What Is Vulnerability Remediation?
Vulnerability remediation is the process of addressing system security weaknesses. The steps include the following:
- Discover: Identify vulnerabilities through testing and scanning
- Prioritize: Classify the vulnerabilities and assess the risk
- Remediate: Block, patch, remove components, or otherwise address the weaknesses
- Monitor: Continue monitoring for new vulnerabilities and weaknesses
How Does Vulnerability Remediation Work?
Before an organization can correct vulnerabilities, they need to discover them. Traditional remediation workflows rely on scanning and communication tools to function. Traditional remediation can increase the mean time to respond (MTTR) and leaves systems vulnerable for longer than necessary.
Some vulnerability remediation occurs as a result of penetration testing, or vulnerability assessments. These tests produce reports on vulnerabilities and outline how to fix them. The reports serve as a checklist for security teams that rank flaws by severity, allowing the team to patch the critical flaws first. Once developers deploy a patch, they can do another scan or retest to validate the patch. Retesting is an essential part of vulnerability remediation, as some patches may introduce new flaws.
How Are Vulnerabilities Fixed During Remediation?
An automated vulnerability scan identifies well-known vulnerabilities and provides a simple report. The report offers minimal threat prioritization and typically doesn’t discover all possible vulnerabilities.
A vulnerability assessment systematically evaluates your system, looking for security weaknesses and vulnerabilities. The assessment provides information to the security team to classify, prioritize, and remediate weaknesses. The test provides an accurate risk assessment of vulnerabilities and discovers bugs that automated scans miss.
Organizations can assign priority automatically through automated scans or manually during the discovery phase. Many organizations use the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) to communicate the vulnerability’s severity and characteristics. The CVSS scoring system calculates severity based on the attack vector, complexity, and impact.
Organizations often assign vulnerability disclosures to staff members who are in charge of a particular system. Database administrators will fix any database-related vulnerabilities while development teams fix any application vulnerabilities.
Common vulnerabilities might include the following:
- Unpatched operating systems
- SQL Injection
- Weak account credentials
- Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)
- Insecure Direct Object References (IDOR)
- Device misconfigurations
Remediation times can vary depending on the vulnerabilities’ impact and the steps to fix them. Organizations must carefully plan remediation because patches can require downtime or have unintended effects. Development teams may release a temporary patch to provide a workaround when they need more time to fix the vulnerability properly.
Vulnerability management systems typically have multiple options for visualizing and exporting vulnerability data. Security teams often rely on a live alert system to monitor threats and use log collection for in-depth manual reviews.
Monitoring may lead to retesting, where the team scans that particular system again. If systems adhere to compliance standards, such as HIPAA, the development team can generate reports documenting the patching process and demonstrating ongoing compliance.
Benefits of Working With HackerOne
Vulnerability remediation exists throughout the HackerOne platform offering remediation advice for each vulnerability found. Vulnerabilities are paired with detailed remediation steps, allowing security teams to deploy patches quickly and confidently.
The HackerOne Hackbot widget provides automated remediation guidance and makes remediation a part of your organization’s workflow by providing resolution steps, suggesting related reports, and identifying out-of-scope domains. Teams can customize different workflows based on severity and type, ensuring the most impactful security flaws are resolved first.
For more flexible assistance teams can use the HackerOne API library, or any of our supported integrations on platforms like Jira, Azure DevOps, GitHub, GitLab, PagerDuty, or ServiceNow. This crowdsourced security model provides a fresh look at your attack surface and allows your organization’s remediation team to resolve critical vulnerabilities quickly.
How HackerOne Can Help
The HackerOne Platform, including multiple product offerings, consolidates vulnerability discovery, remediation, and retesting into a single intuitive platform. Rather than relying on small security teams, HackerOne leverages the diversity and expertise of the largest and most diverse hacking community in the world. Contact us to learn more.