It’s critical for financial institutions to stay ahead of the potential vulnerabilities and risks that can jeopardize their information technology assets. But to adequately manage risks and vulnerabilities, institutions must be able to understand what they are, identify where they are, and remedy the situation.
Risk is a multifaceted concept that encompasses threat and vulnerability. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) describes risk as the probability that a particular security threat will exploit a system vulnerability. More specifically, it is a “measure of the extent to which an entity is threatened by a potential circumstance or event, and typically a function of the adverse impacts that would arise if the circumstance or event occurs and the likelihood of occurrence.”
These circumstances can involve various sources and impacts. Generally, information system-related security risks arise from the loss of confidentiality, integrity, or availability of information or information systems and reflect the potential negative effects on organizational operations—including mission, functions, image, or reputation—organizational assets, individuals, and other organizations.
Managing Risks and Vulnerabilities
A vulnerability is a weakness in a system, an information system, system security, or even controls. Therefore, to manage their risks, financial institutions must also manage their vulnerabilities. To do this, institutions must know about their vulnerabilities and understand the context in which they exist.
Fortunately, financial institutions can use scanning technology to help with the daunting process of managing risks and vulnerabilities. Our V-Scan product, for example, is a comprehensive solution that analyzes IT assets, identifies vulnerabilities, and provides an extensive overview of the risks within the network environment. What’s more, V-Scan provides risk-prioritized data on all scanned IT assets.
V-Scan is designed to help institutions meet regulatory compliance. It performs weekly vulnerability scanning, which complies with the Cybersecurity Assessment Tool (CAT), developed by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC). Along with each weekly scan, the platform provides detailed reporting and a user-friendly dashboard that makes it easier to create an actionable plan to mitigate asset vulnerabilities. In addition, many cybersecurity insurance providers are requiring financial institutions to prove that they are managing known vulnerabilities. With V-Scan, institutions can provide reports that substantiate their weekly scans, assessments, and remediations.
Discovering Exploitable Vulnerabilities
Not only does V-Scan find current vulnerabilities in the environment, but it also uses numerous data points to measure the risk posed by those vulnerabilities. This information gives IT staff and oversight personnel timely details and the necessary context to maintain an effective vulnerability management program. One of the key ways institutions can use V-Scan is to discover assets that are at risk and weaknesses that should be resolved—particularly exploitable vulnerabilities. Being able to identify weaknesses that are known to have been taken advantage of allows institutions to prioritize their workload when securing their network.
For example, if the platform indicates that a Microsoft Windows security patch needs to be installed, V-Scan provides information needed to solve the problem, including which machines, devices, or assets are affected by the vulnerability. The product also allows filtered searches to be conducted based on the assets involved, such as domain controllers or printers. Having this enhanced capability further empowers IT staff to effectively manage vulnerability.
Contact us to learn more about how community banks and credit unions can leverage V-Scan to manage possible vulnerabilities and risks associated with their IT assets.