Now that your server environment has been built to your companies security standards and all the necessary precautions to ensure your server environment is secured are in place, you now have the daunting task of maintaining a Secured Server Environment.
In today’s world, we are constantly reminded of the potential security risks to our key assets and having a Vulnerability Management Plan in place is one item of many we can do to keep our server environments secured.
I am writing this from the perspective of a Systems Engineering team responsible for the security and stability of thousands of servers under our support. The actions you take now will pay dividends in the future.
Build a strong working relationship with your Information Technology Security department. They play a key role in identifying and vetting vulnerabilities to be managed. Once a vulnerability has been identified, they can be your champion for gaining the maintenance windows necessary to perform routine patching and in the case of Vulnerability Management, emergency change windows to apply critical security patches. Without their support, you face an uphill battle gaining the outage windows necessary for routine and critical patching.
Maintaining your CMDB records for accuracy and concurrency will ensure you have a complete and auditable list of assets to key against when the next security vulnerability is identified. Your ability to match system levels against the announced vulnerability within minutes allows you to go from “oh no” to “I got this”.
Notify your clients and key stakeholders in a timely manner. Having a communication plan already in place that allows you to quickly notify your clients and key stakeholders as soon as you complete your CMDB audit instills confidence that you are on top of the situation and ready to take remediation action.
Have your test and implementation plan mapped out so your team can test and implement critical security patches in a controlled and timely manner. Your ability to do this won’t eliminate but can certainly reduce the stress levels associated with managing an open vulnerability.
Look back at the last vulnerability your organization faced and the effort required for remediation. Use that to assess where your team stands in Vulnerability Management. Preparing now for future vulnerabilities will maintain the Secured Server Environment your team worked so hard to implement in the first place.
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