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Created on 10.01.2022

Technical term from IT: what is vulnerability management?

No matter what sector you work in, it’s always useful to recognize the most important terms from the world of information technology and security. In this article, we explain the term “vulnerability management”.

What is vulnerability?

Vulnerability is all about being open to attack, harm or influence. In the fields of IT and information security, a vulnerability refers to a weak point, i.e. a security-relevant fault in an IT system or the state of being exposed to the risk of an attack. These weak points (such as programming errors) make systems or institutions susceptible to threats. They can be used by attackers to infiltrate a system without authorization and gain access to data and information.

What does vulnerability management mean?

Vulnerability management is the ongoing process of protecting a company’s modern IT systems against cyber attacks. The first steps of the process usually involve recording all the relevant hardware and software components (such as servers, networks, computers, smartphones or technologies hosted in the cloud). Specialists then identify, assess, report on and tackle the weak points using various tools and technologies. Comprehensive vulnerability management involves taking the wider context into account during the analysis, for example by examining whether the company is currently being reported in a negative light in the media or by identifying which new threats cyber criminals currently pose. It’s also particularly important to clearly outline roles and responsibilities within vulnerability management.

What is the aim of vulnerability management?

The aim is to eliminate the weak points, therefore making a company less vulnerable to attack and minimizing the number of critical security incidents. Vulnerability management improves cyber security and reduces the risk of security breaches, which can be costly for businesses and may result in reputational damage. In addition, vulnerability management ensures compliance with security requirements and statutory provisions, such as those relating to the handling of data.

Why is vulnerability management of increasing importance for companies?

  • In the fast-paced, IT-driven world of business, there is increased risk of security-relevant faults within an IT system.
  • The risk of a business falling victim to cyber attacks has increased in recent years and both large companies and SMEs are affected.
  • Companies are increasingly facing regulatory pressures to respond to these threats – whether by way of various industry-specific provisions or laws that regulate how data is handled.
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