5 Stages of the Vulnerability Management Lifecycle

For any IT organization, the vulnerability management lifecycle is crucial as it involves a structured process for organizations to identify and prioritize assets within their IT system and networks. This step is essential for assessing security measures effectively.

By performing a regular vulnerability check, IT companies can take necessary steps to ensure their security is up-to-date and prevent any hack attempts. If big vulnerabilities are found, companies can opt to hire vulnerability management services.

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The vulnerability management cycle involves many stages, and if you are not aware of them, then here are some of the stages:

1. Asset Identification

The first step of the vulnerability management lifecycle is asset identification, which includes the crucial task to check for security measurements. In this stage, an IT organization starts by identifying all the assets within the organization that require a security check.

Also, within an organization, it is pretty normal for new devices to keep getting added to the system. Hence, it is extremely important that one always starts with asset identification and prioritizes them for vulnerability management.

Overall, you can say that the first step of the vulnerability management lifecycle is to identify and prioritize assets based on how important they are and what security threats they are processing.

After that, a regular vulnerability scan is conducted using specialized tools and methods. You should look for vulnerabilities such as broken authentication, human error, injection vulnerabilities,  misconfigurations etc.

2. Vulnerability Assessment

Once vulnerability data is collected, the next step is vulnerability assessment, in which a company addresses the most crucial vulnerabilities first.

Also, in this step, an IT company ensures that in which vulnerability they should spend their time and resources. One can come to a conclusion by evaluating various factors like the CVSS (Common Vulnerability Scoring System) score, exploitability, and the value of the affected asset.

It is always a good idea to prioritize the vulnerabilities as per the security threats. Alternatively, you can also consider vulnerabilities which are more likely to get exploited in a cyber attack.

A good practice that most companies follow is that they go for the common vulnerabilities. As hackers would try to exploit them first.

3. Vulnerability resolution

Once the vulnerabilities that need to be fixed are finalized, the next step is to fix them. There are multiple stages to it, such as:

  • Remediation: In this case, the company addresses the vulnerability to the fullest. So it cannot be exploited further. Also, it requires a deep level of fixes like patching the operating system, fixing misconfigurations, removing vulnerable assets from the network, and more.
  • Mitigation: The other option is mitigation, which involves making the vulnerability extremely difficult to exploit. As a result, it will be challenging for hackers to exploit it. Also, it saves the company from the hassle of removing the vulnerability completely.
  •  Acceptance: lastly, it is about accepting that some of the vulnerabilities are not worth the effort of fixing. These are majorly low-impact vulnerabilities or not too common. So, fixing these vulnerabilities won’t be cost-effective for the company.

4. Reporting and Documentation

During the whole vulnerability management lifecycle process, it is also important for companies to keep and maintain detailed records of vulnerabilities, assessments, and remediation. So, at a later stage, the documentation can be extremely helpful for auditing, compliance, and dealing with ongoing risks.

Along with that, the documentation and reports should also be shared with relevant stakeholders like executives, asset owners, compliance departments, and more.

Moreover, keeping records of ongoing vulnerabilities will help the security system to come up with better solutions and make the overall system extra protected against any hacks.

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5. Feedback and Improvement

The last stage is feedback and implementation, which involves looking at the whole process and coming up with ways to make the process better than before by making several improvements. Small changes can be made in the areas of how vulnerabilities are selected, how much time and resources to spend on what sort of threats, assessment procedures, enhancing the speed of fixing the vulnerabilities, and more.

Also, IT companies should focus on monitoring their system regularly for new vulnerabilities and emerging threats.


So, those were some of the common stages of the vulnerability management lifecycle. However, these stages can vary from company to company. Ultimately, it is up to the company to decide how they want to go about it.

One way of managing vulnerabilities by not using much of your own manpower is by hiring vulnerability management third party services. Many big enterprises are hiring them. According to a Mckinsey survey, enterprises are going to increase spending on managing these vulnerabilities by 85% in 2023.

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