In today’s digital age, organizations are facing increasingly sophisticated cyber threats that can cause significant damage to their operations, reputation, and bottom line. Cybercriminals are always on the lookout for vulnerabilities that they can exploit to gain unauthorized access to sensitive data or disrupt critical systems.

Vulnerability Management, already a requirement for many regulatory frameworks, is a process of identifying weaknesses in an organization’s IT infrastructure that could be exploited by cybercriminals.

In this article, we will explore the difference between internal and external vulnerabilities, the importance of proactive vulnerability management, and how it can help prevent cyber threats and ensure compliance and audit readiness.


Difference between Internal vs. External Vulnerabilities

Internal vulnerability scanning refers to assessing and identifying weaknesses in an organization’s internal network, systems, and applications. These vulnerabilities could be caused by misconfigured systems, outdated software, weak passwords, or unpatched security flaws.

The purpose of internal vulnerability scanning is to identify vulnerabilities that could be exploited by attackers who have already gained access to the internal network, either through a successful external attack or through other means, such as social engineering or physical access.

External vulnerabilities, on the other hand, are weaknesses in external-facing systems, such as web servers, applications, and network devices like firewalls, that are accessible from the internet. These vulnerabilities are exploited by malicious actors who are trying to gain unauthorized access to an organization’s network or systems.

The purpose of external vulnerability scanning is to identify vulnerabilities that could be exploited by attackers to gain unauthorized access to the organization’s network or sensitive data.


Why Proactive Vulnerability Management Important

Proactively managing vulnerabilities is essential to ensure that an organization’s IT infrastructure is secure and resilient to cyber threats. A proactive approach involves identifying vulnerabilities before they are exploited by cybercriminals and taking steps to remediate them. This involves regular vulnerability scanning (we do it daily) and assessments, patch management, security testing and quick remediation. By doing so, organizations can significantly reduce their risk of cyber-attacks and protect their sensitive data from unauthorized access.

There are several key reasons why a vulnerability management program is important for every modern company:

  1. Reduce risk: By identifying and addressing vulnerabilities in a timely manner, companies can reduce their overall risk of a successful attack. This is especially important in today’s increasingly connected and complex digital environment, where new vulnerabilities are constantly being discovered and exploited.
  2. Improve security posture: A comprehensive vulnerability management program can help companies to identify and address security weaknesses before they can be exploited by attackers. This can improve the overall security posture of the organization, making it less likely that it will fall victim to a successful attack.
  3. Comply with regulations: Many industries are subject to strict regulations related to data security and privacy, and a vulnerability management program can help companies to meet these requirements. By regularly scanning for vulnerabilities and addressing them in a timely manner, companies can demonstrate compliance with relevant regulations and reduce the risk of regulatory fines and penalties.
  4. Protect brand reputation: A successful cyber-attack can have serious consequences for a company’s reputation, as customers and stakeholders may lose trust in the organization’s ability to protect their data and assets. By implementing a comprehensive vulnerability management program, companies can reduce the risk of a successful attack and protect their brand reputation.
  5. Save money: Implementing a vulnerability management program can also help companies to save money in the long run. By identifying and addressing vulnerabilities before they can be exploited, companies can reduce the cost of responding to and recovering from a successful attack.


Preventing Cyber Threats and Ensuring Compliance

Vulnerability scanning is an essential part of a robust cybersecurity strategy for regulated companies. Manly compliance frameworks such as HIPAA, HITRUST, PCI-DSS and ISO 27001 require organizations to implement a comprehensive vulnerability management program to protect their sensitive data from unauthorized access and prevent data breaches.

By performing regular vulnerability scans, regulated companies can demonstrate their commitment to compliance, reduce their risk of non-compliance, avoid costly fines, legal penalties as well as damaged reputation and trust.


There are several key steps involved in implementing a successful vulnerability management program in your organization.

  1. Identify and classify assets: The first step in any vulnerability management program is to identify and classify the assets that need to be protected. This includes hardware, software, and data assets, as well as the networks and systems that they are connected to.
  2. Scan for vulnerabilities: Once the assets have been identified and classified, the next step is to scan for vulnerabilities.
  3. Analyze and prioritize vulnerabilities: Once the vulnerabilities have been identified, they must be analyzed and prioritized based on their potential impact and likelihood of exploitation.
  4. Remediate vulnerabilities: The next step is to address the vulnerabilities that have been identified. This can be done through a variety of methods, including patching, configuration changes, or the deployment of additional security controls.


Monitor and maintain:

Vulnerability management is an ongoing process, and it is important to regularly scan for new vulnerabilities and ensure that all identified vulnerabilities have been properly addressed.



As the threat landscape grows more complex and companies become more digital its increasingly important to build a strategy that is cyber resilient. Implementing traditional security measures like firewalls and anti-virus software is no longer adequate for companies that have employees working at home offices, on the go and around the world.

New age cyber security is not just about tools or hardware, today’s security includes a comprehensive strategy, understanding risks and having the insight on your security weaknesses to correctly prioritize remediation efforts.

There have been several high-profile cyber events in recent years that could have been prevented by proactive vulnerability management. One such example is the Equifax data breach, which exposed sensitive personal information of 143 million customers. The breach was caused by a vulnerability in the Apache Struts software, which was left unpatched for months. Another example is the WannaCry ransomware attack, which affected more than 200,000 computers in 150 countries. The attack exploited a vulnerability in the Windows operating system that was patched by Microsoft months before the attack.