THE BUREAUCRACY OF REMEDIATION 

by | Jul 7, 2023

re·me·di·a·tion| ˌrəmēdēˈāSH(ə)n |  

noun 

 The action of remedying something, in particular of reversing or stopping environmental damage. • the giving of remedial teaching or therapy.  

The act of remediating security gaps or vulnerabilities represents the crucial moment when organizations bring to actuation the findings of thorough analysis and investigations. It is the pivotal action that represents the delicate balance between hardening security measures and ensuring the uninterrupted flow of business operations. In this blog, we delve into the complexities organizations face when embarking on the remediation journey.  

209 days

Are required for financial services organizations to patch vulnerabilities

556 days

is the average time of active vulnerability without patching

10%

of vulnerabilities are remediated each month

FEAR OF BUSINESS IMPACT 

There is no other way to put it. The fear of potential business impact often hinders organizations from taking immediate remediation actions. The prospect of downtime, disruption to critical workflows, or unintended consequences resulting from patch deployments can create a sense of apprehension. It is not enough to prioritize only critical vulnerabilities or wait for the worst to happen in order to seal the security gaps.   Organizations should devise strategies to evaluate the potential impact of every remediation action and minimize disruptions, instilling confidence in stakeholders while maintaining a strong security posture. 

CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND LEGACY IOTS 

Organizations operating critical infrastructure, such as power grids or healthcare systems, face unique challenges in remediation. These infrastructures are often interconnected with numerous components, making it difficult to implement remediation measures without disrupting essential services. Additionally, legacy IoT devices, which may no longer receive regular updates or patches, pose a significant risk. Addressing vulnerabilities in these systems requires careful planning, compatibility testing, and alternative mitigation strategies to ensure operational continuity while minimizing security risks. 

Veriti’s virtual patching capabilities revolutionize traditional patching processes. By virtually patching vulnerabilities in the different defense layers, including WAF, NGFWs, and EDR, Veriti ensures that business operations remain uninterrupted. This approach reduces the time and effort required to patch individual devices, minimizing disruptions to patient care while maintaining a secure environment. Complemented by advanced threat intelligence, Veriti proactively identifies emerging threats and applies virtual patches to mitigate risks promptly, safeguarding the organization without compromising security.

NAVIGATING SCARCE MAINTENANCE WINDOWS 

Limited maintenance windows exacerbate the complexities of remediation. Organizations must carefully plan and prioritize the deployment of patches and security updates to minimize disruptions to critical operations. Balancing the need for timely remediation with the imperative of maintaining uninterrupted services can be a daunting task. It requires effective coordination among different teams, clear communication channels, and meticulous scheduling to optimize the use of limited maintenance windows. 

VULNERABILITY MANAGEMENT VS. MITIGATION 

Risk-Based Vulnerability Management (RBVM) plays a crucial role in identifying and prioritizing vulnerabilities based on their risk levels, enabling organizations to optimize resource allocation and focus on critical areas first. However, while RBVM excels at prioritization, it falls short in addressing the actual mitigation process. Additional challenges arise with unpatchable legacy systems, limited maintenance windows, and the complexities of collaboration between security and IT operations teams. To overcome these hurdles, organizations must adopt a holistic approach that integrates risk prioritization with practical mitigation strategies. This comprehensive approach ensures that vulnerabilities are not only identified but also effectively addressed, enhancing overall cybersecurity posture and reducing potential risks. 

SHIFTING FOCUS TO REMEDIATION 

The bureaucratic challenges of vulnerability mitigation pose significant obstacles for organizations like healthcare, financial services, and critical infrastructure sectors. However, investing time and resources to overcome these challenges is essential for establishing a proactive and ever-improving defense strategy. To navigate this landscape, organizations can utilize Veriti’s non-disruptive remediation approach. Veriti’s advanced capabilities, including virtual patching and zero-business disruption features, powered by its proprietary machine learning, enable organizations to streamline the hardening of their security defenses. This approach allows effective vulnerability mitigation while minimizing disruptions to critical operations. 

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