Vulnerability Management in the Age of Analytics

It is becoming increasingly critical to manage both unknown and known vulnerabilities. In fact, since even novice cybercriminals can exploit publicly disclosed issues, it may be even more important to manage known vulnerabilities. Furthermore, fraudsters can examine information associated with known threats to develop new attacks and scout potential targets.

Intelligent Vulnerability Management

On one hand, it is important to fix vulnerabilities as quickly as possible. On the other hand, IT professionals must follow proper change management processes to ensure that systems are patched promptly and completely, and operations are restored.

It is equally crucial to prioritize remediation efforts, especially when there are limited resources. IBM BigFix offers real-time visibility into and control over all devices in an IT environment. It helps security analysts respond by answering questions such as:

  • What are the risks associated with a given vulnerability?
  • How many devices have the same vulnerability?
  • What patches are available to fix the problem?
  • How many devices does the patch apply to?

BigFix is based on machine learning that continuously assesses the state of endpoints in a network. After a patch is successfully installed, BigFix continues to verify the conditions of the vulnerability. If it detects an instance of noncompliance with a policy, patch or configuration, it reports the change to the server.

When integrated with IBM QRadar Vulnerability Manager (QVM), BigFix enables analysts to close the vulnerability management gap and remediate threats more effectively. QRadar scans vulnerabilities across a variety of devices and incorporates the data into the QRadar asset profile. With QRadar Risk Manager, analysts can prioritize vulnerabilities and assess the risk of each device. QVM then sends this data to BigFix, which identifies the appropriate fixlet to apply to the patches or quarantines the machine from the network, depending on the risk.

Be Proactive With BigFix

When managing vulnerabilities, it’s important to be proactive. BigFix provides continuous, intelligent endpoint protection, enabling analysts to maintain standardized baselines for security, compliance, configuration and patching. It also offers intelligent detection capabilities that evaluate alerts generated from millions of active endpoint anomalies, correlate events, recognize malicious behaviors and analyze root causes.

In other words, BigFix discovers what happened and reveals why it could be suspicious. It then guides analysts to conduct rapid remediation processes such as patching, reconfiguring or quarantining affected endpoints, or even remotely reimaging them altogether. Most importantly, BigFix provides real-time visibility throughout the endpoint security cycle. This visibility is the key to effective vulnerability management.

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Domenico Raguseo

Technical Sales and Solutions Leader in Europe, IBM Security

Domenico Raguseo is currently Manager of Technical Sales in Europe for the Security Systems Division. He has over 15 years of management experience in different areas. Domenico also cooperates with several Universities by teaching Service Management, Cloud Computing. Since 2010 Domenico is member of Educational Scientific Council for the Master in IT Governance at the University of Rome La Sapienza (http://w3.uniroma1.it/mastersicurezza/index.php/master-itgov/direzione). Domenico got in IBM a certification as IBM Master Inventor for the multiple patents and publications in several disciplines (Business Processes, ROI, Messages and Collaborations, Networking). Finally, he is speaker on Information Security Management, Service Management, Cloud computing, Energy Optimization and Smarter Planet in several national and international events.