Vulnerability management is the process of finding, analyzing, prioritizing, classifying and remediating vulnerabilities in software, hardware and communication systems.
Vulnerabilities are weaknesses in information systems that can be exploited by hackers to gain unauthorized access to data or resources. Vulnerabilities may be caused by a flaw in design or coding errors, but they are often due to improper configuration or deployment of an application or system. Vulnerabilities can also be introduced by an attacker such as a virus or worm trying to propagate itself across the Internet.
Vulnerability assessment tools help identify vulnerabilities in computer systems, networks and applications by scanning them for weaknesses that could be exploited by hackers. These tools can also be used to scan for potential cyberattacks before they occur and block them before they cause damage.
A vulnerability management program includes policies and procedures that enable organizations to detect, assess and mitigate vulnerabilities before they result in critical incidents or financial loss. Vulnerability management involves identifying all components within an organization's IT infrastructure (servers, desktops, laptops), along with any third-party software applications installed on those devices and keeping track of updates released by vendors.