SANS Institute Investigates the Modern Complexity of Vulnerability Management

SANS Institute

Coordinated, real-time vulnerability remediation remains difficult for organizations due to process complexities, but automation, prioritization, and formalized planning is helping.

Vulnerability management is an established function of information security, but with technology configurations constantly evolving and cloud and container infrastructure expanding, the complexities of VM persist. In a new white paper and accompanying webcast “SANS 2020 Vulnerability Management Survey,” SANS Analyst, Instructor, and Author David Hazar will share his analysis of this year’s survey results and discuss how organizations’ vulnerability programs are maturing in response to changing technology, architecture, and design.

The positive takeaway is that most organizations are following best practices for vulnerability identification and already taking steps to prioritize vulnerabilities based on asset value and exploitability. A full 87% of the respondents stated that they have some VM processes in place, and formal programs—often ushering in a growing use of automation—are on the rise. However, responsibility for successful VM outcomes is shared across multiple teams including IT, security, development, audit/risk and compliance, making it difficult to expose blind spots and close timelines to remediation.

The webcast and white paper will further outline respondents’ answers on the following topics:

  • How organizations are discovering different types of vulnerabilities on different systems and within their applications along with discovery frequencies
  • What remediation processes are operational and the level of maturity
  • How vulnerabilities are prioritized and whether deadlines are established
  • Who in the organization is responsible for the different processes related to vulnerability management

“The end goal for all this effort is to enable organizations to effectively and efficiently remediate vulnerabilities; . . . anything security can do to help identify and remove impediments will make remediation that much easier for IT organizations,” said Hazar.

The webcast featuring David’s survey analysis will take place at 1 pm EST Tuesday, November 10. More information about that webcast can be found at

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A second webcast will take place the following day, featuring a panel discussion lead by report author David Hazar and with guests Jerry Caponera, VP Cyber Risk Strategy at ThreatConnect, and Mehul Revankar, Vice President Product Management and Engineering at Qualys. More information about this webcast can be found at