How to Use Vulnerability Metrics to Prevent IT Disasters

ByDaniel Gottilla

How to Use Vulnerability Metrics to Prevent IT Disasters

Using vulnerability metrics to prevent IT disasters sounds like a complicated procedure, but it’s something that any business can implement. With a basic understanding of how the process works, this is a tool that can help you prioritize security issues and help you to address them efficiently.

What are Vulnerability Metrics?

A vulnerability metric is a set of values that are assigned to a variety of network and application security issues. In a nutshell, the metric addresses how widely known a vulnerability is, how at risk your business is from it, and what the impact of this vulnerability would be if exploited. The more widely known a vulnerability is, the more attackers could be using it and the more likely it is that a system will have preventative measures in place to stop the attack. There are a variety of metrics available, but at their heart this is what they do.

Using Vulnerability Metrics

Properly utilizing the data garnered from the vulnerability metric is important. For example, how often does your company search for and implement software patches? If your company does this weekly, the longest you can have a known operating system loophole open is one week. If your company patches monthly, you could have a full month with a weakness open, waiting to be exploited. Knowing what your weaknesses are and how to prioritize them can keep attackers out and your data and resources safe.

It should be noted that a vulnerability metric is not a real-time system. There are many metrics available that are free or available for a minimal charge, but they do not include the training and knowledge to be able to properly interpret the data. One cost-effective way of obtaining this knowledge without the expense of a full-time employee is to hire a consultant. The IT consultant can help assess the data and ensure that the metrics are being put to their best use, and you can hire them on an as-needed basis. A security professional can ensure you are implementing the suggested changes to keep your system safe.

Using vulnerability metrics to help prevent IT disasters isn’t difficult. Finding your weaknesses, understanding what they could do, and learning how best to prevent them is a basic security need, and the metric can provide a structure for this. Used in conjunction with an experienced consultant, these metrics can be invaluable in protecting your business from a variety of IT disasters.

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