding Broad or Eternal Exceptions
  • Mitigation Without Previous Planning Can Be Disastrous

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