What is Continuous Vulnerability Monitoring and why does it matter?

System security is crucial for every organization today, and while firewalls, antivirus solutions and IPS/IDS are all essential elements of a security strategy, the reality is that hackers and others are continually looking for ways to circumvent those existing systems. 

We operate in an environment of complete connectivity, where it is the unseen vulnerabilities within complex networks that pose some of the greatest security threats. Those looking to penetrate systems understand where and how existing solutions operate, whether that be a firewall or antivirus, and their goal is to find gaps that are unprotected. 

The issue for organizations is that as equipment and connections are added and removed, where software is not always updated immediately, the opportunity for such vulnerabilities to be discovered and exploited is significant.

A Proactive Approach to Security 

It is clear then, that network security requires more than simply having passive systems in place, but rather a proactive solution that aims to identify and close the vulnerabilities hackers are searching for, before they can be used to compromise systems. 

The answer to this is continuous vulnerability monitoring, which as the name suggests, is a solution that constantly scans networks looking for those vulnerabilities. Through a continuous vulnerability monitoring solution, security teams have an almost real-time overview of the entire network, highlighting any vulnerability, enabling rapid fixes and minimising the security risk.

Rapid 7

There are many options for continuous vulnerability monitoring, however a company called  Rapid 7 has developed several monitoring tools that offer a complete, automated system with seamless integration and exceptional performance.

Rapid 7 utilizes both Nexpose and Metasploit to move beyond baseline assessments and provide near real-time data for threats, allowing immediate assessment of your security posture and a fast response to identified problems. 

Rapid 7 provides automated scanning and discovery of both physical and virtual assets, checking for misconfigurations, vulnerabilities and malware. With near real-time reporting, the toolset delivers a comprehensive security assessment across all aspects of security, helping to prioritize risks depending on specific needs. 

The resulting reports allow your security team to take action to address concerns with the most effective strategy for effective response. Reporting can be set to specific periods or ad hoc as something is discovered, providing ongoing coverage for all system security needs.

Rapid 7 In Practice

While continuous vulnerability monitoring is an essential aspect of your security response today, it is through case studies that the true extent of the benefits of such a system become evident. 

One such application at a major North American retailer with multi-billion-dollar sales, reveals some of the advantages. After integrating Rapid 7’s solutions into their system, their Information Security Manager revealed that the deep integration between Nexpose and Metasploit gives a simpler workflow and more effective risk prioritization, enabling him to spend more time addressing real threats. 

Saving both time and money, while improving security response is why Rapid 7’s continuous vulnerability monitoring is a leading solution today. The automated system and tailored reporting ensure that it integrates easily into any environment, quickly providing the relevant information your security team needs.

Hackers and other security threats are not sitting back waiting for mistakes to appear on their radar, they are actively probing for weaknesses and vulnerabilities to exploit. To maintain an effective security response, it is essential that your solution is just as proactive, seeking out issues before they become breaches.

Computer One is a multi-award-winning Managed IT Service Provider based in Australia. The company is a full-service provider, managing everything from an outsourced help desk to networks, cloud services, security and software development.