As software vulnerabilities are the root cause of many security issues (because vulnerable software is an open door for hackers attempting to access an IT infrastructure), understanding how to deal with them is a critical component for protecting any organisation from security breaches. IT teams must know when a vulnerability is threatening the infrastructure, where it will have the most critical impact, what the right mitigation strategy is and how to deploy it.
For as long as Secunia Research at Flexera Software has been monitoring the vulnerability landscape, the trend has been increasing. The total number of vulnerabilities increased by 55 per cent from 2009 to 2014 and we are expecting the trend to continue. This presents IT teams with the huge challenge of how to retain control over increasingly complex infrastructures and user device autonomy.
The frequency of vulnerabilities underscores the importance of regularly monitoring and patching all applications. This is a daunting task, and one that cannot be dealt with without automation. In addition, technically it is never possible to patch or apply work-arounds to all vulnerable programs on all devices immediately – which is why prioritisation of remediation efforts is a key element in securing data.