The importance of vulnerability management to endpoint security cannot be overstated. It is an excellent proactive approach to eliminate security weaknesses before they lead to a full-blown attack. But to meet the dynamic needs of modern IT ecosystems, enterprises need a streamlined way to assess their security posture. As enterprises continues to expand, vulnerabilities can burgeon across most platforms. As a result, security analysts can easily lose track of how to prioritize the more critical systems and applications.
A well-designed vulnerability management dashboard provides insights into hidden security risks enabling better decisions and a more secure organization. Vulnerability management dashboards make it easier to track assets, prioritize vulnerabilities, and implement mitigation efforts. Effective dashboards are dynamic, to ensure teams have the most relevant information in real-time.
Let’s look at some of the more important features of a vulnerability management dashboard that will enable data-driven decisions. However, remember that there is no single right way to create an effective vulnerability management dashboard. The choice of metrics and features must be tailored to the needs the organization.
Features of a Vulnerability Management Dashboard
- Detailed overview of current open issues ranked by severity score
- List of overall and active exploitable issues
- Details of upcoming vulnerability assessments
- Number of open and remediated vulnerabilities within a given period
- Vulnerability trend analysis
Security configurations management
- Track and prevent misconfigurations in systems and servers
- Audit firewalls, antivirus software, SSL, and BitLockers
- Security overview of the systems drilled down by individual resource view
Data Access Insights
The dashboard can monitor the points where data can be accessed and are thus prone to vulnerabilities. The dashboard will give analysts an overview of known points where data can be exfiltrated and prevent access to confidential enterprise information, trade secrets, and customer data. They can reduce the number of entry/exit points where data could leak and minimize risk. Indicators on the dashboard will highlight when any nefarious activity is detected in any such access point.
Dashboards can be filtered on the basis of different roles so that every stakeholder—from system admins to CISOs – can view and analyze the metrics that matter most to them.
CISOs prefer a bird’s view of the security structure and want to understand the overall direction of the organization. They also want to encourage their IT security team to improve the security posture. Their view of the vulnerability management dashboard should show:
- SLA tracking and measurement
- Risk to business
- Overall trends
- Team performance
Vulnerability Management Team
This team needs to analyze trends and also need to be prepared to combat any emergencies, implement patches, and so on. Their dashboard should show a mix of analysis and operations such as:
- Vulnerabilities opened, closed or resolved per week/ month
- Most vulnerable machines, applications, systems
- SLAs being followed and met/ missed
This team is primarily interested in operational data, the metrics required to improve security and the team’s performance, and the specific actions that need to be taken. Their view will include features like:
- Tickets close to SLA
- Vulnerable machines, programs, applications etc
- Average time required to fix vulnerabilities of varying severity levels
All vulnerability management efforts can be rendered futile unless they’re evaluated and understood. The vulnerability management dashboard must also contain detailed reports, granular analysis, and customizable query reports that will help the entire IT security team – from the CISO to the analyst – to scrutinize network security, communicate risks, track progress, and security status. Available in a variety of formats, reports can be created on-demand with custom parameters, or they can be shared with the IT security teams and the CISO directly.
To be effective, any vulnerability management process should be continuous, data-driven, and well-supervised. The ultimate goal of vulnerability management is to make sure that enterprises and their security teams get complete visibility and control of vulnerable areas that may exist within their IT environment. But the vast amounts of related data can overwhelm security teams, and make it harder for them to access the right information and follow up with a fast and effective remediation process.
A vulnerability management dashboard gives a single glass-pane view, readily offering up real-time information for continuous monitoring and for taking the best course of action when executing remediation. It can also help IT leaders enhance their vulnerability management programs and be better prepared for emerging threats. With the right information available on demand, security analysts will no longer get overwhelmed with the amount of data that’s available to make decisions on managing weak spots. An intuitive, easy-to-use and comprehensive dashboard is therefore a key component of a vulnerability management solution.