Vulnerability Management & the Art of Prioritization of Risk – SCW #45

Recorded Sept 29, 2020

There was a pretty extensive discussion on the Discord server during last week’s show that we thought was appropriate to discuss on air.

Josh kicked off the discussion by asking, “Anybody know any vulnerability remediation timeline guidance? Formalized, scientifically based stuff?”

Josh further clarified, “just trying to find the science behind why and when I should give a crap about vulnerabilities”.

He finally stated, “I am troubled by the lack of empirically based standards of remediation timing, remediation prioritization, remediation adjustment/offsets based on compensating controls.”

This launched a multi-threaded conversation that touched on vulnerability management, how to pass various compliance audits/assessments, the many vendors that have latched on to “prioritization” of vulnerabilities, or simply “Risk-Based Vulnerability Management”.

Of course, PCI became a focal point for much of the discussion because of the mention of vulnerability management, compensating controls, remediation timing, etc. – all of which is addressed within the PCI DSS (despite what Quadling thinks).

We’re going to try to find consensus on the problem, possible solutions (based on recognized sources), and provide advice.

 

References: 

https://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/Legacy/SP/nistspecialpublication800-39.pdf

https://www.mitre.org/publications/systems-engineering-guide/acquisition-systems-engineering/risk-management/risk-impact-assessment-and-prioritization

https://gcn.com/blogs/cybereye/2017/07/nist-risk-prioritization.aspx

https://www.tenable.com/blog/5-tips-for-prioritizing-vulnerabilities-based-on-risk

https://www.darkreading.com/vulnerabilities—-threats/vulnerability-management/vulnerability-prioritization-are-you-getting-it-right/a/d-id/1338519

https://securityintelligence.com/articles/how-to-identify-prioritize-and-remediate-your-biggest-security-vulnerabilities/

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